Tuesday 16 Jul 2024
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THE golden rule of property — “location, location, location” — has become almost a cliché. However, does location really take top priority these days?

Take a stroll through the green central park in Desa ParkCity located at the border of Kuala Lumpur’s Kepong and Selangor’s Petaling Jaya. Do you know that it is located at the farthest point of Kepong town centre and Petaling Jaya? It is also about 20km away from KL city centre.

When Perdana ParkCity Sdn Bhd announced the master development plan for the 473-acre quarry wasteland some 15 years ago, no one seemed convinced because master-planned township projects were fairly new to the market back then. Then was also when most people believed in location and distance to KL city centre as the primary selling point for any property project.

Today, Desa ParkCity is well connected via major highways such as the Damansara-Puchong Highway, Middle Ring Road 2 and Penchala Link.

The township has also become the model for many new master-planned township developments in the country. It has certainly turned a negligible part of Kepong around and lifted its stature in the eyes of homebuyers.

Another example of how a successful township can be created seemingly “far away” from the city is Setia Alam in Shah Alam, Selangor by developer S P Setia Bhd. Situated about 38km to the west of central KL, the 2,525-acre integrated township development, which began in 2004, is about 70% developed so far. The freehold township will eventually house over 30,000 residential and commercial properties, shopping malls, convention centres, medical centres, international schools, offices and green spaces.

One of the keys to Setia Alam’s success was the RM200 million North Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE)-Setia Alam interchange that opened in 2006, which improved accessibility to Setia Alam tremendously. Besides the NKVE-Setia Alam Link, the township is also accessible via the Federal Highway, Jalan Meru, New North Klang Straits Bypass and Shah Alam Expressway (KESAS).

These developments have proven that a good master plan that also considers accessibility is critical to the success of a township development, taking precedence over the location itself. In today’s context, as urban development cost continues to escalate with land for development becoming increasingly scarce, we have seen more large-scale township projects being launched further away from city and town centres.

From bucolic towns to vibrant hotspots

Let’s take a look at some of these once-quiet areas in the Klang Valley and Greater KL that some may consider to be “far away” in terms of distance from KL city centre. However, these areas’ potential is too great to ignore and one could only conclude that they may not be that far away after all, thanks to their growing accessibility and improving public transport infrastructure. What’s more, many of the new townships coming in these areas are all planned to be self-contained townships that will provide almost everything within easy reach of their future residents.

Kajang

On the southeast of KL lies Kajang, familiar to many as the home of the popular Kajang satay. This old town is located 25km away from KL city centre and is known as one of the best places for foodie day trippers from the Klang Valley. Besides the various highways that lead to Kajang, the recent completion of the Sungai Buloh-Kajang MRT Line means that more people can now consider making Kajang their home even if they work in the Klang Valley. Indeed, Kajang has seen new residential projects launched and marketed to Klang Valley folk. One of the latest township developments in Kajang is Tropicana Heights by Tropicana Corp Bhd.

Tropicana Heights is a 199-acre freehold master-plan development with a huge green lung. The development is anchored by a 16-acre central park with a 750m linear lake. The development is well connected by the Kajang Silk Highway, North-South Expressway (NSE), South Klang Valley Expressway (SKVE) and Kajang-Seremban Highway (LEKAS).

Semenyih

Certainly no one can ignore Kajang’s neighbour Semenyih. This peaceful suburb — popularly known for its natural outdoor attractions such as Broga Hill, Congkak
River Forest Recreational Centre and Sungai Gabai Waterfalls — is slowly emerging as a new property hotspot as overall development growth heads towards the south of Greater KL.

Numerous township projects have been introduced in the last six years, such as Setia EcoHill by S P Setia and United Malayan Land Bhd’s (UMLand) 360-acre township in Mahkota Hills.

Situated in Semenyih South and next to the mesmerising Broga Hills, UMLand’s freehold township offers a balanced mix of residential and commercial properties as well as amenities. The first phase, known as Albury @ Mahkota Hills, consists of 331 single-storey and 382 double-storey terraced homes on 52 acres of land while the second phase is offering the remaining 126 double-storey homes this August.

Located about 55km southeast of KL city centre, Mahkota Hills is accessible via the Cheras-Kajang Expressway and LEKAS.

Salak Tinggi

Salak Tinggi is about 60km away from KL city centre and 15km away from KL International Airport (KLIA) and KLIA 2. Its improved connectivity of highways and public transport such as the Express Rail Link (ERL) have encouraged more developers to develop in this suburb — one such example is Sunsuria City by Sunsuria Bhd.

Branded as an “Intelligent City, International Landmark”, the unique selling point of the 525-acre Sunsuria City is not only the public transport connectivity, but also Xiamen University Malaysia.

The township development has a gross development value (GDV) of RM10 billion and comprises retail malls, condominiums, serviced apartments, commercial shoplots, schools, parks, hotels and landed residential homes.

Other than the ERL, the township is currently also accessible via the North-South Expressway Central Link (ELITE) and Putrajaya-Cyberjaya Expressway.

