Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Finally Launched: Monoland's VIPOD @ KLCC

Move aside Wingtai's Verticas and Bolton's SixCeylon, here comes Vipod @KLCC. Finally, there is a match to rival St. Mary's in the uber saturated KLCC property market. This long awaited project by Penang's Monoland is thriving on it's prized location - literally in between KLCC and Bukit Bintang's Pavilion.

If one feels like he's behaving like Monoland's Sales Agent, one cannot be blamed. Since the soft launch on the 8th of August, Monoland's sales office has been inundiated by visitors. As of today, 11th August, all the units up to the 21st floor which was opened for soft launch has been booked. However, Monoland has been wise to come up with a method to erase the short term speculators. In past practices, for hot cake properties, touts or short term speculators visit sales offices upon launch and place their bookings on the best units. They then off-load their bookings at a premium to other investors who come late.

Monoland however, allows such bookings but no booking fee is collected. One is allowed to go away for 24 hours to raise cash and return to sign the S&P and place the 10% deposit straight away. If you do not pay the 10% deposit within 24 hours, your unit is released back to the market. This practice in effect removed all the touts. Bravo to Monoland!

The project consists of over 440 units on 41 floors. Typically, each floor has 11 units - 5 of them 2+1 bedrooms above 1000sf, 1 two-bedroom unit and the rest are little 653sf one-bedroom units. Initially Monoland had wanted to build more of the smaller units but faced restrictions from the City Hall citing the density limit. So, they had to merge some smaller units into 2+1 bedrooms which are priced from RM900k onwards. Realizing that the speculators market would tend to pick up the smaller units leaving the larger units unsold (example from E&O's St.Mary's), they introduced another revolutionary sales idea which is to pair up the large units with the smaller ones - one is only entitled to buy the small units if they have also purchased a large one. Buyers of their neighbouring project at the Quadro are also entitled to purchase a small unit at the Vipod.

The floor plan is divided into 3 clusters - each housing between 3 to 4 units. So, when you buy a large unit, you are entitled to buy a small unit which will be allocated to you on the same cluster and same floor. When one is about to feel being forced-sell a mass market product, it has to be noted that each cluster of 3 to 4 apartments are served by 4 lifts, including 1 utility lift!

Upon closer inspection, one observes that Vipod actually stands on a very small piece of land. As such, all the facilities befitting a high-ish end project are squeezed onto the roof-top (above).

Entrance to the site is from Jalan Kia Peng, which today is a one-way street heading towards Jalan Raja Chulan, both stretches being the most congested in KL during peak hours. Each unit is given a car park, whether they are the large 2+1 bedrooms or the 1+1 bedrooms. The car parks are under-ground.

All the 2+1 bedroom large units faces KLCC, well at least theoretically for some as the lower units will be blocked by the Grand Hyatt (below - under construction on the left) and Menara Kia Peng on the right. The lower picture taken at night shows how the Grand Hyatt effectively blocked out the KLCC view for some low units.

However, for those endowed with the KLCC view will forever have it as there is nothing else standing in the way.
In my opinion, the best layout goes to the 2 corners. They are bright and airy and the kitchens are nicely cubicled to suit the Asian-cooking and lifestyle. The large full glass windows afforded to every unit presents a very nice breath-taking scenery (if you have it). The Western corner is preferred as the Eastern corner need to be at least above the 18th floor to enjoy any un-obstructed view.
However, the corner units are priced higher starting from RM1000psf. If one is looking to spend below RM1000psf, down to even RM900psf, go for the intermediate units. Type D below, being the cheapest is also probably the least desired as the kitchen is just a long piece of cabinet sharing the living room. It just feels like a studio unit - one which St.Mary's designer should learn too that this is not so suitable for long term stays.

Fortunately, Type C of the intermediate units offer an enclosed and separated kitchen.

In terms of positioning, St.Mary still offers a fight. St.Mary's 4 acre quadrangle offers the largest common play area in KL center besides the ageing Desa Kudalari. Monoland themselves admits that of their 2 products launched, Vipod is geared more towards the mass market, while their Quadro is for the exclusive end. Squeezing 440 units on a small piece of land, hardly 1 football field is really dense. With a majority of small units at play, the larger 2+1 bedrooms can't help but feel like being the bungalows in the middle of slums. Vipod offers a great location, unbeatable until the next project comes up on the parking lot next door. Probably sensing the already saturated market, Monoland has correctly priced their preview launch well below market. Early buyers at this stage will make money, no doubt. This explains the buying frenzy currently. The location promises that the un-even tenant spread in KL will be attracted to Vipod, especially more if Monoland do it right, with the right partnership and management.
BTW, the rumour that the low maintenance fee of 20sen persf is not true. Reliable insider stated that the maintenance fee has yet to be fixed and when it does, will be according to market rate, which is at 36sen to 40sen.


Anonymous said...

But the vicinity is really congested, from your view, do you think it's a good investment?

sinleong said...

everywhere in KL is congested... you just have to see what is causing all the congestion. if they are office workers, businessmen and tourists, these are good congestions. i won't tell you what is bad congestion, cos that's really offensive to some people...

whether or not it is a good investment, i don't know. but to be honest with you, the density really scares me and soon there will be a few more hundred units launched nearby in the form of Monoland's Soho Tower. however, the location is unbeatable - in between pavilion and KLCC.

you will have to decide, after comparing with all available options, is this where you want to invest?

Anonymous said...

yes, that's true.However i still concern about the over supply issue....(future development)

Jacqui said...


Do you know where the sales office is? I'm keen to take a look but I guess I must be lousy at searching cause I can't seem to find reference of Vipod's sales office anywhere on the internet!

sinleong said...

i'm sorry, Jacqui. but this blog cannot provide information to help sell properties. the developer is monoland. their fault for not setting up a website and spend a bit of money on marketing. they are currently based temporarily at an office near klcc.

Jacqui said...

i thot u would say something like that :) i think i'll just call their penang office..

Live Long MU Fan said...

So, may I ask you whether you bought a unit at Vipro yourself?

sinleong said...

nope. don't like it

Live Long MU Fan said...

After all your compliments on Vipod, I am very suprised you didnt invest in a unit....
Another question, what do you think of the effect of the General Elections (next year?) on property prices, particularly with the increasing racism???

sinleong said...

in all my postings, i try to present both positive and negative views. often, i might get carried away on one side, that's where i rely on you guys to criticize and comment. i invested in quadro instead which in comparison to vipod, i think it's more value. however, the developers attitude lately is kind of reminding us of all the mistakes of Urban Delta and their 231TR. a very unprofessional and chinaman approach.
like many people, i am not comfortable with the way the BN regime is taking this country. compared to thailand, we have our share of corruption but investors are more confident in the Thai market because that country at the very least is governed by the rule of law. no investor wants to put their money in a country where the judiciary and police can be abused and manipulated. that's why despite all the political troubles, Thailand's economy is still robust.
What about Malaysia? Let's see what the GE13 results bring. However, above all else, I'll still invest in this country because it is my country.

Anonymous said...

where is their sales office??
Any show house for viewing??