Monday, December 30, 2013

The Establishment

The Establishment is finally selling. As expected, these are tiny studio units although not as tiny as those found in Bangkok. Unit sizes start from 445sf studios and goes up to 838sf 2-bedroom units. Out of the 600 units, 126 of them will be managed and run as the Alila hotel. 

They'll have 25 units per floor served by 6 lifts, not including the 2 service lifts. 

Pricing apparently starts from RM900psf fully furnished with discounts and DIBs but without a car park. But that per square feet price may have included the loft space in every apartment unit because when I last checked prices were hovering well over RM1,000psf.

After this 31st Dec, prices may be revised again since DIBs will have to be withdrawn and developers are working out another discount scheme to compensate for that. 

The 468sf Type A seems to be the dominant layout accounting for over 35% of units on each floor. 

With every studio layout looking pretty much the same, Type E would probably be the most sensible buy being the smallest at 445sf. There are only 2 of such sizes on each floor.

Types C and D however, being larger have an extra large balcony. But this is not expected to add much value in rentals so the extra money you pay for the space is wasted... not to mention the maintenance fees which is RM0.40psf

I think tenants will pay more attention (or pay) for extra windows. If this does not add more value to the rent, at least they will help push units up to be rented first in a competitive market. With over 600 units in the building, the extra windows in the Type F and Type G studios may help - especially the Type F which has a window in the bathroom.

It is reported that despite the early hype, people are not exactly falling over each other to grab a unit at the Establishment. The 2-bedroom Type H and B units are especially slow. The layout of these units are especially bad. The 2nd bedroom has no windows - always a no-no. Type H are corner units and it really baffles me why the architect does not want to orientate the 2nd room to the corner so it captures a window. The balcony also has an odd shape, in addition to being too large to serve a purpose. This is really an unfortunate failure of design. 

The Establishment is being peddled as a Bangsar address. The only claim to a Bangsar address I think is the link to the LRT station. Other than that, it really is a Brickfields address. People who do not take the trouble to investigate this will undoubtedly make a mistake of booking a unit with this wrong impression. Unlike neighbouring Singapore, our LRT is not quite an ideal transportation system if the Establishment is to be peddled at prices fit for those who can afford it. Thus the lack of a car park is especially glaring. This perception that expats in Malaysia do not drive or own cars is a wrong one. Expats in Kuala Lumpur are quite different to those in Singapore. I admit not all, but many have cars and therefore they need a car park.

Car Parks in KL are worth from RM45,000 up to over RM60,000 each. So, if you add this amount to the purchase price, you will find that you are getting much better value elsewhere. So, I still put my money in Bangsar South, in KL Gateway and Southview or even the KL Eco City. The Establishment, no matter what the concept is.... not gonna quite make it.

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