Floridian Review: A Condo With A Coastal Miami Theme
By Farrand Hey, 1 April 2020
Floridian is a fantastic place to call home if you love the coastal Miami theme. The grounds are well landscaped with palm trees that are conducive for long walks after dinner. And the various theme gardens lend a unique character to the different spots in this pretty sizable development.
Units in Floridian is fairly comfortably spaced, but the inclusion of a large balcony and bay windows does make the space feels smaller than the stated strata area.
- Modern condominium
- Condo designed with a Miami theme
- Located off Bukit Timah Road, on a cul-de-sac, away from the noise and pollution
- Only an 8 min walk to Methodist Girls’ School, the very few condos can boast to be within safe walking distance
- A dedicated vehicular entrance lane for residents and visitors
- Lift lobby at basement and ground level are air-conditioned. They are also nicely designed and decorated. This gives a very posh and welcoming greeting to homeowners and visitors alike
- Spacious basement car park makes manoeuvring easy and the lots are spaced generously apart
- Car washing lot is enclosed, coin-operated and comes with a vacuum device installed
- Large drop-off plaza, wide enough for school buses to do a turnaround and for cars to pass one another without causing a jam. It also comes with seats for waiting, and a huge shelter that will keep the elements out
- Below average maintenance of the common areas, starting to look run down. Could also be a case of the use of less superior building materials
- The balcony screens aren’t very aesthetically pleasing and reduces the available light in the living room
- There is only one way in and out of the condo as it is on a cul-de-sac. No side gates too
- As The Nexus’s bin center is beside Floridian’s entrance, when the rubbish truck or the mover trucks are stopped near the entrance, that could cause an obstruction to vehicles
- There are no security locks on the lobby doors and the lift doesn’t restrict access to residential levels
- Poor design for the ground floor units, residents entering and leaving the lift lobby will walk past bathroom and kitchen windows. Privacy and security are greatly compromised
- The ground floor units at all the blocks except for Downtown are all at the water’s edge. This causes high humidity situations at home
- Unfortunately, the walk from the arrival plaza back to your block is unsheltered and your children would have to take shelter from the basement carpark if it rains
Quick facts about Floridian
Site Area: Estimated 230,694 sq ft
No. of Towers: 11
No. of Storeys: 10
No. of Units: 336 units
Carpark Lots: 355 lots
Unit Type Size (sq ft)
2+1-bedroom 904 – 958
Floridian was developed by a special purpose vehicle controlled by Far East Organization called Orwin Development Ltd, it was first launched for sale in late 2007. And it was then, the priciest property in this part of Bukit Timah! Of course, it was then soon to be eclipsed by an even pricier launch called Jardin the next year, but that is a story for another review.
The initial launch price in 2007 was $1640psf to $1750psf. In contrast, its closest comparison, The Cascadia, which was launched in the same year, was only asking $1038psf to 1638psf. Floridian is easily still one of the most pricey in per-square-foot terms for the condos in this locale.
Unfortunately, the timing of the launches was poor. 2007 coincided with the onset of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). Sentiments were progressively getting poorer and appetite for such richly priced properties were thin.
Being only just little under a decade since it was completed, Floridian is clearly a hot contender if one is leaning more towards newer and more modern condominiums in this stretch of Bukit Timah. With its lush landscaping of palm trees and tropical flora, it is a close approximation to the scenes of Miami. The only thing is, this is nowhere near the sea!
Tucked behind Maple Woods and The Nexus condominium, Floridian isn’t as prominent as some of those condos lining Bukit Timah or Dunearn Road. It is in fact at a branch of the main Bukit Timah Road, on a cul-de-sac.
It is surrounded by Methodist Girls’ School, two plots of vacant land zoned residential and the Brizay Park Good Class Bungalow Area. Being tucked away means it is significantly quieter and having a large piece of greenery to one side makes the living environment cooler, the air fresher and certainly much more peaceful.
Check Out The Facilities
Floridian boasts an almost 100% coverage of facilities. This is because the developer created a rooftop with 11 different functions. While properties in the same era are starting to do away with providing tennis courts. Floridian’s developer managed to utilise the rooftop space to put in not one but two tennis courts!
