Cover Story: The Address to have stylish facilities on two levels

This article first appeared in City & Country, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on August 7, 2017 - August 13, 2017.

Artist’s impressions of The Address Phase 1

Seong Liam: The built-ups we offer are just nice for newly-weds or young families. All the units are corner ones.

The facility areas will located on Levels 27 (right) and 7 (left)

Jayden: Condo living space is small, so we spend money on its functionality and design

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Taman Desa will soon have a new development in its neighbourhood — The Address — by Maxim Holdings Sdn Bhd.

Located just a stone’s throw of the Kuala Lumpur city centre, Taman Desa is a mature area with landmarks such as Faber Towers and Desa Water Park. It is also near Mid Valley City, KL Sentral, Bangsar and the upcoming Bandar Malaysia.

First developed in the early 1970s, Taman Desa is now a self-contained neighbourhood with a mix of middle and upper-class condominiums, landed homes and office buildings. There are also various amenities such as banks, schools, restaurants and medical centres. It is easily accessible via various roads and highways such as Jalan Klang Lama, the Federal Highway, KL-Seremban Highway, New Pantai Expressway and East-West Link Expressway.

The 17-acre leasehold The Address will sit in Jalan Desa Utama and Jalan Desa Bakti 2. Phase 1 was officially launched on Aug 5 and 6.

We sat down with managing director Datuk Gan Seong Liam and his son, Jayden Gan, who is the group’s chief operating officer, to get to know more about the project.

Seong Liam says Phase 1, which will comprise two 37-storey condominium blocks on top of a 7-storey car park podium on 2.5 acres of land in Jalan Desa Bakti 2, will have a total gross development value of RM300 million.

The blocks are known as Alexandrite and Sapphire, offering 376 units in total. With built-ups of 1,118 to 4,195 sq ft, all units will have at least 3+1 bedrooms and 3 baths.

The Address

“Taman Desa is an affluent area, so most of the families will have a maid,” says Seong Liam. “That is why we have a maid’s room with a bath, and we have also designed it in such a way that this area is tucked in a corner. I don’t think any condominium in Taman Desa has this type of layout.”

About 80% of the units will have the 1,118 sq ft layout. The developer also offers a variation for this type of unit, which includes an additional balcony for the master bedroom, giving it a total built-up of 1,366 sq ft. There will be 40 units with this layout.

The remaining 20% will be the bigger units — 56 sky bungalows (built-up: 2,319 sq ft) and four duplex penthouses (4,195 sq ft), which will be located on Level 28 and upwards in both blocks.

All units will come with four air conditioners and all baths will be fully fitted. The 1,118 sq ft and 1,366 sq ft units will be allocated two parking bays each while the sky bungalows will have four. Duplex penthouses will come with eight parking bays each.

The standard units are priced at an average of RM590 psf, or RM650,000 upwards, says Seong Liam, adding that some 200 units have been taken up — including all the sky bungalows — by repeat customers and registrants.

Seong Liam explains that Maxim Holdings does not offer units below 1,000 sq ft because it is targeting young families from Taman Desa and the surrounding areas as well as those who want to downsize their homes but have security and safety in mind.

“The built-ups we offer are just nice for newly-weds or young families and all the units are corner ones. We didn’t want to provide kitchen cabinets and wardrobes because everyone has his or her own taste,” Seong Liam says.

“Also, a lot of people who grew up there would want to stay in the same area as they want to be close to their parents. We don’t want to design the units too big as that would make them too expensive.”

As for the sky bungalows, he notes that Taman Desa has a lot of landed bungalows and semidees that are now mostly occupied by older couples as their children no longer stay with them. Many of the sky-bungalow purchasers are buying for the security feature.

“These buyers are looking to downsize their homes but do not want give up the comfort. We still give them the feeling of landed homes with the size and balcony. The sky bungalows have three en-suite bedrooms and an L-shape balcony that will give that feeling,” he says.

Facilities

Seong Liam notes that Maxim Holdings will be placing greater emphasis on the facility deck of The Address. “Taman Desa is a mature area and most of the condominiums in the neighbourhood are quite old and do not have modern facilities. So we want to build a condominium with a modern design that suits the lifestyle of the people.”

As the concept is living in a contemporary environment, the project will have a two-acre facility area — at Levels 7 and 27 — with features such as 24-hour security, a double-volume lobby, swimming pool, gymnasium, playground, sauna, Jacuzzi, viewing deck, barbecue area and private dining area with a bar.

Jayden notes that the developer has hired an interior design company to work on the entrance, facility floors, lift lobby and wall decorations. There will be a link bridge at Level 27 connecting the blocks.

“Condo living space is small, so we spend money on its functionality and design ... there will be places where the residents can host their friends, for example, the private dining area at Level 27 will come with a bar.”

Seong Liam, who has been living in Taman Desa for more than 40 years, says it is a well-connected area. “This is the last undeveloped piece of land in Taman Desa and it is currently empty. We bought it in December 2015 and the market price at the time was RM310 psf. When we first rolled out this project, there were objections because the residents there thought that the area was a green lung, but it isn’t.”

He explains that the site was earlier reserved for the installation of Tenaga Nasional Bhd overhead power transmission lines, but the utility company surrendered it back to the land office after it was not used for the initial purpose.

Seong Liam did not disclose the details for the remaining phases of The Address.

“The challenge of developing this project is its location in a mature area and near a school and several condominiums. Therefore, we’ll have to manage the social part during the construction period, especially the piling stage. We don’t want to disrupt the children’s classes, so we will have to erect taller hoardings. However, all these are manageable,” he says.

See Kok Loong, director of Metro Homes Sdn Bhd, notes that housing demand in Taman Desa is always strong as it is a mature neighbourhood with good access to KL and Petaling Jaya. He says the RM590 psf price is considered low.

“At such a location and with built-ups of 1,118 sq ft upwards, Maxim Holdings’ target market is families within the Klang Valley,” he tells City & Country.

“Overall, the project is positive except for the issue of traffic flow once the residents move in. Also, if the number of units exceeds 1,000, as reported earlier, the density is high.”

Maxim Holdings currently has more than 25 acres of land bank in Kuala Lumpur, namely Taman Desa, Alam Damai and Jalan Ipoh. It is also in the process of acquiring three more parcels, totalling 15 acres, in Bandar Sri Permaisuri and Wangsa Maju.

Seong Liam says the company is currently focusing on projects in Kuala Lumpur, but he reckons that it eventually will have to venture out to other parts of the Klang Valley. He says there are still a lot of pocket-sized parcels in KL.

The Address is the developer’s second project this year. Earlier this year, it launched a mixed-use development in Sentul called One Maxim @ Sentul KL. Occupying 1.5 acres in Jalan Sentul Pasar, the project will comprise 420 apartments in one block.

Later this month, it will launch its third project for the year — Majestic Maxim — in Alam Damai, Cheras. The site is currently occupied by Econsave Hypermarket, which will move out within three months.

“We have allocated 100,000 sq ft for Econsave, which will return to operate there. The project will have over 2,000 apartments and more than 1,500 of them have been booked,” Seong Liam says.

With The Address and the upcoming Majestic Maxim, it is shaping up to be a very good year for Maxim Holdings.