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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Robust outlook for Sungai Besi

Sungai Besi is well connected and easily accessible via numerous highways

Sungai Besi is looking to be the next property development “hotspot” for local developers, and to a certain extent, foreign investors, according to industry players and experts.

According to YTL Land & Development Bhd project director Safian Ibrahim, the Sungai Besi area holds much potential as the next “new thriving address” in Kuala Lumpur due to its strategic location.

He notes that it is very well connected and easily accessible via numerous highways as well as railways.

“What this means is that Sungai Besi has already answered three of the main criteria of homeowners - location, location, location. The only other question that remains is what type of property they can invest in and its subsequent potential returns.

“More people are realising how much the area has to offer and we expect its future to be exceptionally bright,” Safian says.

Ho Wen Yan ... 'Sungai Besi will become a hotspot, akin to a golden triangle.'

Hua Yang Bhd chief operating officer Ho Wen Yan also believes the area is rapidly developing into an ideal location for property development.

“We foresee that within five years, Sungai Besi will become a hotspot, akin to a golden triangle location with its multiple accessibility channels and convenient public amenities. Because of escalating property prices, Sungai Besi and Seri Kembangan are becoming suitable locations, as it is well connected via major highways,” he says.

Property developer Hua Yang will be launching its One South mixed development project in Sungai Besi this year. The RM750mil project features residential, commercial and retail components.

The development will be carried out in five phases. The first phase will consist of retail outlets and offices. Phases two, three and four will consist of serviced apartments while the fifth phase will consist of offices.

For its One South development, Ho says the company is targeting small and medium-scale enterprises and office tenants that were looking to upgrade to a newer working environment and lifestyle.

He also says the company has been looking for a suitable piece of land to develop in the past three years and has identified Sungai Besi as a suitable location.

Ho says more people are choosing to live outside the KL city and Petaling Jaya area due to escalating property prices and congestion, making Sungai Besi and Seri Kembangan ideal.

“To make property purchases more accessible, more developments choices need to be given to the surrounding and existing residents in that area, as they look to upgrade their lifestyle.

“Waiting for the Government to upgrade infrastructure such as roads and public transport may take time and private sector-led projects (need to) strive to provide what the market needs.

Safian meanwhile says the biggest challenge in developing projects in Sungai Besi is to find a way to bring value to the area while meeting the needs of homeowners.”

YTL Land has been present there since 2005, when it launched its Lake Fields project, a joint venture with Employees Provident Fund, comprising a 70ha residential development that fronts a 6ha lake.

“The project was initially earmarked for high-rise condominiums, but from our market research, we noticed that the majority of homes in the area were already made up of condominiums like in Desa Petaling and Seri Kembangan, and matured neighbourhoods like Kuchai Lama and OUG.

“So we decided to fill this gap in the market with landed homes set in a modern, landscaped environment. Coupled with the advantages of having a strategic location, public transportation and surrounding amenities, we decided that the concept for Lake Fields is all about spacious, convenient, modern living.

According to Safian, the first phase of homes, Meadows & Glades, which was launched in February 2005, was a tremendous success.

“All 514 units of the three-storey link homes were snapped up overnight demonstrating homeowners' need for spacious homes,” he says.

The development of the Sg Besi Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) air base is another positive factor.

The Government is redeveloping that 162ha into an integrated commercial hub.

Association of Valuers, Property Managers, Estate Agents and Property Consultants in the Private Sector Malaysia president James Wong believes this would present an opportunity for property development in that location.

“The Government has the avenue to make Sungai Besi a destination for property investment,” he says.

Richard Chan says he is hopeful it will be developed with an environmental emphasis.

Malaysian Association for Shopping and Highrise Complex Management advisor Richard Chan is hopeful that the area will be developed with an environmental emphasis.

“There is simply a lack of green within the Klang Valley area. It's so congested and concrete-looking, it doesn't look nice!” He says part of the land could be turned into a recreational or fruit park.

“We have good weather with an abundance of sunshine and rain. Fruit trees will thrive, so why not?”

Ho believes the re-development of RMAF base will be the catalyst for the growth of the southern part of the Klang Valley.

“A commercial centre is ideal as the site is surrounded by mature residential areas such as Cheras, Bukit Jalil, Serdang and Seri Kembangan. Furthermore, all the major infrastructure is in place, such as highways and public transport.

“There will be a definite spillover effect. We expect aggressive growth in that area,” he says.

Safian believes it would raise the profile of Sungai Besi significantly.

“Sungai Besi has been under the radar of property investors, when in fact, it has so much to offer as the next future address of the city.”

By The Star

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