Streetscapes: Bustling commercial centre off Old Klang Road

This article first appeared in City & Country, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on May 3, 2021 - May 09, 2021.
Bustling commercial centre off Old Klang Road (Photo by Sam Fong/The Edge)

Bustling commercial centre off Old Klang Road (Photo by Sam Fong/The Edge)

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Jalan Mega Mendung is a U-shaped commercial street just off 5th mile Jalan Kelang Lama, or Old Klang Road, in Kuala Lumpur. Both sides of the street  in Taman United, or United Garden, are lined with 3½-storey shopoffices.

Always abuzz with traffic and trade, the area is known to offer a colossal range of goods and services. “The commercial area continues to appeal to those living around Jalan Kelang Lama,  as one can find literally anything a household would need or can think of there,” says Landserve Sdn Bhd managing director Chen King Hoaw.

According to Chen, the entire commercial area is known as Kompleks Bandar, or Bandar Park, along with Lucky Plaza (Bandar Park), Plaza OUG and Medan Selera Mega.

Developed in the mid-1970s, the 3½-storey shops on Jalan Mega Mendung occupy one of the most prominent spots on Jalan Kelang Lama, he adds.

Altogether, there are 13 blocks of shopoffices on Jalan Mega Mendung, where one can find banks, convenience stores, pharmacies, restaurants and food outlets, electrical and hardware shops, laundry shops, medical and dental clinics, car repair and computer shops, hair and beauty salons, florists, bakeries, goldsmiths, money changers, tailors, tuition and language centres, music schools, stationery and printing shops, optical shops, health and wellness centres, fashion boutiques, travel agencies and pet shops.

Prominent food outlets in the area include NSV Restaurant, which offers local hawker fare, Restoran 23 Mixed Rice, San Sann Vegetarian restaurant, Chef Lee’s Noodle House, King’s Confectionery and Domino’s Pizza.

The shopoffices have a leasehold tenure of another 56 years, land area ranging from 1,356 to 2,013 sq ft, and built-ups of 4,029 to 4,940 sq ft, according to Chen.

They enjoy an occupancy rate of about 95%, with ground floor rentals typically ranging between RM3,500 and RM5,000 per month and first and second floor units at RM1,200 to RM2,000 per month. Chen notes that there are still ground floor units available for rent.

The average asking price of the shopoffices on Jalan Mega Mendung is RM2 million, and transacted prices have remained flat at RM1.75 million to RM1.8 million in recent years, substantially lower than the RM2.4 million recorded in 2014 after plans for the redevelopment of Lucky Plaza were made public in 2013, says Chen.

Like Lucky Plaza, there are also plans to redevelop Plaza OUG, although both have yet to take off, Chen notes. “The existing state of Lucky Plaza and Plaza OUG will be challenging in today’s market.”

He says the buildings’ overall physical characteristics, especially in terms of age and design, make them less competitive than the more recent developments in the locality that offer newer retail and office space for sale and rent.

Nonetheless, Chen believes the Mega Mendung shopoffices will still offer retailers and business owners a strategic and suitable place for their businesses and services, given their prime location. “The office crowd and large pool of the population in the neighbourhood are a ready catchment for the shops to tap.

“It is important to note, however, that the overall retail landscape has changed and will continue to change even more rapidly in the future. Against this backdrop, retailers are compelled to embrace the change [in the way products are sold and delivered to consumers] and some businesses might no longer find shops suitable. As such, the medium- to long-term outlook of these shopoffices can be challenging.”

Chen notes that prices in the residential segment of the surrounding area have been holding up well. For example, a terraced house with a built-up area of 1,600 sq ft was last transacted at RM928,000 in 2015, whereas semidees with a land area ranging from 3,412 to 5,208 sq ft and built-ups of 1,514 to 3,740 sq ft were last transacted at RM1.46 million to RM1.55 million in 2018. Bungalows with a land area of 5,091 to 8,589 sq ft and built-ups of 1,417 to 4,007 sq ft were transacted in 2019 at prices ranging from RM1.35 million to RM3.2 million.

In 2019, flats in the area measuring 904 sq ft were transacted at RM240,000 to RM250,000 while condominiums such as Desa Cindaimas and Meadow Park, with built-ups of 1,065 and 915 sq ft respectively,  were sold at RM370,000 and from RM250,000 to RM360,000 respectively.