10 Years and Above Multiple-owned Strata Residential (Gold)

Kiara Park Condominium

Aged three decades, Kiara Park is the oldest condominium in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, but it is well kept and more importantly, has remained relevant to its residents. It is no surprise, therefore, Kiara Park Condominium won Gold in the 10 Years and Above  Multiple-owned Strata Residential category of EdgeProp Malaysia’s Best Managed & Sustainable Property Awards 2021.

Kiara Park Management Corporation (MC) secretary Lawrence Loh, who has been a resident since 2008, shares the MC’s goals are to maintain the building structures, amenities and landscape in keeping with current standards to enhance its value; and to encourage a harmonious living environment at Kiara Park.

According to Loh, the residents work hand in hand with Kiara Park Management Corporation and appointed property manager Henry Butcher Malaysia Mont Kiara Sdn Bhd (HBMK) to reach these goals. Some even share their personal resources to deal with problems and to come up with innovative solutions, thus helping to keep maintenance cost down.

“At Kiara Park, we love to DIY—from designing, fabricating and installing components like the pool lights and street lights to planning the data communication cables for the guardhouses. To repaint our structures, we go to the extent of procuring paint directly from manufacturers,” says Loh.

The 11-acre resort-style development houses 351 residences in seven 4-storey blocks and one 18-storey high-rise. It comes with various facilities amidst a matured landscape including 400 trees. According to the MC, Kiara Park unit prices have appreciated almost tenfold from the developer’s selling price. One unit on the ground floor transacted for over RM900 psf in 2020.

“While Kiara Park has a wonderful family-centric social environment, there is an underlying drive to ensure our development does not become dated and irrelevant. Currently, about 15% of our residents are expatriates, many of whom are owners who have made Kiara Park, in their own words, their kampung,” says MC immediate past treasurer Andrew Wong who has lived there for the for more than 13 years.

Making hard decisions for the good of all

In the late afternoons, the condominium is often busy with residents enjoying its facilities such as the swimming pool, badminton court, tennis court, gym and skating rink. “Hence, we faced a bit of a challenge during the Covid-19 Movement Control Order period when we had to restrict the amenities’ use. We are grateful for a courageous MC who was willing to make decisions, regardless how unpopular, for the well-being of our community,” says Wong.

Another instance when the committee’s decision drew criticisms was when the main guardhouse was re-designed, until the MC explained its reasons.

“The widening of the lane allowed fire trucks sufficient headroom to enter our grounds while an added washroom and pantry made life easier for our guards as well as anyone needing to answer an urgent call of nature. We also added a covered waiting area to fend off the rain and sun.

“Today, all residents enjoy the extra functionality of the upgrade and we’d like to think there is growing trust among residents in the MC and their decisions,” says Loh.

He also recalls the initial hue and cry over the cost of replacing the old lift system in the high-rise block especially from those who did not live in that block.

“However, with a reminder that all residents were in this together no matter which block we live in, tension among residents was assuaged. In our experience, most dissenting views are due to technical ignorance, while some are penny-pinchers. These are usually resolved with rational dialogue or a vote at our annual general meeting,” Loh adds.

Both Loh and Wong believe that an MC needs courage to make hard, informed decisions and be willing to take responsibility for every one of them.

Meanwhile, HBMK has served Kiara Park for over 18 years, sharing the many ups and downs of managing the property with the MC.

“We truly appreciate the opportunity to serve the community of Kiara Park, from which we have gained a rich experience. We would not have come so far if it weren’t for the great support from the MC as well as residents,” says HBMK managing director Low Hon Keong.

Keys to success

According to Loh and Wong, behind the successful management of Kiara Park are the “generous residents who expend their professional expertise, personal time and financial resources to serve the needs of the community; a team of technically-competent, relationally-compatible, passionate individuals with integrity in the MC, assisted by a supportive property management team; and a shared vision to keep Kiara Park great for a long time to come”.

“Sustainable property management is not merely about managing a building but cultivating a mutually-respectful and harmonious community. What’s the use of a lovely development with constant strife and self-centredness among residents?

“Harmony breeds unity and a communal spirit where people willingly serve for the good of all,” states Wong.

Check out the microsite for Edgeprop’s Best Managed & Sustainable Property Awards 2021 here

This story first appeared in the EdgeProp.my E-weekly on April 9, 2021. You can access back issues here.

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