Gothic 'fortress' in Singapore? A look inside a $28m industrial building for sale

PHOTO: The Mill

Dull, cold, and boxy — industrial buildings in Singapore are boring. Or are they?

Nestled within the industrial estates of Bukit Merah lies a hidden gem called The Mill.

Its steel black facade will catch your eyes. Take a closer look and you'll realise that the two towers sport different designs.

Getting Gotham City vibes yet?

One of the towers holds an Art Deco style reminiscent of the city protected by Batman. In fact, it was designed by James Adams, the same US firm that worked on Parkview Square in Bugis.

The other tower, clad in Gothic style, was designed by Swan & Maclaren, one of the most established architecture firms in Singapore.

While many have craned their necks to get a good look at the building, we've gone on an exclusive tour of The Mill, which has been recently put up for sale.

A look inside

Murals on the ground floor. PHOTO: The Mill

Not only is the building, located along Jalan Kilang, eye-catching on the outside — the aesthetic extends into the inside.

Upon entering the premises, you'll be greeted by majestic black-and-white murals by local graffiti artist Ceno2.

Chandeliers hang above the driveway and you just might spot a vintage car or two in the parking area.

A garden terrace on the second floor connects the two towers, serving as an area for people to mingle.

Garden terrace on the second floor. PHOTO: The Mill

Tenant units sport 6-metre-high ceilings, 2.4metre-tall windows as well as spiral staircases that connect some units to upper floors.

On the sixth floor is a roof terrace that offers a great view of the surrounding area. It's also a good place to wind down with drinks after a day's work.

A fortress for creatives

An office space inside the building. PHOTO: The Mill

Behind the bold design choices for The Mill, completed in 2017, is owner Roy Teo.

An interior designer himself, Teo shared with AsiaOne that he has a deep appreciation for Art Deco and Gothic for their "robust melancholic demeanour" and "dark underlining romanticism".

"Having this chance to build a new twin-towered building gave [me] the opportunity to express them both in unison."

Describing it as a fortress that supports creative folks in the local scene, Teo curates the list of tenants to build synergy among them.

Besides his own interior design firms Kri:Eit Associates and The I.D. Dept, those who have set up shop in The Mill include fashion label The Editor's Market, bespoke tailor Kevin Seah, luxury watch magazine Revolution and French graffiti artist Cyril Kongo.

On the market for $28 million

With its unique architecture and city-fringe location, buyers can expect The Mill to come at a premium.

The industrial building with an 11,800 sqft land size is now up for sale for $28 million, said Alvin Choo, division director of investment sales and affluent market at ERA Singapore.

At $1,037 psf, the asking price is higher than other industrial buildings in the area which range between $600 psf and $700 psf, he told AsiaOne.

The Art Deco style tower. PHOTO: The Mill

An artistic property like this is rare on the market, Choo noted, and one that is especially suitable for lifestyle brands that are looking to establish a flagship store in Singapore.

Tenant units sport 6-metre-high ceilings, 2.4metre-tall windows as well as spiral staircases. PHOTO: The Mill

There are a total of 18 units in the property.

The 99-year leasehold property has 40 years of lease left. The shorter lease is common for well-located industrial buildings in Singapore, Choo explained.

Having invested a significant amount of time and effort into building The Mill, we asked Teo why he has put it on the market.

"I've always been in the business of creating and building things, which is undoubtedly my passion, and after the building was completed, we curated the perfect tenant mix of about the best creative leaders as planned since its genesis," he said.

"Hence, I suppose my work here at The Mill is done."

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♬ THE PAINTER - Jaem

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that some areas in the building can be used to host events. AsiaOne understands that such commercial uses are not allowed in industrial buildings.

lamminlee@asiaone.com