Streetscapes: Commercial area in Shah Alam still sees steady business

This article first appeared in City & Country, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on July 20, 2020 - July 26, 2020.

Jalan Tengku Ampuan Zabedah comprises mainly three and four-storey shopoffices (Photo by Hannah Rafee)

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In Section 9 in Shah Alam, business in the commercial thoroughfares of Jalan Tengku Ampuan Zabedah appeared brisk one afternoon on a weekend in late February, prior to the Movement Control Order (MCO). In the scorching hot weather, visitors were seen retreating into shops and eateries.

Today, the area still offers a good mix of cafés and restaurants for the Shah Alam crowd. A popular spot is Cake Jalan Tiung, an “Instagrammable” café that sees a constant flow of visitors.

Other cafés that are quite popular among foodies and often appear on social media platforms include Hermanos, KOPIMEO and Foodsbury. Also available are homegrown restaurants such as Kedai Makan Fei & Ali and popular chains such as Baskin Robbins, Syed Bistro, Secret Recipe and Pine 38.

Jalan Tengku Ampuan Zabedah comprises two main lanes: Jalan Tengku Ampuan Zabedah 9/A and Jalan Tengku Ampuan Zabedah 9/B. Popular amenities there include Pain & Gain Fitness, Guitar Shoppe and 99 Speedmart.

Despite the challenging market environment, the area appears to attract a steady flow of visitors predominantly from offices nearby and residents in the neighbourhood.

Photo by Hannah Rafee

LaurelCap Sdn Bhd executive director Stanley Toh says: “Jalan Tengku Ampuan Zabedah is a small commercial centre adjacent to Plaza Shah Alam, Concorde Hotel Shah Alam, Risda Office Shah Alam and Wisma Sunway and comprises mainly three to four-storey shopoffices. [In terms of transactions], the prices in the area have been stagnant [and stable] for a few years,” says Toh.

Photo by Hannah Rafee

He adds that prices of shoplots are RM280 to RM300 psf (on built-up area). “In terms of rental, it ranges from RM2.75 to RM3 psf per month for the ground floor, and 70 sen to 90 sen psf per month for the upper floor,” he says. “The average net yield is 5% to 5.5% a year.”

However, Jalan Tengku Ampuan Zabedah may face obstacles in the future. “With new commercial areas such as i-City in Section 7 (opposite UiTM) popping up in Shah Alam, the main challenge is to attract tenants to the shopoffices. The area is mainly supported by the office crowd, but occupancy rates have been declining,” notes Toh. “We have witnessed a frequent turnover of tenants over the last couple of years.

“With the current economic environment and pandemic, the Jalan Tengku Ampuan Zabedah area remains stable [for now}.”