On top of that, there is a long continuous rooftop garden at The Verandah (block 971), Hideaway (blocks 973 and 975) and South Beach (block 977). What awesome names instead of just the plain old numbers. Of course, numbers are more practical and aid in locating the correct blocks. Fortunately, the signages in Floridian are superb and directions are very clearly laid out.
On the opposite block, also called The Verandah (block 969), we have a long path connecting two sitting coves, four viewing pavilions, a reflexology corner, a fitness corner, two grill areas, a playground, a yoga deck and a small lawn area.
Now that we have covered the rooftop, let’s check out where most condo facilities are located – on the ground. There are a total of 24 named facilities on the ground floor. From the very moment you arrive at Floridian, you will see the first feature, an entrance water feature with the condo name, greeting you or your guests.
Next, we have a water cascade located between The Keys (block 967) and Downtown (block 965). At the foot of this water cascade, you have the first of seven pools, the Downtown Pool.
From the plan view of the facilities map, you can see that there is an inordinate amount of water covering the surface of the condo grounds. This condo is definitely for those who love water. Be it clocking laps at The Keys Pool (the largest), the 25m Palm Grove Lap Pool, or just lazing the Palm Grove Relaxation Pool. If active pool usage is not your thing, there is also the Palm Grove Hydrotherapy Pool or get your aching body massaged by the jacuzzi at the South Beach Pool (the smallest). And of course, there is a wading pool for the little ones too!
For those who don’t fancy getting wet, there is a jogging track that almost encircles the condo grounds. And due to the sloping ground, this condo is built on, the jogging track isn’t completely flat, which makes the jog or your stroll a little more interesting.
There are also five spots for you, your family and friends to connect over food at the various outdoor dining pavilions spread out over the grounds.
Visit Floridian and you will notice that the developer took care to finish the lift lobbies in a higher level of luxury than the surrounding condos. In addition, the lobbies are air-conditioned in the basement and the ground floor. Curiously, there seems to be a lack of security at the lobby doors. Visitors can easily get into the lift lobby and head up to any residential levels without the need to be buzzed in.
Finally, the clubhouse is located at the appropriately named, The Club block, just behind the grand arrival. It consists of the gym, an air-conditioned lounge, a private dining room and a reading room. Decorated to a level rivalling some higher-end condos in Orchard.
When Floridian was launched, it’s marketing tagline was: Where luxury flows. I believe it is living up to its tagline with the luxuriously appointed common areas and facilities.
What Is Nearby? Location, Location, Location
Located at almost the end of Bukit Timah Road, closer to King Albert Park rather than Sixth Avenue MRT, Floridian is surrounded by Maplewoods, The Nexus and Methodist Girls’ School. Prominent landmarks nearby include the Sime Darby Centre from just across the road, Beauty World and Turf City.
Bus Stop No. 42021 (The Nexus)
Bus Service No.: 66, 66B, 67, 74, 77, 151, 154, 157, 170, 170A, 171, 174, 852, 961, 961M, 970
Distance: 240m, or 3 minutes walk
Bus Stop No. 42039 (Opposite The Nexus)
Bus Service No.: 66, 66B, 67, 74, 77, 151, 154, 157, 170, 171, 174, 852, 961, 961M, 970
Distance: 435m, or 5 minutes walk
Nearest MRT Station: King Albert Park (DT6)
Distance: 545m, or 6 minutes walk
The Downtown Line (Blue Line) that runs partly through Bukit Timah is a boon to the residents here. The train journey from King Albert Park to the Central Business District takes a mere 18 minutes to reach Promenade station where Suntec City is located and an additional 4 minutes to get to the aptly named Downtown station.
Leaving the car at home and hopping onto the MRT to work has never been so easy. The same goes for the kids if they are studying in one of the many highly regarded schools along this train line. Many now choose to take the train instead of the buses so that they don’t have to brave the elements and pollution from the roads.
