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Discussion – 


Discussion – 


Penrose Review: Endless Awe

penrose showflat


sims drive penrose

Penrose review is my attempt to give you my unbiased and candid take on this new launch located along Sims Drive in District 14. It is probably the most talked about and hottest (I know, and I loath to use this word too) project to be launched in 2020. 

Thank you for stopping by and giving this a read. Hope you can gain a different perspective and some useful tips from my little sharing.

26 September 2020 update: booking has commenced today, check out the pricing section to get (an almost live update of the prices and availability) last updated on 27 October 2020

28 September 2020 update: wow, the sales over the launch weekend surprised even the seasoned industry watchers. Over 60% of the 566-unit Penrose or 341 units found buyers. This quote summarised nicely our reactions.

“A remarkable record for a year hit by Covid-19. It marks one of the most successful first weekend launched in the wake of Singapore’s Circuit breaker.”

My rating of Penrose







  • 6-minute walking distance to Aljunied MRT
  • Very attractive pricing for a city-fringe new launch
  • Developed by well-regarded developers


  • Not a popular district with Singaporeans
  • One side of the site is facing PIE

Quick facts about 

Tenure: 99 years leasehold from 3 July 2019

Completion: expected July 2024

Developer: NovaSims Development Pte Ltd (a Hong Leong and CDL JV)

Main Contractor: Lian Beng Group Ltd

Site Area: 16,225 sqm (174,646 sqft)

No. of Towers: 5

No. of Storeys: 18

No. of Units:  566 units

Carpark Lots: 566 residential lots + 5 handicap lots + 12 lots for the child care centre

Unit Type 

Size (sq ft)

No. of units


474 – 517



560 – 570





2-bed Premium

700 – 710



797 – 807



936 – 980


3-bed Premium

1,044 – 1,098



1,173 – 1,184



1,389 – 1,399


About Condo

Penrose is a mid-size project jointly developed by Hong Leong Holdings and City Developments (CDL). Its neighbour, Sims Urban Oasis is a much larger project consisting of 1,024 units spread out over a land size of 23,949 sqm versus Penrose’s 566 units spread over 16,225 sqm. In terms of units per sqm, we have 0.043 units per sqm for Sims versus a 0.035 for Penrose.



Here is a fly-through video showing how it will look like when it is completed

Check out the facilities

I must say, going through the list of facilities available in this condo, it sounds inviting and refreshing.

penrose facilities plan

If you are already property hunting or is a seasoned investor, you will know that these days, providing the glitzy, modern and unique facilities is no longer extraordinary. It is no longer easy to stand out with just the facilities. Nevertheless, it is still something we should take a look if you’re a home seeker or even an investor. 

There is two number of spa pavilions. Not sure how popular these type of facilities are with the residents as I seldom see them utilised. Often, on closer inspection of those condos with spa beds or spa pavilions, the state of them strongly hints to its underutilization. 

Yet another piece of a potentially underutilized facility could be the Tree House Pavilion with Water Terrace. Again, drawing from the experience of visiting many completed condos with such open terraces, it is hardly popular with the residents as the usage is highly dependent on the weather and time of the day. 

Even if the weather is perfect, without any furniture, it is hardly a useful space. 

penrose playground

But I think the kids’ adventure park is a nice touch. These are much better than some of the simple playgrounds, or none (like in Daintree’s case) that the developers put in like it is an afterthought. This will make Penrose a family-friendly condo that will be sought-after by those that have kids. 

But sadly, the adventure park is relegated to run parallel to PIE. Another similar design layout for the kid’s adventure park is at The Parc Condominium in West Coast. While showing that condo’s facilities to my clients, we note that the adventure park is really noisy. Not to mention it might not be healthy for children to be breathing in the pollution from the expressway while playing hard.

kids adventure park



What is nearby? Location, location, location

Being located near Kampong Bugis and the Kallang River precinct, Penrose is in a good position to ride the wave hitting these new growth areas. 

Kallang River precinct will undergo a major rejuvenation of the waterfront. It will come with new walkways and cycling paths. 


Located just at the city fringe, residents of Penrose should be able to reach the central business district by car in less than 15 minutes. Alternatively, they can take a leisurely 6-minute walk to Aljunied MRT and a further four MRT stations to reach City Hall. 

Although the Penrose site is located right beside the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) and in very close proximity to the interchange of PIE and KPE (Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway), it is nonetheless still quite a drive to actually hit the expressway or hit home.

Let me explain. When coming home on the PIE towards Changi, the time to reach home takes 6 minutes the moment you exit the PIE. And to reach PIE from home, that journey will cost you 4 minutes. 




Within the condominium compound of Penrose, there will be a commercial unit that will house a child care centre.

The usual slew of condominium facilities includes a 50-metre pool, wellness gardens, a rooftop sky garden which unobstructed views of the city and plenty of pavilions for social gatherings.



Geylang Methodist School and Canossa Catholic Primary Schools are the two primary schools within the 1km radius. I would think only Geylang Methodist is possible to walk to as it is just a 6-minute walk being just beside the MRT. Canossa is a 15-minute walk, it might just be too far for a comfortable walk. 

Three other primary schools are within the two-kilometre radius, they are Bendeemer Primary School, Cedar Primary School and Kong Hwa School.

