Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Recently Completed - VIPOD near Pavilion KL
In 2010 I wrote about the Vipod. Fast forward 3 years and it is now completed ready for vacant possession. A number of units are now in sub-sale and going prices indicate a cool RM300-RM500psf profit from the price bought at launch. For example, the 635sf one-bedroom unit which was booked at RM650k is now being transacted at RM900k. But rental for these units are going at just RM4,000-RM4,500 so how this is going to support the RM900k price is still the question.
With metal sheets cladding and straight glass facade, stepping into the Vipod felt a bit like going to the office.
They have 3 lobbies, each one with 3 lifts supporting a column of 3-4 apartments on each floor. Interesting enough, the lobby in the middle does not have direct access to the roof top facilities so they have to go into the 2 side lobbies and up their lifts to get there. So, the question of separating the lobbies is not about privacy but rather density - a rather odd design.
The 3 lobbies are also rather lifeless. I hope the building management do something to make them look more homely cos right now they are rather drab.... in the name of modernity.
In this shopping trip I was looking for a 2 or 3-bedroom unit but couldn't resist the opportunity to also view the popular 1-bedroom unit. Popular because they were a snatch at launch to the extent the developer had to limit buyers by only opening them to the purchasers of the larger 2 or 3-bedroom units. The location of the Vipod also means they transact very easily. The view of Pavilion below from one of the units shows just how close it is to spending all your money....
Also from the same unit, the view of a large empty car park which was once the location of the old Hakka restaurant shows the reality of city living. Your view is never going to be perpetual because something will one day come up and block it all up.
Even if you think there is already a building there, they will tear it down and build something else... larger so you'll never know what you're gonna get. The Crowne Plaza hotel below and Kompleks Antarabangsa next to it are being demolished for a mixed residential-commercial project for example.
Except maybe those who pay a premium to have a high floor facing KLCC, the only thing that comes between them is Menara Kia Peng, a really old condo and the low lying KL convention center. But this still does not mean they won't be torn down in the future and rebuilt.
Those who are at the lower floors unfortunately have a very close view of the neighbours, you can literally throw something onto their balcony! At this moment, these units are the only ones priced below RM1200psf but I am not totally convinced they are a good grab because the lack of privacy means they will be much harder to rent out. It is a different story if they were facing a wall or an office but facing another living apartment is something else...
Especially with these glass windows in the bathroom, one better remember to close the curtains before going for a bath.
The design of the 2 bedroom unit here is rather spacious. Apparently it is only about 1100sf but it does look and feel like a 1500sf unit.
Perhaps an oddity to the design is, no matter if you bought a 2-bedroom or a 635sf 1-bedroom unit, you get the same sized kitchen (picture above is 2-br unit, below is the kitchen of the 1-br unit). The quality of the kitchen is also quite terrible. Although the appliances provided are branded ones, the kitchen tops and doors are just cheap materials.
Yet another oddity is the bedroom of the 635sf units have 2 doors (picture below). Why they designed and build 2 doors, I cannot understand and it gets in the way of doing anything meaningful with your furnishing so many owners I was told, decided to seal up one of the doors.
You get a jacuzzi bath tub in every bathroom which is nice but I worry about the maintenance of it. I do not think it is wise to put this in the same compartment as the shower as the soap and what nots from your daily shower is just going to land on top, in and around the jacuzzi bath tub and you can see the corners at the back are just going to be a pain to clean.
Just as the office-like facade and lobby, the lift lobbies are also rather drab, the lighting is dim and spooky. Come take a closer look and you will unfortunately also see the poor quality finishing of the walls and fittings...
However, due to the vantage location, the views from the rooftop facilities deck is impressive.
The gym is also well equipped.
But in order to approach and enter these impressive facilities, one have to get past some turnstiles. The developer decided that they have sold you the apartments, now you have to pay extra to use the facilities. It might sound noble that they make it optional for you to pay for the facilities but what if the subscription falls below the threshold needed to maintain them? Does it mean the developer will open the subscription to the general public? Well then, I don't have to be a buyer of this exclusive condo in order to enjoy the facilities...