 

 

 

 

Seremban

Further south into the next state of Negeri Sembilan, the capital Seremban has been given a facelift with new townships such as Seremban 2 by IJM Land and Bandar Sri Sendayan by Matrix Concepts Holdings Bhd.

Already many Seremban residents do not mind the travel up to Selangor and KL, be it for work or leisure, as they could reach KL in slightly more than an hour via the NSE and Seremban-Port Dickson Highway. They could also use ELITE and LEKAS or take the KTM Komuter.

Notably, there is a proposed stop in Seremban along the KL-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) route, which is expected to be ready by 2022.

Spanning 5,233 acres of freehold land in Seremban, Bandar Sri Sendayan offers residential, commercial, institutional and industrial properties and amenities that include an international school. It is expected to have a population of 120,000. The township is located 16km away from Labu, where the HSR station will be located.

Meanwhile, Seremban 2 is IJM Land’s flagship development in Negeri Sembilan. It is a 2,300-acre self-contained township offering modern amenities and convenience of a city while maintaining the grace and serenity of a country atmosphere. To date, development in Seremban 2 is 90% completed with a population of 50,000. Seremban 2 is located 1km from the Seremban toll plaza and 4km from Seremban town. It is about 20km away from the proposed Seremban HSR station.

Guthrie Corridor

In Selangor, the areas along the Guthrie Corridor Expressway that links Shah Alam to Rawang have been earmarked as a growth corridor under the Selangor Vision City Plan spearheaded by Sime Darby Property Bhd.

One of the latest and most significant developments in Selangor Vision City and along this growth corridor is the massive City of Elmina township. Spanning 5,000 acres, it features full-fledged amenities including a 300-acre central park, 90km of cycling and jogging tracks, a shopping mall, two public transport lines, an education hub, and a healthcare and wellness centre. It is set to be the next self-contained township in the north of KL.

Among the earlier residential developments along the corridor were Bukit Jelutong and Bukit Subang, which have seen the houses there gaining strong capital appreciation over the years.

Kota Kemuning / Teluk Panglima Garang

The rapid development of and improved connectivity to Kota Kemuning, Selangor have been pushing up property prices there.

According to TheEdgeProperty.com data, the average transacted price of residential properties in Kota Kemuning has grown 35% from 2012 (RM297 psf) to 2016 (RM401 psf).

Subsequently, the areas in Teluk Panglima Garang, south of Kota Kemuning, have seen the emergence of new residential developments by some of the country’s leading property developers. Offering mid- to high-end homes aimed at new homebuyers and upgraders, these developments include Tropicana Aman by Tropicana, Bandar Rimbayu by IJM Land and Eco Sanctuary by Eco World Development Group Bhd.

The 863-acre Tropicana Aman is situated right next to Kota Kemuning. The township is designed as a walking and biking community where one can enjoy the convenience of vibrant commercial hubs, all anchored by an 85-acre central park.

Meanwhile, the 1,879-acre Bandar Rimbayu was introduced in 2013, consisting of four precincts offering a good balance of residential and commercial properties as well as green spaces. There are 8.4 acres of lush greenery in the central park, which is well equipped with a neighbourhood square, football field, multipurpose court, futsal court, playground, jogging track and outdoor gym.

As for the 308.7-acre Eco Sanctuary, which was launched in 2015, it is an eco-themed luxury development that emphasises a green and healthy lifestyle. With an estimated GDV of RM8 billion, it comprises seven precincts and a commercial hub.

Currently, Kota Kemuning / Telok Panglima Garang is accessible via KESAS and Kemuning-Shah Alam Highway. With the opening of the Saujana Link next year, these places will be connected to ELITE and SKVE, enabling easy access to Puchong, USJ, Subang Jaya as well as Cyberjaya and Putrajaya. One would even be able to reach KLIA in half an hour.

Distance is relative

For homebuyers today, connectivity and highway accessibility should possibly be among their top considerations in their purchase decision.

Some of the common factors shared by the above-mentioned township developments are their good accessibility via current or upcoming highways and interchanges, and even rail transport. The question homebuyers should ask today is not how far but rather how long it takes to get there.

The new township developments also offer extensive master plan and attractive lifestyle concepts. They offer mostly landed properties at relatively lower property prices compared with more established townships and they are all pretty accessible via highways.

We have done some homework for you by calculating the distance between KL city centre and four new township hotspots, namely Semenyih, Telok Panglima Garang, Salak Tinggi and Seremban. Using Google Maps, we found that you can reach KL city centre, if you really need to be there, at around 45 minutes to about an hour from three of these areas. Seremban, of course, may take a little bit more time. The timing is based on the use of the more popular routes during non-peak hours. However, considering the fact that Cheras folk may take more than an hour to get to Petaling Jaya on a normal working day, distance and journey time is therefore relative.

This story first appeared in TheEdgeProperty.com pullout on Aug 4, 2017. Download TheEdgeProperty.com pullout here for free.

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