KOP Properties looks to provide an extra “something special and iconic” when it designs and builds high-end residential projects under its luxury Hayden Properties brand, says its CEO, Leny Suparman. In Singapore, KOP Properties built the first-ever Ritz-Carlton Residences in Asia.
The ultra-luxurious The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Singapore in the Cairnhill area will be equipped with the legendary amenities and service excellence of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel group. Staff of the hospitality group will deliver a wide array of services, such as housekeeping, a 24-hour dedicated concierge, doormen, and even sommeliers.
KOP is also the developer responsible for Hamilton Scotts, the world’s tallest en-suite elevated car porch residence. Hamilton Scotts is the region’s first high-end residential project featuring an elevator that brings cars up to park right in the residences. The lifting of cars is itself a visual marvel that takes place in the tower’s unmistakable glass lift, says Ms Suparman.
She says her company, a relatively new entrant to the Singapore property scene, was aware that it needed to set the bar high in order to compete with older, more established property developers in the luxury residential scene.
“We realised that we have got to provide something different, something that is immediately a talking point. For Ritz-Carlton Residences, it was the service element, which is unmatched in any other property. For Hamilton Scotts, on the other hand, it is the car mechanism and the design of the building. Customers were really curious about how it works and it really highlighted what we can do and put us on the map, in a sense,” says Ms Suparman.
“We are in the stage of brand-building because we are new, so the first few projects that we do identify us. And because we are new, we have to deliver something that is new to consumers. If not, the only way we can compete is through price and we don’t want to do that,” she adds.
“And of course, the distinctive features of our projects also help us to sell them. Our buyers are very discerning, well-travelled people who have lived a life of luxury. So they can see that our properties do not just have all the elements of luxury but they also have something more. So in a sense, these buyers are looking for collectibles.”
But she stresses that KOP Properties did not just aim to provide one gimmick in each project as the main selling point; rather the developer pays close attention to all aspects of its luxury developments to make sure that they are up to the mark: “We pay special attention to the finishes, the quality of the design, the layout, and the physical aspects of the property. We want to bring it a notch higher compared to the other projects in the market.”
KOP Properties is the real-estate arm of the KOP Group, an integrated investment company with a diverse range of luxury lifestyle businesses ranging from residential and commercial properties, hotels, and resorts to yachts and country clubs, as well as private equity and capital management.
Through its luxury brand, Hayden Properties, it develops iconic projects such as The Ritz-Carlton Residences and Hamilton Scotts. KOP Properties also has interests in other cities in Asia and Europe.
Ms Suparman says the Hayden brand within KOP Properties was launched to differentiate the group’s high-end residential offerings from its other projects, which include commercial buildings such as Scotts Spazio (the first transitional office project in Singapore) and The Spazio (the former Dapenso Building in the Central Business District, which KOP transformed from a nine-storey building into a striking 14-storey tower with an additional 40 per cent lettable space).
KOP also has 10 Trinity Square, London in its portfolio. The stately London landmark, which is located just opposite the Tower of London, will soon be rejuvenated into a luxurious hotel, club, and residential development.
The group is still selling units in The Ritz- Carlton Residences and Hamilton Scotts. As of end-2011, the developer sold 19 units in the 58-unit The Ritz-Carlton Residences and another 19 homes in the 56-unit Hamilton Scotts. Around 30 per cent of buyers are repeat customers who had previously bought units in KOP’s earlier projects, says Ms Suparman.
She admits that sales have been slower than she would have liked because of the sluggish global economy and several rounds of property cooling measures by the government. But the group is optimistic that sales will pick up now that the projects have been completed.
“Despite all the doom and gloom, we still take comfort because the projects have been completed. For those kind of buyers that our projects attract, we need the project to be completed and for people to see it. Sales might take a while longer because of the latest round of measures (which were introduced in December 2011) but we think we will get there because our projects are blue-chip projects and they are sound investments for buyers,” Ms Suparman says.
In the meantime, the group will continue to market its Indonesian project, Montigo Resorts, which is touted as Batam’s first five- star, all-villa luxury resort. Located 20 kilometres from Singapore, Montigo Resorts’ villas are spread along a one kilometre-stretch of private beach front and boast magnificent, unobstructed views of the South China Sea.
Conceptualised by a multiple award-winning architecture company, Eco-ID, Montigo Resorts offers 133 seafront homes ranging from 3,300 square feet to over 10,000 sq ft.
Of these, 45 homes are three-bedroom residences and 88 are two-bedroom villas, all with the option of a private infinity pool or spa pool. Prices start from around $450,000 for a 3,000 sq ft service villa while service residences start from around $1.5 million for a 7,500 sq ft unit.
Sales are going well as the project is drawing steady interest from Singaporeans and expatriates based in Singapore who are looking for holiday homes and investments. Says Ms Suparman: “With its growing expatriate community and the sheer number of foreigners coming to Batam, the island’s tourism and property developments have become lucrative investment opportunities.”
The group is also still looking to acquire residential sites to develop new projects in Singapore now that the Ritz-Carlton Residences and Hamilton Scotts have been completed. Ms Suparman says: “We will take a cautious approach, of course. But if the right opportunity arises, we will grab hold of it.”