PROPCAFE™ Review: Bangsar South @ Kuala Lumpur

Not many will recall that 60 odd acres concrete jungle Bangsar South was formerly a squatter area known as Kampung Kerinchi. The leasehold land bought by UOA way back in 2005 and helped to relocate the squatters to the nearby flats. Separated by Jalan Kerinchi, one piece of land is developed as Park Residences where predominantly by residential component and another piece of land developed as commercial centre. However over the time, the master plan had evolved for example Bangsar South Nexus, a lifestyle neighbourhood centre and Capri, own hotel brand by UOA are operating in Park Residences. Where the last residential component of Park Residences, Camellia was launched in 2011, UOA has focus their attention to develop the commercial portion where the Vertical and Horizontal offices are completed and handover to the owners.

Kampung Kerinchi

We all know about Bangsar, a prestige and well known address sandwiched between KL, Damansara Heights and Petaling Jaya. Where is Bangsar South, does it remotely close to Bangsar?

The 60acres development is formerly known as Kampung Kerinchi where the squatter were located. Kampung Kerinchi is sandwiched between landmark such as Menara Telecom, MidValley and Angkasapuri. Infact, Pantai Dalam with YTL development was the more famous sibling in this area. Having difficulties to complete the flats to relocate the squatters in Kampung Kerinchi, DBKL has engaged UOA and in return sold the land to them. UOA swiftly rebrand the land as Bangsar South and rest is history….

Bangsar South to the certain extend (even up to today) is perceived as poorer cousin (in sense of demographic, amenities, prestige, branding etc.) to Bangsar which is a fair remark. However we need to mindful Bangsar is mature area is that some of the properties are as old as you and me! Some pocket of land have been developed here and there for example the Nadi Bangsar by HapSeng Land and Serai by BRDB. However these developments cost arm and leg and more than RM1,000psf. For example the smallest size in Nadi Bangsar, 441sqft was sold for a whopping RM1,200psf from developer.

You can take hundred years of attempt to change perception and yet people may still be sceptical and PROPCAFE was not without exception as well. The stigma associated with the kampong, the haphazard roadside parkings, the thousand and thousands of flats scattered around, the massive congestion especially in peak hour remain in the memory and to certain extend most are still remain valid. Just like the below the congestion taken in front of Bangsar South Nexus in evening peak hour.

Congestion in Jalan Kerinchi during evening peak hour

There will always be two sides of a coin. The sceptical will think it is not a good to invest or buy for own stay due to sever congestion especially during the peak hour which is bad traffic planning and sign of overbuild, the perceived lack of demographic due present of low to medium cost apartments around, lack of amenities that support a township etc. A believer will think every prime area in KL (think of KLCC,  Jalan Ampang, Phileo Damansara, Damansara Uptown, MidValley etc. and you get the gist) are jam anyway during the peak hour and it is a sign of demand and wong (subjective though) and with present of corporate it provide ready pool of tenant/buyer, excellent location due to between of everything. There is no right or wrong, just which angle of you look into it.

LocationX3

Let’s talk about the property investment, Location X3! Located approximately 7km to KLCC, Bangsar South is sandwiched in between PJ Old Town, Bangsar, KL Sentral and Future Bandar Malaysia. For KVLang who travel regularly in this area, they already know the location. In PROPCAFE opinion, the location is centrally located however it will be nothing if not supported by infrastructure, amenities and access. Which bring us to the next chapter- accessibility.

Location of Bangsar South sandwiched between PJ, Bangsar, KL Sentral, KLCC and Bandar Malaysia

Accessibility

Despite the 3 lanes road (each way), the congestion in Jalan Kerinchi during the weekdays peak hour is well famous and documented and for well travel that worth its salt, it is a No Go Zone during the peak hour. In PROPCAFE humble observation, the congestion is due to multiple traffic lights along Jalan Kerinchi and backflow from heavily congested Federal Highway coupled with haphazard roadside parking along the Vista Angkasa due to lack of parking and taxi queue in front of University LRT Station.

However from perspective of access, Bangsar South does not lack of options. Currently, there 3 entry/exit points for Bangsar South which located at

  1. Federal Highway and Jalan Pantai Baharu via Jalan Kerinchi
  2. Sprint Highway via Jalan Kerinchi Kiri
  3. NPE Highway via Jalan Pantai Permai

Access/Exit Points in Bangsar South

In nutshell, via the 3 points above, the main urban highways will lead you to PJ, Sunway Subang Jaya, Bangsar, KLCC, Cheras, KL Sentral.

