Monday, February 1, 2010

Empire Subang

picture above: The office tower of Empire Subang on the right flank of the building housing large office sizes 2000sf and above

When I was young, I used to exercise and jog along the park opposite Subang Parade in Subang Jaya SS16. There were outdoor gym equipment and a jogging track which in later years were not maintained and overgrown with weeds. It always crossed my mind that one day, this piece of prime land will be developed. So today, the whole stretch has been built. Due to SS16 being the frontage of Subang Jaya from the Federal Highway, the change in landscape cannot be more obvious. 2 of the most recently completed projects here are Saujana Residency and Empire Subang.

picture above: The main shopping mall entrance of Empire Subang. In the background is Saujana Residency

Empire Subang is located slightly off-opposite Subang Parade, flanked by the KTM railway track and Federal Highway on one side and the ageing Wisma Tractors on the other side. This is a very prime location. There are plans for the Kelana Jaya line LRT track to swerve close to Empire Subang and stops at the main road just off the McDonalds drive-through at SS15 which is just under 400m from the building.
picture above: The proposed Kelana Jaya line extension passes near Empire Subang but stops almost 400m away

Although close to Subang Parade, the building itself is self sustaining. The development consists of a shopping mall, an office block and residential cum business SOHO type units and there is also going to be a hotel. To top it all up, with a mix of types, the building is completed in a very modern and comfortable style. As seen from the Federal Highway as one drives past into Subang Jaya, the decorative facade and modern high ceiling glass windows of the units reflects a very stylish outlook to attract the modern and the young (or the young-wannabe-s). This is a contrast to the image of Subang Jaya.
picture above: The front drive-way
picture above: The lift lobbies at each of the floors are breezy and nicely adorned with motifs
picture above: However, the main entrance lift lobby is dark and dinghy
picture above: Bridge linking the SOHO units and the office tower
Subang Jaya started out as a suburban neighbourhood, with the typical family style living. The country's 1st ToysRUs set-up shop in Subang Parade (but then closed shop) and as their children grew up into the internet age, Subang Jaya also saw the nation's first internet cafes and colleges. The college kids have since graduated, have their own kids, many successful with their careers and as Subang Jaya aged with their parents, they soon moved out to more modern suburbs like Desa Park City, Kota Kemuning etc. This generation is probably moving from their career and venturing into business now and Empire Subang reflects the phases and changes that Subang Jaya is evolving through. The SOHO concept is really apt for this.
picture above: Facade fronting Subang Jaya
Apt as it is, this is a very daring venture. Subang Jaya is no Mont Kiara (probably not yet). Launched a couple of years ago at over RM350psf, the SOHO units will soon be handed over and units are resurfacing for sale at more than RM550psf. The SOHO units are duplexes. The ground floor is around 600sf and the mezannine, laminated wood floor supported by Iron H-beams adds a further 200sf. Fortunately, maintenance fees (RM0.25psf) is calculated on the concrete floor space. So, each unit pays around RM150 per month. Not too bad one would think but with no recrational facilities and car park included, one would wonder what's the maintenance fees for?

picture above: The SOHO unit mezzanine floor overlooking the Subang Jaya view

Picture above: The SOHO unit as seen

picture above: The stairs up to the mezzanine

pictures above and below: 2 toilets and showers, one on each level

picture above: The low ceiling greeting the entrance of each SOHO unit may be a Feng Shui issue

Fitness First is setting up a gym in the building and will also manage the pool. But using these facilities will attract extra costs - basically the gym's fees. Nevertheless, with 2 baths cum toilets in each unit, they can be converted into residential lofts for the modern you...

The SOHO units are all identical, neighbour units are mirror images while corner units have the added wrap around window. Density is quite average but I wonder if the Mont Kiara level prices is attracting any sub-sales? Just a couple of months ago, they were going around RM280k per unit. Now, the asking price has climbed up to RM350k. But seeing that some owners have advertised at RM300k, it seems there are owners who are holding out hoping to get a good return while there are also those who don't mind letting go as quickly as they can. But what's more obvious in a diverse pricing subsale market is, there might not be many takers.
picture above: The air-con ledge connects to the unit next door

Agents claim the rental for a bare unit can fetch as high as RM3000/month. I think certainly the concept is unique and there isn't any credible competition in this part of the world. But to ask for RM3000 rent for a small 600sf+200sf office is very confident. Empire Subang is banking on that lifestyle image. This is no traditional office cum shopping mall. Even Starbucks has rushed in to establish their foot print.
picture above: Starbucks one of the first to put their foot print here

I would remain cautious. Cautious at the expense of missing out if this project goes off as a flying success. But even if it is not going to be a flying success, I doubt it will end up a failure. The only kink is, buyers in this high sub-sale market might get stuck for a very long time.

pictures above and below: The views from units facing the Federal Highway. The noise from the traffic can be heard but not so obvious when windows are shut. Nevertheless, the units also face a sewer plant across the highway (circled)

picture above: Units facing Wisma Tractors may be slightly better. No noise from the highway. However, there are large aircon compressors directly beneath the units which may introduce heat and can be potentially noisy if maintenance lack. The arrow points to the Wisma Tractors rubbish dump. You can't win them all...


UncleKK said...


What do u think on the building next to it, the Saujana Residency? The sub-sales is calling for RM350/sqft u think it's a good buy for investment now?

sinleong said...

that would depend on the unit itself, the layout, view, size.... i don't buy properties by the price psf... and i dont think anyone should.