Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dua Sentral near KL Sentral

With the construction boom and all that around KL Sentral, I decided to visit Dua Sentral to see if this is going to be a good investment. Apparently, they are going to be a Serviced Residence cum Hotel operated by Best Western, an aggressive group taking up quite a number of properties in the Klang Valley lately.

The building is almost completed and apparently, they have set up a show unit at the site.

Clearly, the directions to the show unit is well sign-boarded. I only need to follow the arrow...

Follow the arrow....

Keep going... follow the arrow...

I have now found myself at this car park. It says "Buyer's Parking" so I must be doing something right... I parked my car...

And followed more arrows...

... and follow another arrow...

and this last arrow pointed me towards this lift lobby, and at this point I thought "hmmmm..."

I went into the lift lobby and found this lift in a hole in the wall and it has no push buttons...

I was reluctant to get inside. I saw an elderly man in a smart Dua Sentral shirt and asked him, "Sir, where is the Show Unit".

He said, "It's on the 7th floor. But wait, I think we've moved it to Midvalley... Why don't you go up to the 7th floor and check"

"I went inside the lift and it was quite scary. There were no buttons. How do I get up to the 7th floor?"

He replied, "Oh well...if it's scary, you better leave..."

Oh ok... "Bye bye Dua Sentral..."

Monday, July 11, 2011

Somerset Damansara Uptown Petaling Jaya

Ascott Limited (Ascott) is coming to Uptown Damansara with a management contract with See Hoy Chan Sdn Bhd to run a 200-unit Somerset Damansara Uptown Petaling Jaya scheduled to open in year 2016. Somerset Damansara will have studio, one- and two- furnished studios with fully equiped kitchen.

The development will include a 400,000 square feet retail mall, gymnasium, swimming pool, restaurant, sky lounge, business center with a conference hall which can accomodate up to 900 people.

I understand that this new development will be part of Damansara Uptown Phase 2 project which when completed will have 800,000 parking bays which will be the second largest next to Mid-Valley Megamall and the underground parking including existing ones at Uptown 1, 2, 3 and 5, will all be interconnected. Hopefully this will help solve the parking woes for residents and visitors to Damansara Uptown.

Jun 10, 2011

Making a grand entrance in Damansara

CapitaLand's wholly-owned serviced residence business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), has strengthened its leadership position in Malaysia with a new management contract in Petaling Jaya which is awarded by See Hoy Chan Sdn Bhd.

The 200-unit Somerset Damansara Uptown Petaling Jaya is slated to open in 2016.

Ascott’s entry into the fast-developing Damansara Uptown in Petaling Jaya also extends the company’s footprint to a new city in Malaysia. With the addition of Somerset Damansara Uptown Petaling Jaya, Ascott remains the largest international serviced residence owner-operator in Malaysia, with over 1,500 apartment units across 10 properties.

Ascott’s managing director for South-East Asia and Australia Alfred Ong said: “By securing our 10th property in Malaysia, we are able to reap greater economies of scale and position Ascott for further growth in Malaysia. Somerset Damansara Uptown Petaling Jaya is in a prime commercial district and there are no other serviced residences within our vicinity. As foreign investments continue to increase in Malaysia, we expect strong demand for all our serviced residences.”

Somerset Damansara Uptown Petaling Jaya is located in Damansara’s main commercial district. The development will include a 400,000sq ft retail mall and five commercial towers housing multinational corporations such as Deloitte, FedEx, L’Oreal, Lenovo, Symantec and Unisys. It is also close to Damansara Heights and Bandar Utama which are host to many Fortune 500 firms.

The property will offer a range of furnished studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments with fully-equipped kitchens.

Guests will be able to enjoy facilities such as a gymnasium, swimming pool, restaurant and sky lounge.

Business travellers will be able to make use of the business centre and a conference hall which can accommodate up to 900 people.

In addition to Somerset Damansara Uptown Petaling Jaya, Ascott has three new properties scheduled to open in Malaysia over the next three years.

The properties to be opened are Citadines Uplands Kuching (opening in 2012), Ascott Sentral Kuala Lumpur (2013) and Citadines D’Pulze Cyberjaya (2014). Ascott currently operates Ascott Kuala Lumpur, Somerset Ampang Kuala Lumpur, Somerset Seri Bukit Ceylon Kuala Lumpur and three properties for corporate lease.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Redesign of the MAS Building

Earlier, building enthusiasts from SkyScrapercity revealed a plan by PNB, owner of Bangunan MAS beside St.Mary Residences to refurbish the ageing building. Apparently, the large podium at the back of the building will be demolished to construct a hotel. Lately, a better plan has emerged. It is going to be a 45-storey tower attached to the current block on the Jalan Sultan Ismail frontage, instead of the back podium as reported earlier. This sounds like a better idea because a luxurious hotel would obviously be better off having a Jalan Sultan Ismail frontage compared with a back-street Jalan Tengah entrance.

Pictures below by enthusiasts Rizal Hakim reveals what's in the plan.

Latest report about St Mary next door:

Foreign buyers make up 30% of sales at St Mary Residences so far
By Siti Sakinah Abdul Latif of
Tuesday, 15 March 2011 19:50

KUALA LUMPUR: Eastern & Oriental Bhd's (E&O) St Mary Residences condominium project in Kuala Lumpur has attracted a significant number of foreign buyers.

E&O's executive director Eric Chan said foreigners make-up about 30% of the sales. "We have buyers from 13 different nationalities, including countries such as Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Indonesia," he said.

The project with a gross development value (GDV) of RM800 million comprises three 28-storey towers on a 4.04-acre freehold site on Jalan Tengah. The three towers offer a total 657 units with Tower A, B and C offering 288 units, 200 units and 169 units respectively.

Chan said Tower C has been 90% sold, while Tower A is 50% sold since its launch in August 2009. Tower B is being kept for the original landowner. The price is at an average of RM1,100 psf.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

No More Loans for 4th Homes?

To curb speculative pricing of the property markets, the Government of Malaysia has capped loans for 3rd property to 70%. It looks like this has got little impact on property prices and in fact, it has remained speculative and in some cases continue to rise to unaffordable levels for many home purchasers. Does this mean, punters in Malaysia are really that cash rich that we can afford 30% downpayment every time we purchase?

Well, rumour has it that the government is going to get tougher on this. Apparently, a new policy will be revealed soon - there will be no loans for 4th properties onwards. Hopefully this will help to cool down the property market. But will it kill off property speculation? What about those Developer Interests Bearing Scheme (DIBS)? This means, punters with more than 3 properties won't be able to benefit from DIBS and as of now, punters buying their 3rd property and up only get to enjoy DIBS on 70% of the purchase which is the loan limit.

I've also learnt that the current 70% loan policy only applies for residential titled properties. So, commercial properties can be purchased with 80% loan. But this does not include commercial titled properties designated for residential such as serviced apartments i.e. if you are buying serviced apartments, you only get 70% loan.