The Nexus International School is just across the PIE from Penrose. Which is a plus for investors hoping to land expats with children enrolled in Nexus. 

Other points of note

Wide range of food options

The nearest hawker centre will be the Sims Vista Market & Food Centre. This is just across the road or a 170m walk. If you don’t mind driving a little, Haig Road Market and Old Airport Road Food Centre offer a wide selection of local delights. 

Not to mention the assortment of coffee shops, restaurants and eateries in Geylang. 

If those aren’t your thing, not to worry, slightly further away in Katong and Joo Chiat, you have plenty of cafes and upscale restaurants serving anything from Asian to European to exotic foods. 

When you are all out of ideas, then the default of getting dinner and then a spot of window shopping can be easily achieved at the nearby malls like Paya Lebar Quarter, One KM, Kallang Wave Mall and even Parkway Parade. 

Be close to nature

As the park connector network increases in its reach, it will be easier for more people to be connected to nature. The nearest park connector to Penrose is the Pelton Canal park connector. This is a 650m or 8-minute walk. Not exactly at your backdoor but it is across from PIE. 

Plenty of recreational options

Singapore Sports Hub.

East Coast Park.

Site discussion

Choosing the right stack for you. Stacks 01, 02, 08, 09, 10, 11, 17 and 18 are facing the PIE. In addition, they do get a slight exposure to the afternoon sun.

Stacks 21, 22, 25, 26, 28, 29, 34 and 35 are facing Sims Drive. They get a slight exposure to the morning sun.

The rest are facing internally. 

Interestingly, the developer didn’t choose to sacrifice the 1 and 1+Study units by placing them facing the PIE. Instead, they are enjoying what I deem as the best possible facing for this condo site.

Not only are they enjoying the internal, facilities facing, they should also receive the lowest amount of noise pollution. 

penrose site map

It is smart of the developer and the designer to construct a multi-storey car park (MSCP) and also to place a linear facility (the kid’s adventure park) along the PIE to “push back” and “push up” the blocks 20 and 22 away and upward from the PIE.

Stacks 01, 02, 08, 09, 10, 11, 17 and 18 starts from the 5th floor.

Do note Stacks 03 and 12 will still get noise exposure even though they are facing the pool as their kitchen, yard, bathroom 3 and bedroom 4, will still get exposure to the expressway. 

Finishing and layout

These days when selling units facing the main road or in Penrose’s case, the expressway, it is imperative for the developer to come up with more rigorous solutions than the “the glass is thicker than the inward-facing units”.
Even provisioning double glazed windows and sliding doors aren’t going to cut it.
In Penrose, the developer is providing these perforated ceiling panels in the balcony to absorb some of the noise emanating from the expressway upwards and bouncing off the ceiling of the balcony.
acoustic ceiling panel

Do take note that only two panels of the casement windows in some of the bedrooms can be opened. This is approximately only 25% of the total glass surface. Maybe this is to cut out noise, but it will certainly may not be as well ventilated as some other designs.

sims drive condo

I understand from the developer that the bedroom sizes are 9 sqm for the common rooms in the 4-bedroom units. And the width of the living room is 5 metres. Personally I quite like the layout of the 4-bedroom unit, I find the placement of the bathrooms are excellent lending all rooms to enjoy an en suite experience, yet while only requiring a total of 3 bathrooms plus a WC to achieve that end. 

kitchen lighting track

One thing I noticed is this strip of sticker text pasted on the top cabinet in the kitchen of the showflat. It says, “Lighting track is an ID treatment for showflat purposes only”.

Now, I’m sure this lighting track won’t cost too much during construction to put in. Why doesn’t the developer just provide this? This will certainly make working in the kitchen that much more comfortable.

If it is not provided, then don’t install it for the showflat!


Why is Penrose able to sell at a relatively lower price as compared to its closest competition, The Antares at Mattar Road. I believe it is because of the winning bid by the developer which is quite competitive. So much so the pricing for a new launch (Penrose) is comparable to a resale condo (Sims Urban Oasis) which is just side-by-side.

Pricing and availability are subject to change without notice, I will do my best to update as often as possible, but for the latest information, just drop me a note!

Last updated on 27 October 2020.

1BR 🛏 Fully Sold ❌
2BR 🛏 Fully Sold ❌
2BR Premium 🛏 Fully Sold ❌
2+Study 🛏 From $1,333,400 (Last 11 units only!!!) 
3BR 🛏 From $1,547,000
3BR Premium 🛏 From $1,710,000
3+Study 🛏 From $1,843,000
4BR 🛏 From $2,111,000


Given the city fringe location and the pricing, it is no wonder that this is the best selling new launch in recent times. However, not everyone is keen to live in such a location, with its reputation and pollution. Buyers need to be fully aware before committing. 

farrand hey

About The Author

Farrand blogs to share his experience gathered over the last decade of serving homeowners and investors. (but he prefers to meet face to face and talk)

He is passionate about helping the younger generation plan for their future and to grow their wealth.  

His clients and colleagues alike frequently sought him out for his unbiased and honest views. 

When he is not busy with work or writing, he loves to cook and watch reruns of Top Gear.

Making it a point to stay healthy, he struggles to wake up earlier to fit in some cardio. Although he finds it hard to resist the lure of tasty food.

Recently married, he is still basking in marital bliss. That’s a photo of him the day after proposing to his wife (doing what else, but eating).

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