If you get around by car or hailing a taxi, then you will also find Floridian to be in a highly accessible location. It is merely minutes away from the major expressways like the Pan Island Expressway, Bukit Timah Expressway and Ayer Rajah Expressway. Not to mention major arterial roads like Bukit Timah / Dunearn Road, Clementi Road and Upper Bukit Timah Road. Slightly further away are Farrer Road / Adam Road, Holland Road and Stevens Road.
An important point to note is that as these arterial roads are very crucial to many people’s commute, they do get quite seriously clogged during peak hours. Travel times can easily double or even triple when there is an accident or construction. Fortunately, the constant upgrading (which explains the construction) and road widening does alleviate the traffic situation somewhat over the years.
Although with the rise in online grocery shopping, the relevance in having a supermarket nearby is less of a concern, however, it is always good to have options. Floridian does enjoy a decent selection of supermarkets within a few minutes of either walking or by car.
The closest one will be at this building now known as Link @ 896 or formerly as the Sime Darby Center. There is a decent-sized Cold Storage located on the second floor of this building. Located just across the road from the King Albert Park MRT station, it is about 8 minutes walk from Floridian. Parking is free for the 1st hour.
A smaller Cold Storage can also be found further up at Guthrie House.
If you prefer to shop at the ubiquitous NTUC Fairprice, then you will find a huge one located Bukit Timah Plaza and another at Coronation Plaza. There used to be a sprawling Giant Supermarket at The Grandstand, but it has since closed down and been replaced by Hao Mart.
The nearby shopping centers aren’t really anything to write home about. Most are past their prime and ripe for a major rejuvenation or redevelopment, save for one new one, which is KAP Shopping Mall. But for completeness sake, they are:
- Link @ 896,
- KAP Shopping mall,
- Bukit Timah Plaza,
- Beauty World Plaza,
- Beauty World Centre,
- Bukit Timah Shopping Centre,
- The Grandstand,
- Coronation Shopping Plaza.
For the more glitzy and larger malls, you might want to take a short drive to Orchard Road, Jurong East, The Star Vista at Buona Vista or even Vivo City at Harbourfront. With the Jurong East Cluster of malls, namely JEM, Westgate, IMM, Big Box and J Cube, a mere 13 minutes drive away.
Well, one thing that Bukit Timah is well known for its plethora of esteemed schools and the main choice for parents wanting the very best education for their children. Below is a summary of the schools within 1km of Floridian.
The distance and timings given above are the longer route, as sometimes the route to and fro are different.
For the purpose of admission for primary school, only Methodist Girls’ School is within one kilometer. The other two highly popular schools, Pei Hwa Presbyterian and Henry Park are both within the two kilometer radius.
Other Points of Note
Wide range of food options
We won’t go into details here on how Bukit Timah and Floridian is filled with an awesome selection of restaurants to cafes to hawker centers to coffee shops. These numerous eating places cater to a variety of tastes from the local favourites, to exquisite Asian foods, and of course, your the Western fare.
If you are keen to find out about the food scene in Bukit Timah, check out our food guide section.
Be close to nature
Coming home to a peaceful and serene environment is truly priceless. The ability to be close to nature and breathe in fresh air while working out does wonders to clear out the stress and helps the mind focus. Bukit Timah and Bukit Batok hills are both very nearby. If jogging, hiking or cycling is your cup of tea, you will find plenty of wonderful nature reserves to cater to your needs.
The rail corridor is also another recent addition to the list of green spaces. In the future, there will be a Sky Park over the Bukit Timah canal.
Did you know, you could hike from Bukit Timah all the way to MacRitchie?
Plenty of recreational options
There is never a dull moment living in Bukit Timah, you don’t have to venture far for interesting things to do like horseback riding, golfing without a need of a club membership, axe throwing, Go-Karting, paintball and much more.
Source: Axe Factor
Home to a good number of clubs like the Swiss Club, The British Club, Temasek Club, Tanglin Rugby Club and The Rainforest Sports Hub Turf Club. And for the active sportsmen and sportswomen, there is a wide choice of sports you can play ranging from futsal, basketball, rugby, cricket and golf.
Do check out some of these places: Champions Golf Course, The Cage Sports Park and Premier Pitch Indoor.
