Friday, July 25, 2008

Under Construction - Pantai Avenue

picture above: Plan of Pantai Avenue Terraced Houses and Semi-Detached Houses
picture above: Pantai Avenue Terraced Houses under construction

Picture above: Entrance to Pantai Avenue on the right at the foot of Pantai Panorama Condominiums

Picture above: The road leading into Pantai Avenue

Picture above: The corner unit of Pantai Avenue Terraced Houses

Ten years ago, with a small budget I went round the city looking for a home to buy. I stumbled across Pantai Panorama. Back then, a 1 bedroom unit approximately 750sf was going for RM160k. You could fetch a rental of RM1k to RM1.2k for a fully furnished unit. Pantai Panorama, situated on a hill overlooking the Federal Highway is an impressive development. It consists of 5 blocks with 2 sets of common facilities which includes swimming pool, gym etc. It was also rumored that Pantai Panorama was the home of the glitteratis of the show business. Despite the majesty, maintenance don't seem to be their forte as even 10 years ago, the facilities seem run down.

Pantai Panorama was also built around the same time as many condominiums in Mont Kiara. While the latter took off in leaps and bounds, Pantai Panorama's value today has not really appreciated much. A glance through the classifieds today have a 1 bedroom unit advertised for RM230k and 2 bedroom for RM260k. The rental also also improved a little between RM1800 to RM2500. So was it worthwhile all these while? No.

Is it location? Mont Kiara loses to Pantai Panorama in terms of public and personal transportation. While Pantai is close to the Universiti Putra LRT station, there is no such proximity for Mont Kiara. Pantai is also adjacent to the Federal Highway and today has a back route out to the NPE. Mont Kiara has good highways but all must pay toll! So, what's wrong with the place? Bukit Pantai may go down in KL's record as probably the best location with the worst prospect. Take Vista Angkasa for example. Vista Angkasa is the "low cost" condominium situated bang beside the LRT station but it's really terrible... I may be able to post some pics later which suggests the symptoms but let us see what words can say for now...

Picture Above: Dedicated TNB power station for Pantai Avenue

Ten years ago, I was put off purchasing a unit at Pantai Panorama because the only entrance and exit to the condominium was sorrounded by squatters. The street was lined with dimly, shanty type hawker stalls. There are also blocks and blocks of very high density low cost flats as your neighbours. Today, the blocks of flats still exists. But the squatters and stalls are gone. There is an attempt now to redevelop the place as a high end yuppie and chic township called Bangsar South (Malaysian developers are so unimaginative and uncreative.... they always borrow names from places that are successful such as the Damansaras, the Subangs, the Desa's, the Mutiaras, the Heights this and heights that and now Bangsar.... despite the fact that Bangsar South is more than 1km across the busy Federal Highway from the real Bangsar).

Picture above: Road leading into Bukit Pantai - the hawker stalls are gone but the flats still there

Anyway, the squatters colony is now making way for a redevelopment and high end developer YTL is also doing something over at their Leasehold parcel of Pantai Hill Park. The access roads have now been repaved and beautified with deadly looking palm trees. Suddenly I am thinking, maybe Pantai Hill and particularly Pantai Panorama may now have a future.

Which brings me to Pantai Avenue. This is a niche development of Semi-detached and terraced houses located at the slope behind Pantai Panorama. Frankly, I like the location and I always liked niche developments. The terrace houses, so-called Super-Links are quite interesting as they are built on a slope, literally supported by stilts. They are 3-storeys. Entrance to the houses are on the 2nd level. So this does not give you the effect of a 3 level house as you only need to go down or up 1 level. The back yard overlooks pure greenery and I suspect will actually stay green as it serves as a buffer zone for the high tension wires approximately 100 meters away (Hmmm... what did I say about high tension wires? Forgotten...).

Picture above: Not so interesting design

At blog time, I was informed that all the terrace houses have been sold out with price tags between RM750k and RM1million! The plus points include the very low density, entrance at the foot of pantai Panorama which means walking distance to the LRT and Bangsar South. There is already a Seven Eleven and Secret Recipe and Old Town Kopitiam is opening. Despite the great location and the very high price tag, I wonder why the design and facade is so like low cost housing. It is in fact, so out of fashion and totally downright drab. This I will list as the greatest disadvantage. While I am not so much a person for status, I question if anyone on the Malaysian Hi-Society list and expats would like to live so close to the flats (Vista Angkasa included!). It is very high density and one would imagine the number of people who would pour out each morning. This will obviously have an impact on rental and sub-sale.

Pictures above: The view of the Bukit Kerinchi "Sky-scrapers" from Pantai Avenue site

Despite the disadvantages, I do feel there is a potential for Pantai Avenue being niche and the oasis in the midst of the desert. However, the price tag for the remaining Semi-Dees could probably come down a little from the RM1.8 million perch. I think buyers would probably need to spend a further few hundred K's to re-do the facade. But I think the developer don't see the urgency to sell as they have probably already made a bundle from the highly marked up terraced houses and sitting on a gold mine which will one day become Bangsar South.

Pictures above: Bangsar South


Tim Yang said...

Don't buy Pantai Avenue!!!!

The developer Shirley Teo of Janavista Sdn Bhd is hiding the fact that their development has exposed the foundation of Pantai Panorama so that in a few years, there will be landslide covering Pantai Avenue!!!!

Pantai Avenue will be the next Bukit Antarabangsa because of Shirley Teo!!!

She must be stopped!!!

sinleong said...

Actually your comment has some grounds... this is a major concern. If you look at the picture titled: "Dedicated TNB power station for Pantai Avenue" you can see the slope cut where the semi-Ds are supposed to back Pantai Panorama. This is a very steep slope. The other point to make is the loose red earth on the grounds of the construction site. If the developer has not made any proper slope management, we could end up having a major disaster. It's not worth taking the risk. Thanks Tim for pointing this out.

Anonymous said...

I almost bought one unit in pantai avenue but was played out by their CEO (can't remember her name). My lawyer told me it is not gated and guarded as was told by the developer so how can it possible be CCTV??
Good location byt lousy and unprofessional developer. Landslide??? well, possible. I went and check. Bad quality.

Save your $$ for this. I think with the same location I would rather go for UOA more reputable.

sinleong said...

thanks for the heads up... this does and sounds like a very amateur developer.

the only problem with UOA's bangsar south is, it's leasehold. i don't really like to buy leasehold.

anyway, for the price of bangsar south, i don't see why someone with the same amount of money won't go for something really high end in the more matured and developed bangsar. i just went there to take a look and will find some time to post something up

Anonymous said...

This piece of development actually sits on freehold land so it's not leasehold. You can see it on the signboard at the entrance.

sinleong said...

pantai avenue, like pantai panorama condominium is freehold. just right next door, bangsar south and pantai hill park are both leasehold

HW said...

pantai panorama value has appreciated double the value thanks to the development of bangsar south city. i just sold off my unit after staying there for 8 yrs.

Anonymous said...

Pantai Avenue is still not completed. The project started a few years ahead of Bangsar South. Those who bought The Park Residence, Bangsar South during the launched should be very happy. In the money and first class finishing.

Maya said...

WIth the crack and halt on this Ave project while Bangsar South is selling like hot cake.. How bad is the slope crack in PPC?? Will it affect Bangsar South development? I really need to know cos I am almost completing my purchase of 1 unit there.

sinleong said...

not sure if it will affect you or not, Maya. UOA's Bangsar South is not in the same vicinity as Pantai Ave. Pantai Panorama has to collapse 1st before Bangsar south is affected...