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Report: Plaza Batai to be demolished to make way for redevelopment

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 23): The “upmarket” Plaza Batai (pictured) located in Damansara Heights will be demolished to make way for serviced apartments, The Edge Malaysia reported in its latest issue.

The weekly reported that this is the plan of businessman Tan Sri Desmond Lim Siew Choon who bought the retail lots. Plaza Batai comprises 16 two-storey terraced shoplots with a total net lettable area (NLA) of 47,160 sq ft.

Industry observers told The Edge “based on the existing plot ratio of two and pricing the serviced apartments at RM1,500 psf, a back-of-the-envelope calculation would give a gross development value of RM230 million for the project”.

The weekly also stated that if “Lim manages, however, to get at a plot ratio of three and assuming that, in two to three years, the price of the serviced apartments will increase to RM1,800 psf, then the GDV could be as much as RM420 million”.

“Based on unofficial reports of the acquisition price [of RM100 million], a medium-rise development is most likely, as it would probably face fewer objections than a high-rise,” said Savills Malaysia deputy managing director Nabeel Hussain.

“Current top-end prices in Damansara Heights are in the RM1,500 psf range [after discounts], but given the planning requirements and scale of the Pavilion Damansara Heights project [where the residential units have sold extremely well], I don’t see any development on this site coming online in less than two to three years.

“Fortunately, the fact that the site currently generates income means the holding costs will be offset to a significant degree, and so the new owners can perhaps afford to wait a bit longer than usual,” he added.

“Damansara Heights is a blue-chip address. You cannot go wrong. Of course, there may be an oversupply now, but this won’t be forever. Covid-19 or not, our economy will bounce back and the property market will recover by 2022/23,” said Siva Shankar, CEO of real estate agency at Rahim & Co.  

“If the product is in the right location, priced right and has the right design, it should sell well. This is not Bukit Beruntung, this is Damansara Heights,” he added.

Meanwhile, a valuer said the development “may have height restrictions, owing to its proximity to Istana Negara”.

“Developments within 800m from Istana Negara have to adhere to height restrictions, and the Plaza Batai plot appears to be just about that distance from the palace”.

Read the full report in this week’s The Edge Malaysia

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