The Star Online, 25 April 2005
Property Talk: A weekly column by S.C. Cheah.
This week he writes on Sentul East and Sentul West.
THE scene: Parents helping their children fly colourful kites on a grassy patch while scores of people watched a Chinese drum performance on a mound. Many children later tried their hands beating the drums. The crowd later adjourned for a buffet dinner while clowns handed out balloons to the kids.
The venue: The 35-acre private park in Sentul West in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, April 16.
YTL Land & Development Bhd, the developer of the Sentul East and Sentul West projects had invited purchasers of its Tamarind and Maple condominiums to the park for a fun-filled outing. The aim was to enable them to enjoy Malaysia’s private park with their family members and friends.
The company had also invited members of the media for a barbecue buffet dinner at a camping site in the park the previous Saturday. The guests were also entertained to a musical performance. As night fell, they could see the top of the new two-tower Tamarind lighted up in Sentul East.
The above events are part of an ongoing awareness programme by the public-listed group that is creating a beautiful park out of an old nine-hole golf course.
YTL Corp Bhd deputy managing director Datuk Yeoh Seok Kian said having a golf course would only benefit a few people, but a park would bring a lot of joy to the residents.
Yeoh said there would also be guards on horsebacks patrolling the place. He said all units facing the park in the Maple condominium had been sold.
With so many new high-end condominiums and serviced apartments launched in the vicinity of KLCC, Yeoh feels that Sentul East and Sentul West have also much to offer. “We’re only a third of their price,” he said.
Meanwhile phase 1 of the park and the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (converted from an old railway warehouse) will be completed in July and phase 2 (another 17 acres) at the end of next year. Phase 3 will be implemented progressively as the population starts to move into Sentul West.
YTL Land project manager Kon Chee Onn said the management had for the moment decided to allow only purchasers of properties in Sentul West to use the park as they had bought their units at a premium price.
For example, the two blocks of Maple condominiums under construction are priced around RM350 psf or from RM450,000 for a 3+1 bedroom, 1,500 sq ft unit, compared with an average of RM180 psf to RM230 psf for the Tamarind, comprising two high-rise blocks and two low-rise blocks with 498 units in Sentul East, slated to be the “happening place”.
He said there would be another 18 condominium blocks in Sentul West and 16 blocks in Sentul East. When completed, the project will have some 7,000 units with 35,000 residents. The next condominium called Saffron (four blocks) will be launched this year.
Landscape architect Ng Sek San said 80 to 90 species of plants and shrubs were being planted in the park that would also have a Japanese garden and frog pond, among others.
“We aim to take a lot of the activities which we usually associate with indoor living, outdoors. Some examples are wedding receptions and dinners, outdoor reading and music room set in glass building with a forest or lake backdrop, meditation and yoga rooms, communal movie watching, outdoor napping rooms and outdoor beds and sofas, a koi library and resource centre,” he said.
“We also intend to allow condominium owners to have dogs by providing a dedicated pets area. Dogs are allowed in selected areas of the park. A petting zoo is planned for phase 3.”
He added that there would also be a series of themed walled gardens in phase 3, specialising in housing gingers, ferns, heliconias, herbs and orchids.
“We recently linked up a few ponds to create a larger water system which is ecologically more sustainable. This project is interesting because of its urban renewal and rejuvenation potential,” he said.
Librarian Hisyam Nelson, 47, who bought a RM229,000 three-bedroom and two-bathroom unit of the Tamarind is proud of his investment.
“The main reason I bought an apartment here is because of the YTL name. I know for certain that this developer can deliver,” he said, adding that Sentul was also very convenient for him and his family.
Nelson, who is staying in a two-bedroom flat in nearby Bandar Baru Sentul, finds that the 500-odd sq ft unit that he bought for about RM39,000 in 1987 is too small, especially now that his 12-year-old daughter is growing up and more space is needed. He plans to rent out his old flat and move to his 1,014 sq ft Tamarind apartment.
“At present, I can take an LRT train at the Sentul East station to the Mesjid Jamek station and then walk to the Klang bus station to catch a bus to my office at Phileo Damansara. When I move to my Tamarind unit, I can take a KTM commuter train to the Central Market and then take a bus to my office. I don’t need to drive and suffer in the traffic jams,” he added.
Having stayed in Sentul for so long, he just cannot bear to stay anywhere else, as all the amenities including Taman Titiwangsa are a few minutes' drive away. He is confident that the Tamarind will appreciate in value in view of its prime location.
According to a survey, many of the purchasers are from the Sentul area who are upgrading to a bigger and better condominium. The survey also finds that Bandar Baru Sentul is getting increasingly congested as more apartments are being built there.
The multi-billion ringgit development will also have a Sentul Skywalk, a pedestrian passageway that connects the Sentul KTM Komuter station to the Sentul Star LRT station.