Project needs more push

PETALING JAYA: The revival of Bandar Malaysia needs other catalysts to give it traction and to set it apart from other ongoing urban developments, according to a property consultant.

VPC Alliance Sdn Bhd managing director James Wong said the revival of the project should include the High Speed Rail (HSR) to Singapore and a digital hub.

The twin catalysts would give the project the needed pull factor to attract investments into the country, he said.

They would also set the development apart in view of the current oversupply situation of virtually every sub-sectors of the real estate market, namely high-rise residential units, office and mall space.

Located on the former site of the Royal Malaysian Air Force base in Sungai Besi, the 486-acre Bandar Malaysia is less than 5km from the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX). TRX has 70 acres.

Both are legacies from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

TRX straddles both sides of Jalan Tun Razak, with 57 acres currently being developed. The other 13 acres are on the opposite side of Jalan Tun Razak. TRX is being promoted as a regional financial centre.

Wong said the twin catalysts, together with the transport links – MRT2 also stops at Bandar Malaysia — would create the multiplier effect to spearhead its development.

Tax reforms would make it the next urban jewel development emulating the success of the KL City Centre, Wong pointed out.

“A new master plan for Bandar Malaysia should be incorporated with the following features,” he said.

They are:

> Reviving the HSR with Bandar Malaysia as its terminal to maximise its potential as a transit-oriented development;

> A digital economy by inviting tech giants such as Apple, Huawei and Alibaba to set up their information technology, robotic and artificial intelligence centres there;

> Developing factory outlets instead of shopping malls as there are too many retail malls in the Klang Valley. A different sort of retail approach is needed in Bandar Malaysia;

> A medical tourism hub where medical tourists and their families can be with their loved ones, with the top grade public and private amenities at their disposal;

> Promoting it as world financial centre by inviting Fortune 500 companies and multinational companies to relocate their regional and Asian headquarters there, and

> Developing multi-level modern warehouses logistics centres as well as small and medium enterprise parks.

As for the 10,000 units of affordable housing, property consultancy PPC International managing director Datuk Siders Sittampalam said: “In this grand scheme of things – this is a momentous, ambitious and excellent idea – the government needs to do some studies as 10,000 is a sizeable figure.”

He hoped it would not fizzle out as was the case in the former Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia (RRIM) land in Sungai Buloh.

Before the Employees Provident Fund finalised purchase of the 2,330 acres of RRIM land, subsequently renamed Kwasa Damansara, in 2011/2012 the market was abuzzed with affordable units being built there.

The mass rail transit depot and line were being built then and there was talk that affordable units would enable the lower income group to buy transport-oriented housing.

The market reached its peak in 2012 and there was concern about the lack of affordable properties then, he said.

It fizzled out and the land was carved out and sold to private developers at a high cost and whatever nuances of affordability vanished, he said.

Siders also asked if the sale of the houses would come with conditions, as with PR1MA (Perbadanan PR1MA Malaysia) units.

The current focus on the once-mothballed project has also threw focus on TRX and how it would be impacted.

A TRX City Sdn Bhd spokesperson said: “TRX is a long-term project of between 15 and 20 years.

“It will contribute to the economic growth of the country in the long run.

“It is a phased development, and we will build only when there is a demand.

“We do not do speculative development and have no intention of flooding the market,” the statement said.

“Prime grade A office towers in TRX, with specifications of the highest international standards, continue to be in demand in Kuala Lumpur,” the statement said, adding that TRX combines world-class connectivity, public realms and lifestyle offerings within one district.

Source: TheStar
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