SPORTING events can be a catalyst for economic, social and real-estate development.
The 1998 Commonwealth Games was the largest sporting event hosted by Malaysia in Bukit Jalil, on the southern fringe of Kuala Lumpur.
The government invested about RM2 billion to overhaul existing venues and build the National Sports Complex (NSC) comprising Bukit Jalil National Stadium, Putra Stadium, National Hockey Stadium, National Aquatic Centre and National Squash Centre.
The United Engineers Malaysia-Renong group took almost six years to build those facilities.
The most ideal outcome of the Commonwealth Games was utilising the infrastructure built for the event after the games ended.
Several property developers started acquiring large parcels of land where they built houses, condominiums, serviced apartments, shoplots, offices and retail outlets.
One of the earliest buyers to obtain approval to develop some 162ha of freehold land on a coveted hill in Bukit Jalil was Berjaya Land Bhd, back in the 1980s.
In two decades, Berjaya Land has built the 18-hole Bukit Jalil Golf and Country Resort along with some exclusive bungalows and high-rise developments such as Savanna and Savanna 2, Covillea, KM1 East and West, Greenfields, Arena Green, Green Avenue and The Link Business Centre.
Meanwhile, Bukit Jalil Development Sdn Bhd, the property development arm of Ho Hup Construction Group, made its presence known in Bukit Jalil in 1994.
As the key developer of Bukit Jalil, the company owned about 62ha of prime freehold land near NSC and has delivered more than 2,300 units of residential and commercial properties worth more than RM400 million.
Some of the signature developments were Sri Rakyat Apartments, Jalil Damai Apartments, the two-storey Ritz shop offices and Jalil Sutera which were sold between 1999 and 2010.
In 2012, the company started the construction of Aurora Place @ Bukit Jalil, an ultra-modern and upmarket hybrid mall, and in late 2013, it launched the Aurora Sovo @ Bukit Jalil comprising 209 smart office versatile office (sovo) units.
The sovo units, ranging from 601 sq ft to 1,305 sq ft, were sold for between RM416,300 and RM920,600 (RM682-RM738 per sq ft).
BUKIT JALIL TO FACE OVERSUPPLY?
Seventeen years after the Commonwealth Games ended, Bukit Jalil is developing rapidly.
Property experts say this could lead to an oversupply of high-rise residential developments in the short short term.
“There are many new launches in Bukit Jalil. If you are buying to stay, Bukit Jalil is not too bad a location as it is close to major highways and light rail transit (LRT) stations.
“But if you are looking to rent the property, there may be a price war in terms of rental rates as too many units will enter the market over the next three years.
“Because of the current market conditions, people will be looking for cheaper properties to rent. But once we are out of the turmoil, which we expect will happen in the near short term, rental rates will move upwards and it will be a market for landlords,” said one of the experts.
They said tertiary education institutions such as International Medical University and Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation have attracted many students to live in the area.
Experts also expect prices of some projects to remain stagnant or only move up marginally due to the expected oversupply situation, and also because there has been an artificial hike in the property prices during the launches.
Ongoing projects include The Havre, a fully-residential high-rise property by Aset Kayamas, Skyluxe On the Park by SkyWorld Development Sdn Bhd, Paraiso Residence @ The Earth Bukit Jalil by Wealth Plateau Sdn Bhd and The Link 2, (Phase 1) by Berjaya Golf Resort Bhd, a wholly-owned unit of Berjaya Land.
Skyluxe comprises a 43-storey and 44-storey tower with a total of 477 units of various designs and built-ups ranging from 661 sq ft to 1,224 sq ft. The launch price was RM700++ per sq ft.
The Link 2 comprises two blocks of serviced apartments, shoplots and shop offices. The serviced apartments are selling from RM640 to RM700 per sq feet after rebates.
Among the biggest developments in Bukit Jalil is the 20.2ha Bukit Jalil City integrated development with residential, commercial, office and retail components.
The project is divided into four major components: the two million sq ft Pavilion Bukit Jalil shopping mall, 1,098 luxury serviced apartments (The Park Sky Residence), 444 units of two- and three-storey shoplots and three- and five-storey retail offices.
Launched in 2015, the project is undertaken by Pioneer Haven Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Malton Bhd, in partnership with Kuala Lumpur Pavilion Sdn Bhd, and is expected to be completed in 2019.
Other developers in Bukit Jalil include Jalil Max Development Sdn Bhd, Darul Dinasti Sdn Bhd (Trinity Group) and Kiara Resources Properties Sdn Bhd which are building condominiums.
THE EARTH BUKIT JALIL
WZR Group, the developer of The Earth Bukit Jalil, is one of the main pioneers taking part in the transformation of Bukit Jalil by developing four-storey shop offices and residential units worth RM860 million on a 6ha site.
In 2011, the first phase of the shop offices were launched. It is now a booming commercial area.
Wealth Plateau Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of WZR Group, then launched Phase 2 of The Earth Bukit Jalil known as Paraiso, comprising two 40-storey condominium blocks.
Spanning 3.2ha, it offers 762 units with built-up areas of 960, 1,100, 1,226 and 1,480 sq ft, priced from RM493,760, or 495 per sq ft.
The project has a gross development value of RM450 million and is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2021, according to Wealth Plateau managing director Ibrahim Rahmad.
He said the main attraction of Bukit Jalil was its accessibility to the Klang Valley via major highways such as Kesas, Damansara-Puchong Highway, Maju Expressway and North South Expressway.
“In terms of infrastructure, the new LRT extension line from the Sri Petaling LRT station is also a huge benefit,” he told NST Property.
Paraiso will ride on developments such as Bukit Jalil City Megamall by Malton and Paradigm Mall KL by WTC Bhd to create a modern lifestyle for residences.
“As a developer, we are challenged with lower purchasing power. The direction of property investors has diverted to smaller properties and those priced within the affordable range. Getting a mortgage or loan is also a challenge for house buyers, especially young executives.”
Ibrahim said there would always be demand for properties but developers would need to know where and what to build, and at what price.
The way forward for developers to reman strong under the current economic conditions was proper planning and research, he added.
REJUVENATION OF NSC
In 2015, Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) was awarded a RM1.6 billion contract to rejuvenate the NSC and make it the new KL Sports City, which could rival Singapore’s iconic Sports Hub.
A two-phase redevelopment of the NSC, before and after the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, is set to put the KL Sports City on the Asian sporting map in the coming years.
Phase One, which involves a facelift for the stadium and other sporting facilities in the area, will end in July.
Costing about RM499.21 million, Phase 1 includes the refurbishing, renovation and upgrading of the National Stadium, Putra Stadium, hockey stadium and aquatic centre.
The National Stadium will get a new facade and a silver vertical structure. At night, the facade will turn into a light show.
The second phase will see the creation of KL Sports City - a fully-integrated sports hub that will consist of new, world-class infrastructure including high-performance sports training facilities, a sports rehabilitation science centre, youth park, public sports facilities, sports museum, youth hostel, convention centre and a sports-focused retail mall.
Officially, the National Stadium can seat 87,411 people - making it the largest in Southeast Asia after Indonesia’s Gelora Bung Karno had a reduction in capacity in 2007.
Based on capacity, the National Stadium is the 24th largest in the world and its football stadium is the second-largest in the world.
The construction of a new level of corporate boxes is set to push the capacity to 90,000.