Friday 21 Jun 2024
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This article first appeared in City & Country, The Edge Malaysia Weekly on December 7, 2020 - December 13, 2020

To many of us, Banting seems like a faraway place. Some may associate it with Morib, a popular weekend beach destination that boasts good seafood restaurants, but Banting is not a town that one would visit on a whim.

However, it has its share of history and attractions and is becoming a new growth area with the construction of the West Coast Expressway (WCE).

With a population of about 100,000, Banting is the administrative-cum-commercial centre of Kuala Langat district. It shares a border with Telok Panglima Garang/Jenjarom to the north, Dengkil to the east, Carey Island to the west and Tanjung Sepat to the south.

The town used to be known for padi planting and is said to be named after a type of buffalo known as Banteng. Some of the famous historical landmarks include the Istana Bandar and the Sultan Ala’eddin Mosque, both of which were built in the early 1900s.

About 12.5km west of the town is Jugra, which used to be the royal capital of Selangor. Jugra Hill, once known as Parcelar Hill, had served as a familiar landmark for navigators of ships in the Straits of Malacca for centuries.

Southwest of Banting is Morib, one of the first landing points for the British and Indian Army Liberation Forces towards the end of World War II. The area’s history and location close to the sea have played a major part in shaping developments, which comprise planned and unplanned industrial estates, oil palm plantations and some agro-based industries.

Like any other town, Banting has the necessary amenities and facilities such as hypermarkets and supermarkets (Giant Hypermarket Banting and Econsave), Banting Hospital, Banting bus terminal, Victoria International School, primary and secondary schools as well as educational institutions such as Kolej Mara Banting, Kolej Matrikulasi Selangor and Kolej Vokasional Sultan Abdul Samad.

Existing road network connectivity is provided by the South Klang Valley Expressway, Shah Alam Expressway and Jalan Dengkil-Banting, which will be connected to the KLIA Expressway Extension. Moreover, two main federal routes — 5 and 31 — run through Banting.

The 233km WCE, which will be the country’s third longest highway — after the North-South Expressway and East Coast Expressway — once it is completed, runs along the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia from Banting to Taiping, Perak.

The impact of WCE

WCE is currently under construction, with several sections now open for public use. According to Landserve Sdn Bhd managing director Chen King Hoaw, it is scheduled for full completion by end-2022, except for a 10km stretch near Tanjung Karang, which will be completed in 2024.

Also under construction is the WCE Banting interchange, about 700m northeast of the Federal Route 31/Bandar Mahkota Banting junction and about 7km from Banting town.

“Upon completion, the interchange will enhance connectivity between Banting and Klang, as well as other coastal towns in Selangor and Perak. One of the positive impacts of this interchange is that it will spur growth. Banting is set to benefit from the industrial and port activities in Klang and Port Klang, which lie about 33km to its north,” says Chen.

PPC International Sdn Bhd managing director Datuk Siders Sittampalam concurs. “It is expected to contribute enormously towards the economic development of Banting, especially the industrial sector.”

“This expressway project will stimulate the surrounding developments in Banting. Upon completion, it will improve existing developments and bring in new ones,” says CCO & Associates director Chan Wai Seen.

The interchange is expected to boost Banting’s industrial property sector, says Chen. “Demand for industrial land and other industrial properties such as factories and warehouses is expected to pick up, as prices are cheaper than those in Klang and Petaling Jaya.”

Moreover, the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is about 30km or 35 minutes away, he adds. “Therefore, by locating [one’s factory] in Banting, one can reach Port Klang and KLIA in 35 to 45 minutes.”

“Banting is poised to be a major industrial hub of Selangor, with many proposed and ongoing planned industrial developments,” Siders notes.

Chan concurs. “Although we have yet to see the real impact, we foresee that industrial properties will be one of the main beneficiaries of WCE. If the proposed new port at Carey Island materialises, it will further improve industrial development in Banting.”

