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Bukit Bintang – A Golden Investment

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Home to the glitz and glamour scenes of Kuala Lumpur and a must-see location for tourists, Bukit Bintang is a super hotspot in every aspect

Bukit Bintang is not an unfamiliar name in the property market, neither is it unfamiliar in any industry. From food and entertainment to commercial businesses, you name it, Starhill has it. Home to the glitz and glamour scenes of Kuala Lumpur and a must-see location for tourists, Bukit Bintang is a super hotspot in every aspect.

Its centralised location makes it accessible from and to various locations. One can access the Golden Triangle of Kuala Lumpur via the SMART tunnel to get to the Kuala Lumpur-Seremban Highway or the East-West Link Expressway that links Bukit Bintang to areas like Seputeh and Cheras. Other highways like the Maju Expressway (MEX) gets you towards Bukit Jalil and Putrajaya while the turnoffs towards the Kuala Lumpur City Centre provides access to Ampang, Ulu Klang and the other locations in the east of the capital.

ACCESSIBILITY

Easy access to property and development has now become a prerequisite when investing, and Bukit Bintang has all that and more in store for current and future investors and homeowners. The Klang Valley MRT (KVMRT) Line 1 is coming up, – connecting it via Bukit Bintang Station and the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) station. This underground alignment of the Sungai Buloh-Kajang line help commuters travel from the first underground MRT station at KL Sentral to the last underground MRT station at Maluri within 16 minutes. The current transportation mode within the area is the KL Monorail which takes you from the Titiwangsa Station to KL Sentral. Built within the city centre and a major tourist hotspot, the KLCC-Pavilion walkway poses as an easy, cooler and efficient way to get around. The bridge links the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) and Bukit Bintang: two major retail and tourism spots with just a 15 to 20-minute walk across the five-metre wide, air-conditioned bridge.

NIGHTLIFE

The nightlife in Bukit Bintang has also intensified over the past few years with new clubs and bars opening up every now and then, prompting new developments and lodging services such as AirBnB to sprout in the area. Besides hotels, many investors have also made the effort to practice daily rentals in the area.

An Airbnb operator Ridzuan vouches for this progress as he admits to an increased number of enquiries.

“We just started off this month. Progress is slow but we have been receiving numerous enquiries. I am positive that there is great potential but all Airbnb hosts are up for a tough competition, in terms of pricing. Many enquiries are from business travelers and vacationers from Singapore and Indonesia but we also have Australians who’ve booked our premise. I believe this is good business considering the location. We are of walking distance from Bukit Bintang and the night life in Jalan Raja Chulan,” says Ridzuan.

Changkat in Bukit Bintang is one of the more popular night attractions for tourists and locals alike. The happening stretch of bars and clubs are constantly filled with party-goers or executives from nearby offices after working hours. Many opt to invest in serviced residences like Invito Bukit Bintang or One Residency due to the influx of tourists.

SHOPPERS’ PARADISE

Bukit Bintang is known as Kuala Lumpur’s shopping district with prominent shopping malls in the vicinity, making shopping scene there similar to that of walking in Oxford Circus, London with seamless rows of entertainment, culture and nightlife. Among the prominent shopping malls located here are Pavilion, Fahrenheit 88, Starhill Gallery, Lot 10 and Low Yat Plaza just to name a few.

BUKIT BINTANG CITY CENTRE

Bukit Bintang also continues to flourish with the proposed multi-billion Ringgit Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC), an upcoming project by BBCC Development Sdn Bhd, whom have recently signed a head of terms agreements with Mitsui Fudosan (Asia) Pte Ltd and Zepp Hall Network Inc, and a Memorandum of Understanding with The Ascott Ltd.

Eco World Development, which is part of the joint venture (JV)believes that with an estimated gross development cost (GDC) of RM1.6bil, the mall will redefine shopping.

“The mall is set to cater to all shopping needs with the introduction of popular home grown and new-to-market international brands.” The other JV partners of BBCC that will help develop the 19.4 acres of land into a mixed residential and commercial development include UDA Holdings Bhd and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF).”

