Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bintang Goldhill

Launched as Goldhill Gardens more than 3 years back, the project was handed over for vacant possession early this year. It consists of 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, 3 bedroom and 4 bedroom units ranging from 771sf to almost 3000sf. The 1 bedroom units, all of them facing a courtyard with views of other units are particularly popular. Apparently, all the 40 units of 1 bedroom units are fully tenanted.
picture above: The balcony of the 1 bedroom units
The developer still has a number of 2 bedroom and 3 bedroom units for sale which they have thrown in an ID package to entice buyers. So the units will be readily tenanted upon purchase. The only problem that is the white colour theme which most landlords will find a nightmare to maintain especially with non-too-hygienic tenants. I understand that the 2 bedroom units are going for around RM700k plus and the developer is willing to throw in extras such as a TV set in order to get them moving. This is not too bad considering the size is just over 1000sf which makes it an attractive RM700 plus psf. Meanwhile the 3 bedrooms are all priced above RM1million but the developer "is willing to negotiate a RM900k plus price with any serious buyers".

While the 1 bedrooms are apparently doing particularly well with tenancies between RM3500/month to RM4000/month, the bigger units aren't really that popular. The developer emphasized that the occupancy rate is around 40% despite only taken vacant possession a few months ago (that's like almost 10 months ago mind you...). When pressed for who the tenants might be, references to Technip's staffs next door kept popping up. I wonder how many people who work for Technip would live here.

It is not surprising the relatively low occupancy rate considering when one stepped into the condo being greeted by loud pounding noises for the neighbouring construction. It is almost unbearble especially in the courtyard area which faces the construction directly as it acts like a well to collect all the noise. Still, the 2 bedroom units are trying for a RM5500/month rental tag.

picture above: The courtyard facing the construction site

Of all the units, those facing the construction site and Bukit Bintang provides the more sought after views. However, once the high rise office is up, the view will be blocked. In fact, the units facing Bukit Bintang will risk losing the view (...and privacy) when the vacant lot next to it becomes a new construction site. It is currently a car park.

picture above: The parking lot and the bungalow beside is which the 3 bedroom units are facing will soon become a construction site

In my opinion, the lack of proper view is a particular concern as it kind of takes the shine off high-rise living in this KLCC area. Indeed, Bintang Goldhill is located within the fringe of the 1km radius of KLCC. Well,... almost 1.2km really.... But no units will eventually have any view of KLCC because they will soon be blocked. Other units are literally facing the wall of Wisma Technip or the busy and noisy, not to mention polluted Jalan Tun Razak or they could be facing the courtyard with other neighbours spying directly into your window. Perhaps the better views are the larger units facing the swimming pool but they are sold out.

To make up for the negative parts, Goldhill spared no dime to make this a truly classy place. One is greeted by an Italian marble and granite foyer upon entry.

The facilities are alos top notch with a well equipped gym, steam sauna, swimming pool etc etc...

Despite all that, it might be a tough buy. One reason of course is the location. One thing for sure, it is not competing against the Forum condominium next door. The Forum, a condominium almost 15 years old caters to people who are looking for an el-cheapo accomodation in the city center or somewhere to stick the mistress.
With the kind of budget Bintang Goldhill is asking for, it is in direct competition against other high-end development in the KLCC area such as all the Hampshires and Yap Kwan Seng places, Bukit Ceylon, Marc Residence, those in the KLCC park fringes and Binjai Residency. And how many would choose Bintang Goldhill considering there are no public transportation nearby and you are located right in the middle of the daily traffic gridlock during rush hour with no "attractions" nearby. One tenant who works in Wisma Technip and is renting a RM6500/month apartment in Seri Bukit Ceylon told me that the place around Bintang Goldhill is incredibly boring as there is no "playground" nearby. Perhaps there are many "negotiations" taking place and the advertised rental rate is not the actual transacted price here....

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