Streetscapes: A quiet commercial street in Cheras

This article first appeared in City & Country, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on May 24, 2021 - May 30, 2021.
Jalan Mutiara Raya has a mix of 3- and 4-storey shopoffices as well as a limited number of individual buildings (Photo by Patrick Goh/The Edge)

Jalan Mutiara Raya has a mix of 3- and 4-storey shopoffices as well as a limited number of individual buildings (Photo by Patrick Goh/The Edge)

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Jalan Mutiara Raya in Taman Mutiara, Cheras, is a relatively quiet street despite being right next to EkoCheras Mall and Taman Mutiara MRT station. Located just off Jalan Cheras, the roughly 400m-long street has a mix of 3- and 4-storey shopoffices as well as a limited number of individual buildings.

 The two individual buildings at the junction of Jalan Mutiara Raya and Jalan Dato Haji Harun are occupied by a facial salon and a car dealer. There are two other individual buildings, one of which is a furniture shop.

Unlike most streets featured in Streetscapes that are known to be food havens, Jalan Mutiara Raya is occupied mostly by trading offices, car workshops, electrical shops, car accessory shops, convenience stores and clinics. 

The limited F&B outlets there include Station One Signature @ Taman Mutiara, Restoran Simmei Seafood & Steamboat, Yummy Steamboat Restaurant, Prince of Tomyam and Restoran Klang J.X. Bak Kut Teh.

Several other roads in this housing estate also carry the name “Mutiara”, which is Malay for “pearl”,  together with a number, a direction or an adjective, such as Jalan Mutiara 1 to Jalan Mutiara 7,  Jalan Mutiara Barat, Jalan Mutiara Barat 1 to Jalan Mutiara Barat 6, and Jalan Mutiara Raya. 

Janice grew up in Taman Mutiara and still lives there. Although her home is close to Jalan Mutiara Raya, she seldom patronises the shops there.

“I normally go to the restaurants in  Taman Connaught or Taman Taynton View, as there are more F&B options there. Also, with EkoCheras Mall just a short walking distance from Jalan Mutiara Raya, I can get my food and groceries and run all my errands under one roof,” she says.

Jalan Mutiara Raya is a two-way street and links to Jalan Cheras at both ends.  If one enters the road from the junction of Jalan Dato Haji Harun, the shops will all be on the left. At the end of it is EkoCheras Mall.

Owing to the nature of the businesses in the area, Jalan Mutiara Raya is relatively quiet. Street parking is always full, but there is no congestion, unlike commercial streets in other housing estates.

Retail Group Malaysia managing director Tan Hai Hsin notes that the businesses on Jalan Mutiara Raya are mostly neighbourhood shops and low-profile businesses.

“The profiles of the businesses on Jalan Mutiara Raya have not changed very much over the years. The completion of the Taman Mutiara MRT station and EkoCheras Mall has not changed the characteristics of these shopoffices,” he says.

He adds that there is limited demand for shopoffices there and shopping traffic along the street is low.

Data from the Valuation and Property Services department shows that there was one transaction at Jalan Mutiara Raya last year. A freehold, intermediate 3-storey shopoffice, which has a land area of 1,636 sq ft and a built-up of 3,758 sq ft, was sold at RM2.3 million, or RM612 psf, in May 2020.