Monday, December 9, 2013

KL Eco-City

Developer Setia Alam is developing this once squatter colony into a mix of residential and commercial. It is located in between Jalan Bangsar on one side and The Gardens mall on the other. The site goes from the Federal Highway on one end right up to the DBKL low cost flats on the other end. 

As you can see from the map from developer's website above, the site is roughly the same size as the existing Gardens and Midvalley malls including Northpoint, which consists of 220 units of condominiums ranging from 1400sf to 1900sf and 200 offices with built ups from 1800sf to 3500sf. Those units currently in sub-sale are being peddled at about RM1,000psf. Rental however is hovering around RM3,500/month to RM6,500/month, yielding a pathetic 3% per annum. 

But Setia Alam seems to know something we don't as they are developing over 2,000 residential units ranging in sizes from 650sf 1-bedroom units to 1,100sf 2-bedroom units. The 1st phase of 700 units priced around RM1,300psf are almost sold out. They also have so-called Loft units which are basically double storey 1 or 2-bedroom penthouses which they have trouble selling due to the high price. 

The residential units are all huddled towards the Southern corner of the development. They are connected to the commercial side of Eco-city via a link bridge. Over on the commercial side, 8 blocks of offices will be built sitting on several floors of retail. The size will almost rival The Gardens mall and with a link bridge to the Abdullah Hukum LRT station and a yet to be built KTM Komuter station, connectivity is expected to be better  than the Gardens and the Midvalley Malls which are only served by a very unreliable KTM service through the Midvalley station. 

However, I must caution that this is not a recipe for success as we have seen how the JEM (Jurong East Mall) does not appear to be drawing in the crowds despite being located literally adjacent to the popular MRT interchange in Singapore. In Kuala Lumpur, we have Avenue K which is half dead despite being in the heart of the KLCC LRT station and Midvalley is a roaring success although it is almost like on an island. Retail dynamics is a very deep mystery indeed...

In terms of competition, KL Eco-city's 700 unit Vogue Suites are in direct competition against KL Gateway and Southview in Bangsar South, Nadi Bangsar and The Establishment. We'll dwell in this in a short while...

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