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On Tour with John Cheng: Checking out One Bernam and Tanjong Pagar

Entrepreneur John Cheng checks out the One Bernam show flat and takes us to his favourite eating places around Tanjong Pagar.

When Hao Yuan Investments bought the plot of land at Bernam Street in May 2019 for $440.9 million, property observers were keeping a sharp eye on the space to see what would transpire. After all, Tanjong Pagar is one of the oldest and most valuable areas in the city. It’s a stone’s throw away from the central business district (CBD) and will be rejuvenated by the government’s CBD Incentive Scheme.

Not that it needed much rejuvenation. The area has been and continues to be prime real estate, thanks to its proximity to heritage and the future – it’s near cultural and financial hotspots such as Chinatown, Sentosa and the Marina Bay Financial Centre, and is part of the Greater Southern Waterfront transformation plan.

Tanjong Pagar also has many fond memories for 39-year-old John Cheng. The high-flying multi-hyphenate remembers following his late father around the area during their rounds, visiting clients. The foodie also loves the wide variety of F&B options available. For Peranakan, he goes to The Blue Ginger. When he’s missing Paris, he heads to Cafe Gavroche a street away at Tras Street. Its cobblestone flooring and minimally warm interiors always transport Cheng back to his favourite European city.

Incidentally, One Bernam, the 35-storey mixed-use development at Bernam Street, reminds Cheng of the elegance of Paris. He loves the luxury furnishings and bright, minimalist interior mixed with warm wood panelling. Jointly developed by Hao Yuan Investments and MCC Land, One Bernam is a successful urbanite’s dream. There are 351 residential units, 1 storey of boutique serviced apartments and three penthouses, all on top of a two-storey retail podium. Just one street away is the 100AM shopping mall for your physical retail needs.

Cheng loves the spaciousness of One Bernam’s apartments. “I entertain a lot and always have friends and family over, so a cavernous living room is essential,” the entrepreneur shares. The regular cyclist is also fond of how close it is to the Tanjong Pagar MRT and to Sentosa. “I can take the bicycle out to the beach on weekends and cycle around the island!”

An artist's rendering of One Bernam, slated to be completed in 2026.

An artist’s rendering of One Bernam, slated to be completed in 2026.

Cheng is eyeing the three-bedroom apartment, which measures a sizable 1,421 sq ft. The one-bedder is between 441 to 463 sq ft while the two-bedder ranges from 700 to 872 sq ft, depending on whether it comes with a study.

Privacy and digital connectivity are key components of One Bernam. Dedicated elevators serve each apartment, a smart air con control you can remotely access via your smartphone to let you cool your place before you come home, and digital locks and smart doorbells ensure you’ll always know who is at your door.

And unlike many other developments in the city area that sacrifice amenities for an enviable address, One Bernam also boasts a variety of wellness areas, including a yoga deck, two pools for swimming and lounging around in, and even a tatami garden.

An artist's rendering of the swimming pools at One Bernam.

An artist’s rendering of the swimming pools at One Bernam.

It’s no wonder Cheng is seriously considering One Bernam, not just to stay in, but also because he believes “there will be significant capital appreciation”.

Watch the video at the start of this article to watch John Cheng and me explore the One Bernam show flat and the surrounding areas, including his two favourite eating places.