Saturday January 12, 2013
Changing the image of KL Sentral
By EUGENE MAHALINGAM
TO many, the KL Sentral area is considered a transportation hub and nothing more. But developer Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) is looking to change that image and make the area into something a lot more.
“We want to change the market perception about KL Sentral being just a train station. We want to turn it into a liveable, workable, central business district area,” says MRCB property division marketing director Zamry Ibrahim.
“We want to turn it into a place where people can live and work, and not have to worry too much about driving out.”
Two iconic projects that will exude the “live and work” concept, says Zamry, are the Sentral Residences luxury condominiums and Q Sentral office tower respectively.
The Sentral Residences comprises two 55-storey-high buildings of 376 residential units each. It has 1,200 car parking bays offering luxury finishes with comprehensive facilities.
“It is freehold and offers a fabulous view of the KLCC area,” says Zamry, adding that the project is estimated to be completed in the second quarter of 2016.
He says the Sentral Residences will have a starting price of RM1,200 per sq ft.
“We have been marketing it since September and have already achieved sales of up to 70%,” says Zamry.
“Our existing buyers have been following us and we believe that there is pent-up demand from investors. About 90% of the buyers are in fact locals.”
Last month, it was reported that many Malaysians were occupying high-end condominiums and apartments in prime locations in the Klang Valley, including the KLCC and Mont Kiara areas, which were previously exclusive to mostly expatriates.
The Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) was reported as saying that it had been seeing a demographic shift over the past 10 years, when areas such as KLCC and Mont Kiara were home to mostly expatriates.
The MIEA also said it had been observing that many expatriates today are choosing to live near the outskirts of the city where many international schools are located.
Zamry says the Sentral Residences will have a gross development value (GDV) of RM1.3bil.
As for MRCB's Q Sentral office tower, Zamry says the building will comprise 45 office levels.
“It will have one of the largest single floor plates, as large as 40,000 sq ft. Most offices average at around 15,000 sq ft.
“Why the large size? It is to allow our occupiers the ability to own large office space,” he says.
With a tentative starting price of RM1,500 per sq ft currently, Zamry says selling prices for Q Sentral units range from RM420,000 to RM49mil!
He adds that MRCB is targeting mostly information technology companies and consultants for Q Sentral.
“The project will be completed in 2015 and will have a GDV of around RM1.2bil,” says Zamry, adding that about 70% of the units had already been snapped up.
This is despite the fact that it is a known fact that there is an oversupply of office space within the Klang Valley.
Zamry seems unperturbed by this: “My take is that there will always be strong demand for green and MSC-status buildings (like Q Sentral), as well as Grade A office space.”
“We believe that owners of older buildings, especially those that are not green and don't comply with the latest quality standards, will feel the (office glut) pressure. They will have no choice but to upgrade.”
Zamry, who is rather conservative, believes that both Sentral Residences and Q Sentral to be fully taken-up by the end of this year.
Recently, it was reported that MRCB would be launching at least six properties at KL Sentral this year, with an estimated GDV of over RM2bil.
These projects will comprise office buildings, serviced apartments, a retail mall and a hotel property.
Zamry says that by 2016, KL Sentral would have buildings with a total GDV of RM16bil.