Monday, June 21, 2010

Residential property goes avant-garde

Boutique property developer Heeton Holdings is setting its sights on avant-garde designs for its developments as part of an effort to expand its portfolio and rebrand itself.

Danny Low, Heeton’s chief operating officer and executive director, said the company is looking at new and cutting-edge concepts in its future projects in the Orchard Road area and its vicinity.

Heeton has already started to implement this strategy with its new Philippe Starck-inspired condominium iLiv@Grange at Grange Road, which was unveiled earlier this month.

The company expects the units to fetch above $3,000 per square foot on average.

iLiv@Grange is the first luxury residential property in Singapore which incorporates interior design and landscaping elements by Yoo – a collaboration between Starck and English property developer John Hitchcox.

The property’s facade was designed by Italian architects Mercurio Design Lab.

With its smooth and curvaceous contours, Mr Low said he believes iLiv@Grange is Heeton’s test bed for more unusual and avant-garde design concepts in Singapore’s thriving property market.

“Even though we are a boutique player, we are conservative in some ways. We also want to make sure that whatever we do, it must be appreciated by buyers and of course, the market in the future,” he said.

“It is also something that we got out of our comfort zone to sign up two reputable designers from Italy and France, not something that many small firms like ours will take the risk,” he said.

Mr Low said he is confident that Heeton’s new direction will take off.

Apart from iLiv@Grange, Heeton’s other major boutique development projects include the Juluca in Pasir Panjang and The Lumos in Leonie Hill.

The firm’s future projects also include the old Mitre Hotel site at Killiney Road, which it secured in 2009 for about $121 million.

The hotel opened in 1948 but ceased operations when its licence was not renewed in 2002, according to reports.

Heeton intends to convert the site into another boutique residence, which is expected to be launched in the first half of 2011.

Although the Mitre’s design concepts are still in the early stages of planning, Mr Low said Heeton has appointed a European architect to turn the derelict site around but retain some of the nostalgia at the same time.

Heeton sold its wet market business last year to supermarket chain Sheng Siong and has also put up heartland mall Sun Plaza for sale.

The company, which was listed in 2003, reported a profit of $6.7 million in the first quarter on revenues of $7.6 million.

Source: Today, 21 Jun 2010

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