Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Suria Stonor @ KLCC

Some time last year when I was at the Japan Embassy to get my visa, I strolled into a showroom across the road from the embassy in Jalan Stonor. At that time, Glomac still had quite a few units of condominiums to sell in their premier KLCC project, Suria Stonor. Glomac as we know specializes in ex-oil palm estates residential and commercial development out in the suburbs. They've got a few good ones in Kelana Jaya and this would be their first dabble in the city center high end area.

At the time before completion, Glomac was positioning their 3 to 4 bedroom condominiums, each in excess of 3000sf at around RM2.5 million per piece. This would seem a fair price for a luxury property in the heart of the KLCC area. Each of these units have their own private lift lobby. While I was initially impressed with this offer, I am not so sure about now.

I would normally not look at anything with a budget above RM1 million investment, until this year when a good old friend who reappeared from the wilderness invited me to join him and the family for viewing at Suria Stonor, I snapped up the opportunity. My friend was looking for a unit suitable for him and his young family around the budget of RM7k to RM8k per month. One would imagine that since even a small 2 bedroom unit at Marc Residence or The Meritz can fetch RM8k/month, what would a 3000sf mega condo in Jalan Stonor? But judging from the occupancy rate and the timing of vacant possession, it is all not too surprising.

Suria Stonor is very near some very successful stories. Park Seven and Stonor Park pictured above (as seen from Suria Stonor) are enjoying close to 90% occupancy rates; apparently with a waiting list and rental in excess of RM13k per month. Obviously Park Seven and Stonor Park entered the market earlier, most of them have already signed year on year tenancies and their tenancy list will probably stay that way with an established market base. Both of these are also adjoining the KLCC park and some units even have the prime unblocked view of the twin towers.
However, it is not to be for Suria Stonor...

Suria Stonor is sorrounded by empty plots. Some of these plots have already been cleared for construction. The picture above shows the Platinum Park construction which will block Suria Stonor from viewing KLCC when completed. Fortunately, the economy is delaying the project start and residents will enjoy some peace and quiet for a few more years.

I would also take issue against the floor layout of the development. One would not be able to enjoy much privacy with an L-shaped layout facing other units, especially when one would expect the curtains to be drawn most of the time to enjoy the views abound.
Indeed it is a trend these days to incorporate large windows so that not only one can look out to enjoy the view, but also for people to peep in! These large windows in the bathrooms are some examples. Not only are the bathroom windows large, they are skewed to position directly opposite your neighbours so the "guy next door" can have a great view. Of course, shut the curtains if he's fat and ugly...

The kitchen has 3 parts. Here below we have the presentation kitchen... rather small if you ask me...
But, hidden behind is where the real cooking is done. In a dark and dinghy kitchen which also incorporates the maid's room, maid's bathroom and the wet kitchen. So that nobody would be able to find out that it wasn't really you who did those wonderful cooking, this kitchen is hidden and without any windows or natural light.

The living room and adjoining dining hall is large. There is also an area which could be converted into another bedroom but most likely to be used as a TV area, study or tea room pictured below.

The spacious bedrooms, with large bright and airy windows, some with a glass balcony is probably the best feature in Suria Stonor.

Befitting the status of a luxurious condominium, the fittings are actually good such as wood flooring in bedrooms and marble floors elsewhere etc.
The facilities deck below are quite impressive. These is a well-stocked although small tuck shop. Which I would imagine is running at a great loss considering the poor occupancy rate.

They have also got a nice, well-equipped and surprisingly well-utilized gym.

The swimming pool with an infinity edge faces Dua Residency.

And I should think this is very good for young families...
In summary, Suria Stonor has all the trappings of a luxury project, great facilities and nice quality finishings. Unfortunately, Glomac failed to hire a good architect and wasted all the good things in a premium plot of land. As I've attempted to emphasize earlier, the kitchen is a disappointment. Coming back to the private lift lobby I was initially so excited about... it has no natural light, no windows, hot and stuffy unless you want to air-condition your own private lift lobby. I wouldn't like to imagine how it will smell with all those shoes in there.
To rent, I think a bargain at below RM10k/month. Advertised at RM800psf in classifieds, at RM2.4million and up, I'd give it a pass..

1 comment:

Aki said...

I have no guts to use the bathroom here... At night under the blight spotlight, I will be an actor surounded by eyes of neighbours in the theatre called bathroom? If all glass wall must be covered by curtain or blind, it's no point at all.

The concept is good if this is on the top of a hill with rich nature view, like onsen. Architect may have image of show unit only, but was not kind enough to think about environment where actual unit is constructed.

If I'm not mistaken, Maple at Sentul and Hampshire Residence also have same concept of bathroom, with same thrill.