Desa Parkcity: A model master-planned township

This article first appeared in City & Country, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on August 19, 2019 - August 25, 2019.

An aerial view of Desa ParkCity

Most of the developments in Desa ParkCity are freehold, making them more attractive to potential buyers and investors than leasehold properties.” — Sarkunan

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The multi-award-winning township, Desa ParkCity by ParkCity Group in Kuala Lumpur, is popular with both Malaysians and expatriates.

It enjoys good accessibility and connectivity to major conurbations within the Klang Valley via a network of expressways and highways. These include the Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2), Duta-Kelang Highway (Duke), Damansara-Puchong Expressway (LDP) and Sprint Highway.

The township is surrounded by well-populated and established neighbourhoods such as Bandar Menjalara and Kepong to the north, Segambut and Mont’Kiara to the east and Bandar Sri Damansara to the west, says Knight Frank Malaysia managing director Sarkunan Subramaniam.

According to Sarkunan, properties in Desa ParkCity have performed well despite the prevailing challenges in the property market.

“Between 2013 and 2018, the average transacted prices of high-rise residential properties in the township grew about 19.8% from RM715 to RM857 psf, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.7%. And the township continues to attract high local demand among own-stay purchasers and investors,” says Sarkunan.

As for landed properties, Nadia Parkhomes (completed in 2006) has the highest price growth of 22.4% — to RM916 psf in 2018 from RM749 psf in 2013. Southlake (also completed in 2006) followed with 21.3% growth — to RM1,027 psf in 2018 from RM847 psf in 2013. In third place was Adora (completed in 2007) with 20.4% growth — RM868 psf from RM721 psf over the same period.

According to EdgeProp.my, a 2,034 sq ft condo in Westside One was sold for RM1.78 million, or RM875 psf, in November last year and a 915 sq ft unit in The Northshore Gardens was sold for RM730,000 or RM798 psf in April.

In the landed property segment, a 1,356 sq ft terraced house in Nadia Parkhomes was transacted for RM1.88 million, or RM1,386 psf, in March and a 1,496 sq ft house in Southlake was sold for RM1.85 million, or RM1,236 psf, in December last year.

Condos and apartments with built-ups of 900 to 3,000 sq ft have asking rents of RM2,100 to RM8,000 per month. Houses with built-ups of 1,650 to 3,000 sq ft have asking rents of RM3,000 to RM13,000 per month. These are based on listing on EdgeProp.my.

Desa ParkCity’s average price psf is RM726 for non-landed and RM1,893 for landed properties, compared with the state’s RM396 and RM2,525 respectively. Sarkunan puts gross rental yields at 2.7% to 3.1%.

“Desa ParkCity is popular among the local populace of owner-occupiers as the earlier phases offer mainly landed properties. In recent years, the township has become a choice for both Malaysians and expatriates as it is well supported by a wide range of amenities, with shopping and dining at The Waterfront and Plaza Arkadia, alongside an international school, sports centre and medical centre,” says Sarkunan.

An added appeal is its freehold tenure. “There is a scarcity of available prime development land with freehold tenure in Kuala Lumpur. Most of the developments in Desa ParkCity are freehold, making them more attractive to potential buyers and investors than leasehold properties,” says Sarkunan.

Sarkunan also says the developer’s good track record, coupled with its financial stability, will help to attract and draw repeat buyers as well as new ones to the township.

There are two new developments coming up in Desa ParkCity — Southbrook, which is due for completion in 2021, and the just-launched Park Regent by the water condominium, which will be completed in 2023.

 

Community living

When evening comes in Desa ParkCity, people fill the Central Park for a bit of jogging or walking while children play in the nearby playground. Some choose to sit idly by the lake to enjoy the moment and others bring their dogs out for an evening stroll.

Next to the Central Park, the restaurants in The Waterfront buzz with diners. And down the road is Plaza Arkadia with a wide variety of food and beverage outlets and ample safe places for children to play.

Looking at Desa ParkCity today, it is hard to imagine that it was once an active quarry. Developer ParkCity Group, part of Sarawak-based Samling Strategic Group, bought the 473-acre tract in 1999.

It was a rough start as the soil condition was poor and subterranean rocks made construction and landscaping a challenge. The developer cut over 12.5 million cu m of rock, of which 75% was granite, and then filled up the area.

The end result was worth the trouble. Today, Desa ParkCity has become one of the most sought-after addresses in Malaysia and is upheld as a model master-planned township and one that promotes a lively, safe, sustainable and healthy community.

Food, as is often the case in Malaysia, is central to the township. With an international community, the food choices here are highly diverse.

If you love baked treats, A Café By Kenny Hills Bakers is the place for you. A spin-off of Bukit Tunku’s Kenny Hills Bakers, this small café at The Waterfront is often packed during peak hours. Among the café’s favourites are beef cheek and mushroom pie, eggs Benedict, salt beef bagel, goat’s cheese and spinach pizza and strawberry matcha cake.

Just a few doors down is The Social, which offers a mix of Western and Asian dishes, as well as a good selection of wine and cocktails. The aromatic crispy duck is a popular dish, and if you want a sample of its small bites, the Social Oriental Sharing Platter — comprising Thai vegetable spring rolls, chicken satay, crispy soft shell crab, Korean fried chicken and chicken 65 — is the way to go. On a cool day or in the evening, the outdoor area with its view of the Central Park is a good choice.

For a taste of Peranakan, head to Aunty Lee’s Restaurant in Plaza Arkadia. A branch of the famous Aunty Lee’s in Melaka, the restaurant serves up favourites like pie tee, cili garam fish (spicy but oh so delicious), ayam buah keluak and cincalok omelette.

S’mores, also at Plaza Arkadia, is famous for its juicy and tender barbecue ribs, and for meat lovers, the Porky Platter 1.0 and 2.0 are worth a try. The lively atmosphere is perfect for an evening out and good bargains are to be had during happy hours.

For a taste of Sri Lanka and India, go to Raam Ravan, where you can find a good selection of spicy and delicious dishes such as rice flour hoppers, green pea masala poori, crab curry kottu and Keralan prawn sambal.

Plaza Arkadia also has a speakeasy — a 2-storey bar called Navi x Guzman. The entrance is part of a row of mailboxes, the only thing that gives the place away is the thin sliver of light under the door. Navi on the first floor is an instagram-worthy haven of black light, neon art on the walls and pretty, creative cocktails and shooters. There is live music from Sunday to Wednesday on the upper floor and DJ from Thursday to Saturday.

Desa ParkCity is also not short on activities. The weekend market at The Waterfront and Plaza Arkadia offers everything from homemade ice cream to jewellery. Being a pet-friendly township, a pet bazaar is held every once in a while, featuring treats, health supplements and customised collars for your furry family members.

It must be mentioned that a good number of the F&B outlets at The Waterfront are pet-friendly.

Plaza Arkadia is great place for families to dine at as most of its restaurants are kid-friendly with some outlets providing toys, books and puzzles for children to occupy their time. The pedestrian-only large space is also perfect for children to play and zoom about in their bikes and scooters, and there is also a popular kids’ fountain. If you are looking for something indoors for your kids, try the Fun Factory, which has a huge slide and a ball pit, and it also offers nice food and drinks for the adults.