Upcoming industrial developments include COMPASS @ Kota Seri Langat in Kota Seri Langat and Banting Industrial City. Developed by MIDF Property Bhd (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Permodalan Nasional Bhd), KWEST Sdn Bhd (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kumpulan Wang Persaraan) and AREA Industrial Development Holdings Sdn Bhd (a special-purpose vehicle of AREA Group of Companies), the 220-acre COMPASS @ Kota Seri Langat is 7km or 11 minutes northwest of the Banting WCE interchange. It will have built-to-suit warehouses and manufacturing facilities of 100,000 to 1 million sq ft for sale or lease, as well as detached factories of 8,000 to 50,000 sq ft for sale.

Developed by Lion Group, the 1,253-acre Banting Industrial City is about 1.4km or 2 minutes southwest of the interchange and will comprise light, medium and heavy industrial and commercial properties, as well as land earmarked for future development.

Another ongoing industrial development —IOI Properties Group Bhd’s 322-acre Bukit Changgang Industrial Park — will comprise bungalow, semi-detached and terraced factories that are suitable for warehousing, manufacturing, logistics and corporate offices.

Econsave is one of the amenities in the area (Photo by Patrick Goh/The Edge)

Demand for residential property

In addition to industrial properties, landed homes such as 1- and 2-storey terraced houses are seeing the most demand, says Chen. He adds that buyers are mainly from the low- to middle-income groups who have families working and living in or near the area.Chan concurs. “In Banting, landed residential property is still the preferred type.”

Various developers are hard at work, including Horizon L&L Sdn Bhd (1- and 2-storey terraced houses), Sentoria Harta Sdn Bhd (2-storey semi-detached houses), Peridot Development Sdn Bhd (2-storey semidees and bungalows) and Udi Property Sdn Bhd (2-storey terraced houses).

According to data provided by property experts, there is only one ongoing commercial development — 1- and 2-storey shoplots by Horizon L&L.

The asking rent for 1-storey terraced houses with land areas of 1,260 to 1,820 sq ft is between RM780 and RM950 per month while that for 2-storey terraced houses with a land area of 1,625 sq ft is RM1,100 per month.

For commercial properties, the asking rent for 2-storey shopoffices and shophouses with a land area of 1,740 sq ft is RM2,000 per month while that for 3-storey shopoffices and shophouses with a land area of 1,720 sq ft is RM5,000 per month.

The asking rent for detached factories and warehouses with land areas of 10,578 to 55,756 sq ft is RM15,000 to RM83,647 per month.

Current challenges and prospects

The main challenge, as pointed out by property experts, is coping with growth brought by WCE and an increasing population.

“The housing needs of the population are not being met. Banting town lacks housing for the bottom 40% income group (B40), such as public housing schemes and medium-cost apartments,” notes PPC International’s Siders.

Landserve’s Chen concurs. “Currently, the supply of low-cost or new affordable homes in Banting is limited, so much so that those from the lower-income group are renting old houses. Prices of affordable homes have skyrocketed in recent years.”

Both Siders and Chen say Banting Hospital needs an upgrade to cater for the rising demand for healthcare.

Chen says there is also a lack of modern retail malls, even though there are many hypermarkets and supermarkets. “Those who wish to take their family to a mall on weekends would have to travel about 48km or 45 minutes to either Alamanda Shopping Mall or IOI City Mall in Putrajaya.”

Although Banting was touted as a new growth area in Selangor when developments started to sprout up around KLIA, the developments in the town failed to kick off and there is a lack of new investments, says Chan. “New developments are basically focused on Cyberjaya and nearby areas in Sepang that are directly connected to [more] highways or expressways. The only expressway that will be directly connected to Banting is the upcoming WCE.”

“Banting is poised to be an industrial hub very much like Shah Alam. Its expected success as an industrial hub will be underpinned by the new WCE Banting interchange. With the strong growth of logistics and warehousing, the town will benefit from planned industrial estates such as COMPASS @ Kota Seri Langat,” sums up Siders.

 

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