• Joshua Loo

Review: Race Course Area Shophouse for Sale

Updated: Feb 2, 2021

This is a review of a Race Course Area shophouse that is currently marketed by one of my colleagues. This is to provide potential buyers with a more in-depth view of the property and have all the details needed to make a well-informed decision. Should you require more information, feel free to write to estatemagnates@gmail.com or contact Joshua Loo at +6596329840! I will link you up to the seller agent!

Note from the writer: This review was initially a thorough and comprehensive look in regards to the property. However, we have encountered numerous unethical practices in regards to the properties that we are marketing. In order to protect the interest of the writer, real estate agents involved and seller, some identifying information was removed.

If you are an interested buyer for the property, please contact the proper channels as extensive time and effort were contributed for the marketing.


My previous review of a shophouse located at Dublin Road, that is located close to Somerset was my first foray into explaining the architectural intricacies of a property.

With the growing demand of interest in my long-form reviews by clients and real estate agents, I feel that it is important that I expand deeper into these reviews from an architectural standpoint, yet not sacrifice on the foundations in which these reviews first started in; its value in real estate.

Real Estate as a term has been crudely recognized to be a form of financial investments, which brings to mind corporate overlords and overbearing landlords.

However, we will need to remind ourselves that every real estate is an occupier’s home, which fulfils physiological and psychological needs.

Talking about architecture on Estate Magnates which all this time is heavily focused on Real Estate investing, and still will be, brings these two halves into a greater whole.

Potential clients will then be closer to making a truly informed decision.

The format for this Race Course Area Shophouse review will first elaborate on its architectural/interior merits, followed by its potential as a real estate investment.

Façade of Race Course Area Shophouse

*PM me for Facade of Shophouse!*

The shophouses along the street have been earmarked for conservation as it is located within the Owen Road Conservation Area. Based on the “3 Rs principle: Maximum Retention, Sensitive Restoration and Careful Repair, it is crucial to protect the original structure and architectural elements of the shophouses.

The following points that are mentioned below are not exhaustive and the full restoration guidelines list for secondary settlements can be found here.


The roof must be pitched and unglazed, natural colour clay roof tiles are to be used.

Decorative Features

All the ornamental plasterwork and cut-porcelain tiles have been retained.

Canopy and Awnings

You might have noticed that most of the shophouses do have a modern, retractable awning. This is allowed to be installed with precision under the main beam of the building.

Rear Extension

*PM me for Rear Extension Facade of Shophouse!*

Despite being a conservation property, Additions & Alterations (A&A) for a rear extension can be done for up to 5 storeys can be done, which significantly increases the build-up area of the shophouse.

Architectural Style

Rather than opting for a traditional corporate office, SOHO (small office/home office) spaces provide a striking balance in affordability and function for small business operations. Since this is a Residential with Commercial at 1st Storey shophouse, I consider this to be an evolution of the smaller SOHO apartments designed and marketed by condominium developers.

The high floor-ceiling height of the shophouse provides an opportunity to create a functional SOHO (Small office/ home office) space and creative experimentation with mezzanine floors which the architect has executed flawlessly.

Creating a SOHO is more than just finding a property with high ceilings. SOHO Lofts are usually finished with an industrialized look. This is characteristic, based on the following points;

  • High ceilings supported by thick columns

  • Exposed brick walls

  • Large windows from the floor to ceiling

  • Wide, open plan; no internal walls

  • Heavy-duty wooden floors

  • Exposed piping and ventilator tubes

We don’t often get to see large glass windows for conservation shophouses as the external façade design are usually demountable timber shutter boards. Other than that, the interior work fulfils most of these points.

Also, the lighting and material type are very important. The apartment will require good amounts of natural lighting. For artificial lighting, the use of brushed metal lamps gives a strong industrial, perfect for that SOHO loft style.

Material use will require different forms that will portray a strong juxtaposition. This can be achieved simply mixing both hardwood and brushed metal items together.

1st Storey

1st Storey Commercial Space