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Monday, March 31, 2008

Klang-Shah Alam corridor a future hub

The advent of big developers with sizeable and well-planned townships has transformed the area, which used to be a relatively quiet property market

Aerial view of Bandar Bukit Tinggi, Klang

The Klang-Shah Alam corridor has the potential to grow into a robust regional hub for well-sought-after residential and commercial addresses, judging by new property developments underway or planned by developers.

For the past two decades, property projects remained pretty much unchanged but the landscape is fast changing with the launch of planned community projects such as Bandar Bukit Tinggi, Setia Alam, Setia Eco Park, Aman Perdana and Bandar Botanic.

Klang has outgrown its image as an old port town and a new village in the past decade with improved infrastructure connectivity that opens up the western corridor of the Klang Valley.

Its proximity to Port Klang, one of the world’s busiest seaports, and Selangor's administrative city, Shah Alam, has been a boon to Klang.

Today, Klang is the second largest city in the country after Kuala Lumpur with a population close to 900,000 people. It is also 10 times the size of Petaling Jaya.

Shah Alam has also seen a spurt of new township developments. Its population of 600,000 is among the highest in Selangor.

The Klang-Shah Alam corridor is today one of the more exciting corridors in Malaysia and the entrance of big developers have significantly changed the property landscape.

According to WCT Land Bhd executive director Lai Yeng Fock, there was a pent-up demand for housing in the corridor, as the number of projects coming on stream had not caught up with the rising demand.

Klang, which has a population of one million, needs over 10,000 new housing units a year but now, only 5,000 to 6,000 units are being built.

Meanwhile, housing needs for Shah Alam's 600,000 people are also on the rise, especially with the improving trunk roads and expressways.

SP Setia Bhd group managing director Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin said it was a natural progression for development activities to head towards the Klang-Shah Alam corridor owing to the scarcity of land in matured suburbs.

Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin

“The advent of sophisticated highway linkages was one of the most important catalysts in opening this new frontier of development in Klang and Shah Alam.

“The completion of the SP Setia-funded NKVE-Setia Alam Link has transformed the profile of Klang and Shah Alam by shortening the travelling distance to other key urban locations,” he noted.

SP Setia is credited as one of the first developers to introduce master-planned community living in northern Klang through its Setia Alam project in 2004.

The project, with its green street concept of concealed utilities and extensive landscaping, promised a new lifestyle for home seekers.

The “green” Setia Eco Park, which showcases semi-detached homes and bungalows in an ecologically balanced environment, has added a new lifestyle living dimension into the corridor.

Mah Sing Group Bhd president Datuk Sri Leong Hoy Kum concurred that soaring property prices in Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya in recent years had resulted in sub-urbanisation of Shah Alam and Klang, with developers shifting their attention to this corridor.

»Prime land suitable for development has grown increasingly scarce« DATUK SRI LEONG HOY KUM

“Prime land suitable for development has grown increasingly scarce, as the excellent trunk roads and expressways has made this corridor even more accessible,” he added.

He said the advent of big developers with their sizeable and well-planned townships had transformed the Klang-Shah Alam corridor, which used to be a relatively quiet property market until about 10 years ago.

The profile of buyers showed that the company's project Aman Perdana had benefited from increasing interest from non-Klang folks to buy properties in the corridor.

“We have been a beneficiary of this trend, as can be seen by our house buyers’ profile for Aman Perdana.

“Besides 64% buyers from Klang, we have 22% from Shah Alam, Subang Jaya, Petaling Jaya, Puchong and Sungai Buloh. The balance 14% is from other Klang Valley areas and outside Klang Valley.

“For our Kemuning Residence project, 52% is from Subang Jaya, Shah Alam and Klang; 16% from Petaling Jaya; 21% from Kuala Lumpur and 11% from outside the Klang Valley,” Leong said.

By The Star (by Angie Ng)

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