Uber 388. A Low-Rise Single Block Boutique Development
How is this even possible? If you have seen a lot of boutique developments in Singapore, you will realise that there are a few ways to house the apartment units. Depending on the intensification of land use, there are generally two ways to go about doing it. You can either place the apartments within one single tall tower (high plot ratio like 2.8). Or distribute them in several low-rise blocks (plot ratio of 1.4). However, to place 95 units in one single block with an allowable height of only five storeys seems to be an impossible task. Well, at Uber 388, the architects have outdone themselves and made the impossible possible.
How the Architects Managed to Put All 95 Residences onto One Single Block
Most of us think of a block as a unique rectangular shape. Or a squarish tower that is standing on its own. However, if you were to merge these individual blocks into a single structure, that new building is now one entity. This is precisely what ADDP architects did at Uber 388. The architects linked the three blocks together and created a continuous piece of architecture that is incredibly soothing to the eye.
I believe there are a few reasons for doing this. First, the land that Uber 388 is sitting on is not entirely squarish in shape. There are two landed houses along the frontage of Upper East Coast Road directly in front of Uber 388. From what I heard; the owners didn’t want to sell their property to MCL Land back in the day. As a result, the developer must find a way to build on this rather odd shape frontage facing Upper East Coast.
Transforming Challenges Into Beautiful Features
The architects managed to solve this problem by creating a grand drop off point for the residents. Not only does it elevate the status of Uber 388 but is also practical for residents to use. Be it dropping off the kids safely via the school bus or waiting for a private-hire car. Or even the feeling of coming home to a residence that is both grand and beautiful. All these are benefits that every resident will enjoy and is seldom seen in boutique developments.
At the other end of the Uber 388’s frontage (facing Upper East Coast Road), MCL Land has converted the tiny rectangular plot to house the children’s playground. An ingenious use of space that is otherwise deemed “wasted”.
Uber 388’s Centrepiece and The Creation Of A Connected Roof Terrace
For most condos in Singapore, there is always a centrepiece in the heart of the development. This centrepiece is also where you find most of your facilities such as your swimming pool, clubhouse and gym. Due to the height restriction of low-rise boutique developments, most developers tend to build their units around this centrepiece. Uber 388 is no exception with three blocks forming a c-shape structure overlooking the main pool, function room and gym. This arrangement allows most units to have a permanent view from their living room. Not to mention the possibility for the developer to sell these units at higher prices.
The fusion of the blocks has also allowed for MCL Land to create a connected roof terrace. The roof terrace not only provides other facilities such as your BBQ pit but also offers residents an incredible view of the surroundings. It doesn’t matter which level you are staying; every resident here will get to enjoy the spectacular wide-open space which is lacking in our densely populated Singapore. Furthermore, having BBQ pits on the roof terrace is always a good thing because the smell will never go into your neighbours or your unit.
Concerns on Privacy For C-shaped Designed Buildings
From an architectural perspective, c-shaped designed buildings might lose some privacy, especially those at the connecting points between the two blocks. To solve this issue, the architects have made use of the combination of bay windows and extruded balconies. The use of these two features creates a form of layering that is very difficult to peer directly into the unit. Yet at the same time when you look at the building façade, everything seems very seamless and connected.
Uber 388 Location
Uber 388 is located at 388 Upper East Coast Road. Currently, the best form of public transportation is via a bus stop along Upper East Coast Road directly in front of Breeze by The East. The bus stop is 150 meters away, or a 2 mins walk. There are various and frequent buses that will bring you to Bedok Interchange, Suntec City or even Raffles Place.
While the bus transportation network is already quite extensive, residents at Uber 388 will be happy to know that the Bayshore MRT station will be ready in 2023. The Bayshore MRT station is sitting on the Thomson East-Coast line, which is one of the most critical train lines in Singapore. Bringing accessibility directly to Orchard Road, Shenton Way, Gardens by the Bay and even up to Woodlands. What’s more, the station is merely a 3 minutes’ walk away.
Unit Types at Uber 388
There is a nice mix of unit types at Uber 388 ranging from one-bedroom to the four-bedroom and penthouses. Unit sizes are also considered rather big with most of the two bedrooms having an enclosed kitchen. Not a common sight in today’s new launches. Also, due to the single block design of the building, not all apartments have household shelters(HS) or balconies within the unit. Some people love their balconies/HS while others hate them, whatever the reason, there are unit types catered to everyone.
Freehold boutique developments are a form of low-density housing and usually further away from amenities. Uber 388 is no exception. If you need any last-minute groceries, there is always the minimart located at Costa Del Sol just 500 meters away. I believe once the Bayshore MRT Station is up, there should be shops and perhaps even eateries to cater to the residents staying there. If you are looking for a supermarket and a plethora of dining options, the various shophouses at Siglap are just four bus stops away.
Is Uber 388 A Good Buy?
The reason for writing this review is that I do have a 2-bedroom unit available at Uber 388 for sale. This 2-bedroom unit has a balcony, enclosed kitchen and offers incredible privacy facing the greenery towards The Bayshore. With a luxurious size of 850sqft, it is ideal for a small family or even investors looking for an immediate rental income.
As usual, to understand if something is a good buy, I always use the current rental yields to give you a clearer picture. Due to the small number of transactions in Uber 388, I will be using the recent rental of $2600 per month and the price of $1,220,000 to calculate the yields. This simple calculation works out to an annual yield of 2.55%, which is rather common for freehold properties.
However, rental yields are not the single most crucial factor when it comes to any capital upside (Just read my article on “Waiting For Prices To Fall, Is This A Good Strategy?”). To understand more if there is capital upside on any properties (including this 2-bedroom unit at Uber 388), do fill in the contact form and we will get back to you shortly.
Is Uber 388 The Right Home For Me?
Uber 388 is an ideal home for those who value low-density living and privacy above all. Furthermore, the building itself is a testament of how intelligent architectural design can help elevate the value of the land. And in certain cases, even improve the daily lives of the residents living there. Of course, the upcoming Bayshore MRT station (and the amenities along with it) are just bonuses. To understand if Uber 388 is what you are looking for, do visit our subdomain site at https://www.uber388.cos.sg.
*Update: The 2 bedroom at Uber 388 was sold on 20th December 2019. 8 days after this article was published.
Article contributed by Jerry Wong
Jerry Wong is a realtor with Propnex Realty. He loves coffee, cookies and condos. Most importantly, he loves connecting people to properties and gets enormous satisfaction when they acquire their dream home. In his 10 years of experience, he has transacted HDBs, condos, landed properties and even commercial properties. If you are considering to sell your property and need a partner to value add in the sales process by providing consultation work or even writing an editorial piece like this one. You can contact Jerry via Whatsapp.