You know that big field behind Floridian?
Holland Plain is is just behind Floridian. The nearest MRT is King Albert Park MRT
Holland Plain will be a distinctive and welcoming neighbourhood, featuring generous park spaces for residents to enjoy. There will also be water-sensitive elements to clean and manage rainwater run-off. With the newly enhanced Bukit Timah First Diversion Canal and Rail Corridor at its doorstep.
Holland Plain which spans 34 ha, will yield 2,500 new homes starting from 2021.
Native species can be introduced into the new parks to extend these nearby habitats and enrich biodiversity in the area. Holland Plain will generate 2500 new homes. New future developments will enhance the value of existing projects.
Spanning an estimated 230,694 sq ft, the site for Floridian is considered quite large and the blocks are well spaced out. Most of the units are orientated almost in the North or South directions, save for two stacks that are facing East-West. The general feeling is comfortable without being claustrophobic, block to block distance are generous and privacy is decent, especially with the balcony screens provided by the developer.
Some blocks have stacks that are single-loading, meaning, that the units have dual facing and does allow a good cross-breeze to ventilate the unit. These are stacks 16 to 23. However, stacks 22 and 23 have their living rooms facing the East and their common rooms facing the West. In case you are wondering why, West facing units tend not to be favoured by the locals as it can get pretty warm in the afternoons.
Stacks with the best cross breeze and ventilation: 16, 20, 21, 22 and 23
Stacks with the views of the pool: 02, 03, 06, 07, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 28, 31, 32, 35.
Stacks with the greatest block to block distance:
- Shortest distance is approximately 16m, between Blk 969 and 973.
- Furthest distance is approximately 28m, between Blk 967 and 977.
- Distance between Blk 967 and Blk 965 is approximately 23m.
- Distance between Blk 965 and The Nexus is approximately 27m.
- Distance between Blk 969 and Maple Woods is approximately 20m.
31m is very good distance between Blk 971 and Maple Woods.
Stacks with an unblocked view of the greenery: 25, 26, 29, 30, 33 and 34.
Stacks 09 and 12 is actually better as it a view through the gap between Blk 977 and The Cascadia’s Blk 933 overlooking the Brizay Park GCBA, which is guaranteed not to be blocked by any highrise buildings.
This is probably valid within 3 to 6 months after writing. We’ll be updating this as often as possible, so check back here when you want an updated picture of the pricing.
Source: URA, Squarefoot
A reminder of some key dates: 2008 was the launch, which also coincided with the Global Financial Crisis, the Singapore property market peaked at the introduction of the TDSR cooling measure in 2013, and then it picked up again in 2017.
The highest ever price per square foot achieved was in July 2011, where a 4-bedroom, 1830sqft unit was sold at $2040psf. It possibly the highest priced in $psf term then in the general vicinity. Thereafter, prices started to soften after the government imposed the most severe and effective cooling measure in 2013. It then went sideways with very thin volume for a good 4 years before taking off again but not quite reaching the previous highs.
What does this all mean? Well, at the current market rate of around $1750psf, you are looking at a fair entry point. The support will likely be around $1500psf while the upside will be somewhere around the $2000psf mark.
With new launches going for an average of $2740psf for freehold property and $2000psf for a 99 year leasehold project, we expect the price for Floridian to be well supported. Nearby resale property of similar attributes ranges from $1386psf to $1782psf, with Floridian being the highest in this league.
Source: URA, Squarefoot
What if you are considering Floridian as an investment? How does the rental stack up? Let’s take a look.
Source: URA, Squarefoot
Going by the rental yield, Floridian also came up well. Returning a respectable 2.5% gross yield. It has also a pretty strong rental volume of 203 rental contracts per 336 total units over the period of two years. This bodes well and would mean that Floridian will likely be on the radar of tenants and their agents. Although it is beaten out by a newer condo with smaller unit sizes, on a per square foot basis, Floridian commands one of the highest $psf rent in the vicinity.
In summary, Floridian scores well for the home owner but may not have the best capital appreciation potential if you’re looking from the point of view of an investor. If you are investing for the long haul, the higher yield could be a consideration.