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City&Country: Sunway Velocity boost for Jalan Cochrane area

The Jalan Cochrane area has stirred some interest of late, especially since the government announced plans to redevelop the old government quarters on more than 60 acres there. While the details for this project have yet to be revealed, Sunway City Bhd (SunCity) has gone ahead with the launch of its Sunway Velocity project nearby.

The project is a joint-venture mixed development with the landowner, Fawanis Sdn Bhd, on 22 acres of commercial freehold land with a plot ratio of five, SunCity managing director of property development (Malaysia) Ho Hon Sang tells City & Country.

Ho says the estimated RM3 billion Sunway Velocity will feature shops, office suites, serviced apartments, a shopping mall, office towers, hotels and shopoffices, to be developed over three phases — similar to the developer’s flagship Bandar Sunway township or Sunway Integrated Resort City. This project will raise the profile of the area, he says.

“This place was like a slum with wooden houses, light industrial lots, old workshops and showrooms. Under the KL Structure Plan 2020 (by Kuala Lumpur City Hall), the emphasis is now on urban renewal projects and this project is one of them. It beautifies the KL skyline. This project has a noble objective because it serves that purpose while adding real estate value for buyers,” says Ho.

The developer is targeting buyers aged 40 and below as well as families. When the development is completed in 2018, it will feature 1,000 high-end residential units housed in three blocks to accommodate an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 residents, he says.

Located within 3.8km from Kuala Lumpur City Centre, the development is located off Jalan Cochrane, surrounded by Jalan Peel, Jalan Cheras and Jalan Shelly. A nearby underground MRT station has been proposed while an underpass will be built by the developer to allow access from Jalan Cheras.

Phase 1A of Sunway Velocity, consisting of 112 units of office suites above 12 units of retail shops was first launched last month. The office units range from 893 to 3,864 sq ft with prices starting from RM1.2 million while the retail shops measure 2,051 to 4,710 sq ft, tagged from RM2.4 million. Phase 1A has a gross development value of RM134 million, and has achieved a 70% take-up rate so far. Phase 1 will be completed in 2014.

The shops enjoy double frontage as one end faces Jalan Peel while the other end faces the environmental deck on Level 1. These units will also be equipped with high-speed broadband and will have convenient access to the shopping mall via the environmental deck.

Sunway Velocity’s second launch this quarter will be the remaining components of Phase 1A, consisting of 264 serviced apartment units, including 21 duplexes, in a 12-storey block and seven retail shops on the environmental deck.

The seven units of retail shops, sized from 1,593 to 2,379 sq ft each, have indicative prices starting from RM3 million.

“The serviced apartment units come in two sizes — 915 and 1,728 sq ft — and we have already received Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority’s (BCA) Green Mark Certified Award (provisional) for them.  The indicative pricing of the apartment units is RM700,000 onwards,” says Ho.

BCA was launched in 2005 to promote sustainability in the built environment and raise environmental awareness among developers, designers and builders when conceptualising, designing and building projects.

All the components of Sunway Velocity are connected by an environmental deck which is about a half km long (from one end to another) at Level 1. The environmental deck, an environmentally-friendly open-air pedestrian walkway surrounded by greenery, is about 16 to 17 meters wide and allows restaurants to offer alfresco dining.

Phase 2 will offer a shopping mall, office towers, a hotel and shopoffices. Construction will start by the end of this year, and is scheduled for completion in three years. The mall will have a floor space of one million sq ft and 5,000 car park bays. The concept, however, is still in its planning stage.

“The shopping mall is a pipeline project for Sunway Real Estate Investment Trust. It will be a modern mall with a dynamic façade to match the current trend of malls targeted at the younger generation,” Ho says.

Meanwhile, Sunway Velocity’s Phase 3 will be developed on the site of Queen’s Park, a five-acre open-air retail centre that has been open to the public for some time as a hub for international fashion brand outlets. It currently takes up part of the 22-acre Sunway Velocity site. It will be demolished in the next quarter to pave way for the development of Phase 3, which is expected to offer more retail shops, office suites, SoHos, serviced apartments and studio units.

Jalan Peel/Jalan Cochrane area
“There is talk that IKEA [furniture store] will be moving in to this area so it is good news for the residents and will generate more interest about the area,” Ho says.

Ho was referring to market talk that home furnishing store IKEA is planning to set up its second store in Malaysia here. The Swedish furniture giant is in the process of finalising the purchase of about 11 acres in the area at RM320 psf. It will reportedly have 400,000 to 500,000 sq ft of net floor area.

Meanwhile, IKEA’s franchise owner, Ikano Corp Sdn Bhd, may take up another 12 to 15 acres for the development of an integrated shopping complex on a joint venture basis. The integrated shopping complex will offer apartments and hotels and be located above the proposed underground MRT station on Jalan Shelly.  The proposed IKEA store and the integrated shopping complex will be connected by link bridges.

If the plan takes off, the proposed second IKEA furniture store and the shopping complex by Ikano Corp in the Cochrane area, which could collectively span over 23 acres, will be bigger than the 13.06-acre Ikano development in Mutiara Damansara.

The Jalan Peel/Jalan Cochrane area is currently mostly occupied by wooden squatter houses and car workshops. Despite its unkempt look, Jalan Peel is no stranger to food lovers as a number of restaurants operating out of wooden structures have been drawing the crowds for many decades.

Almost parallel to Jalan Peel is Jalan Cochrane, where the pre-war government staff quarters are located. It remains to be seen who will be leading the redevelopment project of the quarters.

This article appeared in City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 859, May 23-29, 2011

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