As proven by mature neighbourhoods such as Bangsar, Damansara Heights or Taman Desa, townships or projects that are strategically located would continue to draw interests from potential investors, new homeowners, temporary tenants and developers.
Take for example Taman Desa, which is easily accessible through multiple expressways and trunk roads, namely the Federal Highway, New Pantai Expressway, East-West Link Expressway, Kuala Lumpur-Seremban Highway and Jalan Klang Lama.
Despite overdevelopments in the area, Taman Desa remains a favourite among urban dwellers, locals and expatriates alike; due to its close proximity to Kuala Lumpur city centre and established landmarks such as Mid Valley City and KL Sentral, as well as other mixed residential/commercial districts like Bangsar and Petaling Jaya.
While most amenities are already being readily available in the area and the presence of business centres like Faber Complex and Danau Business Centre, there is little surprise why the corporate and blue collar workers still prefer living there.
In the near future, Taman Desa is expected to benefit with the development of Bandar Malaysia on a total of 196.7ha at the old Sungai Besi airport.
Bandar Malaysia is a stone’s throw away from this thriving neighbourhood of Taman Desa (towards the east and separated by East-West Link Expressway). Despite having no direct access to Bandar Malaysia, developers with projects in Taman Desa would try to leverage on the multi-billion ringgit development’s booming status and link it as a catalyst to attract property seekers.
With Bandar Malaysia and the proposed Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high speed rail project, MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd analyst Jessica Low Jze Tieng expects positive spillover effect to surrounding properties. However, the quantum of increase in property prices would be largely determined by the supply and demand.
She said in terms of price appreciation in the last five years, Desa Green Serviced Apartment, which was launched by UOA Development in 2012, was priced at RM538,000 or RM575 psf (after rebate) for a 935-sq-ft unit. The last remaining units released recently in the final block of Desa Green Serviced Apartment were priced at RM675,000 or RM722 psf (after rebate) for a similar size unit.
This shows that the prices of Desa Green Serviced Apartment have risen by more than 20 per cent since 2012.
Taman Desa has very little land available for development. Developers, however, are still hungry and looking at redevelopment sites.
One of the more interesting projects is the redevelopment of the old Desa Water Park in Taman Danau Desa. The 16.99ha site is owned by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).
The land, previously occupied by a theme park and restaurant, was sold to developer Aset Kayamas Sdn Bhd for RM500 million last year.
Aset Kayamas will undertake a mixed development project called Desa Valley. It will comprise Rumawip (Federal Territories Affordable Housing) units and commercial units.
Desa Valley will have a total of seven
blocks of apartments with 3,002 units. The 850 sq ft Rumawip units will cost not more than RM230,000.
Another affordable housing apartment named Residensi Desamas along Jalan 1/109F (on Bumiputera lot) in Taman Danau Desa was being developed by Era Ecoland Sdn Bhd, an associate of Aset Kayamas.
The 900-sq-ft apartment with three bedrooms and two bathrooms will be priced at RM300,000. The single block of 36 levels apartment was expected to be completed by late 2020.
Over at Jalan Bukit Desa 3, GCI Development is building a low-rise luxury apartment beside the Bukit Desa Condominium on a 0.54 acre land.
There are plans to build a 25-storey commercial building in Taman Danau Desa by Stecmal Sdn Bhd next to the Shell Station at Jalan 3/109F. The project will comprise 263 units of service apartments on 16 storeys with one floor for recreational facilities.
At Jalan Desa Bakti, there are also plans by Garuda Searah to build three blocks of serviced apartments with 1,120 units just across the 1 Desa Residence condominium.
Cause for concern
CBRE-WTW managing director Foo Gee Jen said Taman Desa has traditionally been one of the under-rated areas because people mostly tend to look at Bangsar or Petaling Jaya.
“The older part of Taman Desa (Old Klang Road), the road has been improved as it used to be very congested. It was only two or four lanes, but now there are eight lanes. To me, Taman Desa is just like an extension of Bangsar. It is so near to the city centre so I can see the value proposition (in terms of appreciation) will always be there,” he said.
It was reported that at least six high-density projects with a total of 5,000 apartment units had been launched or were in the process of getting approval.
The report, which quoted Taman Desa Residents Association vice-president Yap Biow Hwee, however said that once the projects were completed in a few years, the additional traffic and influx of people would put a strain on the roads and facilities used by 8,000 households.
Philip Pang, a member of Protect Taman Desa Coalition, is concerned about overdevelopments in Taman Desa.
“If you are building a high-rise structure on very narrow land and if it is just 10 storeys high may be it is acceptable, but if it is a skyscraper with 42 floors on top of a hill then it is not right,” he said.
Meanwhile, Foo called for the authorities to relook at the development and density of several projects in Taman Desa, especially a new condominium that was being built on a site originally reserved for Tenaga Nasional Bhd to install their overhead power transmission lines.
He said since the project was too close to a school, residents’ association was worried the development would disrupt students during the day.
“Over the years, because of the scarcity of land, developers have become creative by acquiring a lot of terraced houses, comprising both single and double storey, on the end block basis to build new high-rise developments.
“Let’s say they purchase 30 units in a row. What they do is they demolish it and get higher density development going. This is something really not healthy as the infrastructure in that area is not meant for high rise or high density development. The authorities should look into all these,” Foo added.