AT 6 offers exclusive bungalow living in the sky

This article first appeared in City & Country, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on December 7, 2020 - December 13, 2020.
Beng Keat and Siu Tin conceptualised the exclusive apartment project, AT 6, in Jalan Ampang Tengah (Photo by Boulevard Realty)

Beng Keat and Siu Tin conceptualised the exclusive apartment project, AT 6, in Jalan Ampang Tengah (Photo by Boulevard Realty)

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Want to live in a condominium that makes you feel like you are living in a bungalow? Boulevard Realty Sdn Bhd, a pioneer developer of condominiums in the Jalan U Thant and Jalan Madge area, has the answer in its latest apartment project, Residensi Ampang Tengah 6 (AT 6).

An exclusive high-rise alternative to bungalow living, AT 6 will occupy a 0.58-acre freehold parcel on Jalan Ampang Tengah, off Jalan Ampang Hilir, in the prestigious U Thant, Madge and Ampang Hilir neighbourhood.

Boulevard Realty is the property development vehicle of boutique developments under Lim Quee & Sons Group of Companies. According to chairman Lim Beng Keat, his grandfather, Lim Quee, started out as a small time contractor in the 1920s and established a company — today known as Lim Quee & Sons Sdn Bhd — around 1935 to undertake larger construction jobs. “We loosely brand all our companies as being under the Lim Quee & Sons Group so as to honour his work and what he built for us.” The “Sons” refers to those from the generation of Beng Keat’s father, Lim Chong Hin.

In the 1950s, Chong Hin diversified into property development with the purchase of land in today’s Bukit Bintang area. Boulevard Realty, which was incorporated in 1983, built Hotel Nova (now known as Travelodge) in Jalan Alor to continue Chong Hin’s legacy.

Beng Keat’s younger brother, upon leaving his management consultancy practice in 1984, decided to look into television and movie production. With his brother’s blessing, he built a media business that spans the entire content spectrum, which includes television and theatrical distribution, animation as well as an award-winning production house.

The group’s notable construction projects include Stadium Merdeka, Stadium Negara and the Muda Irrigation Scheme. Boulevard Realty itself has developed Desa Palma and 2-Twelve in Ampang, among others.

An artist’s impression of the single tower, 19-storey AT 6 (Photo by Boulevard Realty)

Today, the family-owned group is managed by the third and fourth generations, including Beng Keat’s daughter, executive director Lim Siu Tin.

AT 6 was conceptualised by the father-daughter team and designed by GDP Architects Sdn Bhd. Says Siu Tin, “AT 6 is designed by the target market [referring to her father and herself] for the target market, making it very personal and liveable, be it for the owners or tenants. For me, being able to work on this project with my father has been the most treasured outcome of all. While it has not been easy, I think we have come up with a great product … an all-encompassing concept derived from generations of knowledge, and knowledge from different generations.”

Reflecting characteristics of old homes

The single tower, 19-storey development with a gross development value of about RM150 million comprises only 35 units, each with its own private lift lobby. It offers two choices of built-up area — 2,799 sq ft (dual-key) and 3,509 sq ft. The layout for all the units will comprise 4+1 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms and 3 storerooms. The selling price starts from RM1,200 psf and the maintenance fee is 40 to 50 sen psf.

Facilities will include a 20m swimming pool, children’s wading pool, sky lounge, pet-friendly garden and a gym. Each unit will be partially furnished and be allocated two to three car parks, but additional parking bays will be available for purchase. The parking bays will be clustered together side-by-side, with one power socket for each cluster, which can be used to plug in any electrical item or adapted into an electrical car-charging station.

The development is less than 1km away from the International School of Kuala Lumpur, Hock Choon Supermarket and Royal Selangor Polo Club. Gleneagles Hospital and KLCC are 1.3km and 2.5km away respectively.

According to Siu Tin, AT 6 encapsulates years of local neighbourhood knowledge and a deep understanding of the intricacies of its resident profile as well as lifestyle needs.

“The units reflect the key characteristics of old homes you find in the neighbourhood, complete with terrazzo-esque marble floors, large balconies and generous back-of-house areas for hired help to work. It offers an alternative to bungalow living for those who may want to downsize without compromising on the privacy and space traditionally enjoyed only in bungalows,” she explains.

The inspiration and idea for the development came when she was moving out of her family home — a bungalow. “Apartment living brings with it better security and fewer maintenance woes. Yet, there are lifestyle elements that I find lacking in apartment living such as separated living spaces, ample outdoor space and good working back-of-house areas.”

The family room and study area of the show unit (Photo by Act Studio Photography)

To capture as much of the key characteristics of the old bungalows in the neighbourhood, the units in AT 6 are designed to have a clear separation of private family and guest entertainment spaces.

The 3,509 sq ft units will come with large balconies (8ft by 37ft) that will be seamlessly integrated with the living and dining areas. It is an apartment rendition of bungalows of yesteryears, with living rooms that spill out onto expansive patios.

“These balconies are big enough to accommodate a dining table, lounging sofa area and plants, with leftover space for children and pets to play,” Siu Tin says.

Meanwhile, the 2,799 sq ft units will have a slightly smaller balcony of 8ft by 16ft, which is sufficient to accommodate furniture.

Slated to be completed next year, the development is open for sale and the show unit is ready for public viewing at the site.

Continuing on the path of niche developments

Although the Covid-19 pandemic has affected markets globally, Beng Keat believes the product will be able to withstand market shockwaves.

“The units are primarily designed for one’s own dwelling and we believe this market will still exist — perhaps even more so, with people wanting to downsize from big bungalows to apartments,” he says.

Boulevard Realty plans to continue developing niche products and will search for unique opportunities and projects that appeal to the team on a personal level. “This is so that we can be intimately involved with everything — from conceptualisation to the selection of tiles, sanitary fittings and landscaping,” says Beng Keat.

Throughout his years in construction and property development, he has learnt that the difference between one property and the next lies in the details.

“To deliver a top-notch product, we must monitor the construction ourselves very closely to ensure that no corners are cut. I remember my father used to bring me, as a child, to the [construction] site every Saturday morning, and I have continued this tradition with my daughter. Tradition means a lot to our family,” he says. For Beng Keat, each project is a highly personal commitment.

The two challenges, he notes, are to exercise patience in finding the perfect projects to take on, and to foresee opportunities and not let them go at the wrong time.

Beng Keat says his father set up a company decades ago with a few friends to invest in a big piece of land, but they exited too early. The land would be the start of the Bangsar we know today and the company they founded would become BRDB Developments.

“Then, there was our project in Singapore city centre. If it had not been sold, it would be worth in excess of S$2 billion (RM6.1 billion) today,” says Beng Keat.

“Nevertheless, this is the fun of doing business, and it is how business goes. What is important is that we have been doing this for four generations and are still going [strong]. We even have a fifth generation, who cannot walk yet, but when she can, there are already shoes waiting for her to fill!”