In the future there will be another expressway option which currently still under construction and expected to be completed in 2020, Setiawangsa Pantai Expressway. The press release of Ekovest website

The alignment of Setiawangsa-Pantai Expressway “SPE” (previously known as the Duta-Ulu Kelang Expressway Phase-3″ DUKE Phase-3), will traverse north to south of Kuala Lumpur and will serve areas such as University Tunku Abdul Rahman, Wangsa Maju, Setiawangsa, Ampang, the Tun Razak Exchange & Bandar Malaysia development corridor and Kerinchi”

The construction of SPE is full swing now with earth work

Construction photos of Setiawangsa Pantai Expressway adjacent to Bangsar South

In fact the Entry/Exit point is just a stone throw away from SouthView where half built ramp heading into the SPE already constructed.

Half Completed Ramp to SPE
SPE access/exit next to SouthView

Half completed SPE ramp

The details of expressway is quite sketchy and not available through public domain however based on the press release the SPE will be linked up with TRX and Bandar Malaysia/HSR. When PROPCAFE visited the Ekovest sales gallery sometimes ago, the Bandar Malaysia master plan was impressive with multiple accesses which include SPE. We share the photos of Bandar Malaysia again.

Random photos of scaled model Bandar Malaysia

In PROPCAFE’s opinion this SPE link is significant as it provide linkage to next 40-50 years of growth area like what we witnessed when Petronas started to develop KLCC in early 1990s which even now not fully developed yet. Bandar Malaysia with over 400 acres is one of the last largest undeveloped land bank. And with current government drive to develop TRX and Bandar Malaysia, the SPE will have significant important as it will provide direct access.

Not only that, the HSR station is already confirmed to be located in Bandar Malaysia with KVMRT2, ERL and future KVMRT3 providing connectivity. In the future, Bangsar South will be just 5-10minute away from HSR with the SPE link.

It was reported that despite the abortion of IWC-CREC deal in Bandar Malaysia, Ekovest has issued press release that the alignment of SPE will remain unchanged and therefore the access to HSR/Bandar Malaysia should be remain the same.

Amenities and Commercial

PROPCAFE feel that marketing material should emphasize amenities within the Bangsar South. The perception of people currently the Bangsar South is more for commercial and corporate office and the area is death after office hour or weekend which is not entirely true.

For example within Bangsar South, they have neighbourhood KL Gateway Mall with 300,000NLA which is suffice to serve the needs of neighbourhood without the need to wading the traffic.

Besides South Korean fashion retailer The Twee, which will debut its first flagship store in South East Asia in the mall, He’s Dawan and Tovista — both Malaysian brands, will also make their debuts at KL Gateway Mall.

Among the other tenants secured for the mall are Village Grocer, Yamazaki Bakery, Doutor Coffee, H&M, Home’s Harmony, Mr DIY, Yubiso, Daiso, Times Bookstore and Cotton On.

Source: https://www.edgeprop.my/content/1080022/kl-gateway-mall-targets-full-tenancy-3q2017

In fact the Sphere are in the midst of demolished where PROPCAFE was made to understand to make way for RM1.2B GDV Sphere Shopping Mall & Central Park Residences.

Bangsar South Sphere Shopping Mall

It will be interesting to see what is in store for the redeveloped The Sphere Shopping Mall.

Bangsar South Nexus which completed in 2014 offers arrays of F&B experience, wellness centre and to PROPCAFE surprise a Montessori is at Level 2.

Bangsar South Nexus Directory

Bangsar South Nexus random photos around

Two hotels are within the vicinity where UOA own brand The Capri where UOA is operating 300 units of serviced apartment.

The MSC-compliant The Horizon already fully developed with total of 22 blocks ranging from 10-11 storeys for phase 1 of 14 blocks and 13-20 storeys for phase 2 of 8 blocks. These blocks already welcome MNC such as British Telecom as their home base.

The directory of major tenants

4 blocks of corporate strata offices in Vertical already developed with another 1 block of hotel VE Hotel and Serviced Apartment.

6 acres of green space/ park are located between The Vertical and Horizontal to provide a relaxing moment for the office workers.

It is forecast that Bangsar South will have population of 35,000 upon the completion of the master plan.

What’s Next?

From the Bangsar South master plan in the http://www.bangsarsouth.com/masterplan/, most of the land has been developed on the commercial side with exception of the redevelopment of The Sphere as well as open car park at the rear of the Vertical for balance 2 corporate office towers.

open carpark behind The Vertical to be developed as two corporate towers – future development

With completion of Acacia, Begonia and Camellia, there are another 4 blocks of residential blocks remaining on the undeveloped land in in residential component.

Bangsar South Master plan

Which comes to PROPCAFE review on the new launch by UOA in the vicinity of Bangsar South. This new launch from UOA is not part of 60acre Bangsar South master plan however adjacent to it. Similar to newly VP-ed SouthView, this new development is on a FREEHOLD land a rarity in Kerinchi/ Pantai Dalam where most development are on leasehold land. This 2.39acre land was just acquired recently from YNH for RM81million (RM778psf) in May.2017. Wasting no time, UOA has submitted the Development Order Planning with GDV of RM550m.

Stay tune for our PROPCAFE Review on UOA’s latest launch in Bangsar South – SouthLink!

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