HOTELS, SERVICED SUITES AND RESIDENCES

Quite a number of hotels and serviced residences make up a large percentage of properties here thanks to the big number of tourists Bukit Bintang receives. There are not many residential properties around Bukit Bintang. The place is however, home to many high end hotels such as Furama, PARKROYAL, Grand Millennium, and The Royal Bintang that enjoy a brisk business from tourists and local and international business travellers even during non-peak periods. Similarly, due to the high number of expats and working-class, there are more serviced residences to cater to that market. Among those are Pavilion Residences, a six-star residence by Urusharta Cemerlang, Banyan Tree Residences, One Residency and Bougainvilla Condomium to name the few.

“Some projects can command up to RM3,000 per sq ft. This area is and will continuously be driven by foreign investors as the minimum purchase price in KL stands at RM1 million whereas Selangor, RM2 million. If you can afford it, it is a good idea to look at the resale market as the units are priced at least 20-30% cheaper than new launches,” shares Khalil Adis.

One of the properties that offer a mixed development (commercial and residential) is The Robertson which is located at the KL golden triangle within the next city hot spot, Pudu. The Robertson is the first high-rise development in KL to have elevated podium with unique 9-hole putting green, 50m infinity pool overlooking the mesmerising city skyline, sky lounge and garden under one roof.

Gamuda Land – the developer of The Robertson – says their property is perfectly located within the hotspot of KL golden triangle that is experiencing a transformation with projects such as Merdeka PNB 118, redevelopment of Bukit Bintang City Centre and the revival of Plaza Rakyat.

The property itself is well connected to public transportation, malls, business districts, lifestyle, entertainment and F&B hubs.

With the upgrading of the MRT, LRT (light rail transit), Monorail and a proposed development of a high speed rail, Gamuda Land for one is expecting a boom in business and investments.

VIGOROUS DEVELOPMENTS

On another note, new developments in the area is a definite sign of a healthy business. The upcoming KL118 Tower is a 4.4million sq ft building comprising residential, commercial and hotel space of 118-storeys. It is scheduled for completion in 2019 and aims to be the third tallest building in the world. This driver will soon ensure the longevity and vibrancy of Bukit Bintang’s with non-stop activities.

TREC

The newly built TREC, located along Jalan Tun Razak , also acts as a premium attraction spot.  Built on 7-acres with breath-taking views of the Royal Selangor Golf Club, it is an entertainment and food and beverage hub endorsed by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia as a Designated Entertainment Zone. Under the KL’s Master Tourism Plan 2015-2025, TREC has the license to operate up to 5am resounding the future of lifestyle developments. Bukit Bintang has caught up with the culture, aptly so.

“Given the current loan cutbacks by the bank and general cautious sentiment, investors and developers alike should be creative in their investment proposals for high end properties like Bukit Bintang.”

“For instance, instead of a direct sale and purchase of property, they may want to package a high end project as a holiday club that requires lower investment amounts yet provides a reasonable return. The investors can still enjoy capital appreciation if the project is sold off in subsequent years,” says Dato’ Seri Matthew Yeoh Chin Chong, founder and Managing Partner at Yeoh Mazlina and Partners.

Susie Tiong, Executive Director, Valuation & Consultancy, Burgess Rawson Malaysia equates Bukit Bintang to the Orchard Road of Singapore, the hub of shopper’s haven

“The area is vibrant with tourists from all over the world as there are both international and home grown brands to cater to all. In addition, the numerous options of accommodations here ranging from 5 star hotels to boutique type and serviced residences and inns are available for the convenience of many well-heeled visitors,” says Tiong.

“There are plenty of choices for F&B – from fine dining to hawkers – and the night life is vibrant. Noticeably, the Arabs and Middle Eastern tourists form the bulk of visitors here. The mode of public transport in the form of LRT and the KL Monorail system also provides some relief although the area itself is slightly “messy” now with the upgrading roadworks and the LRT system.”

“In the long run, Bukit Bintang will always be a sought after area as it is a favoured tourist spot. Any investments in this area catering to the needs of tourists will fare positively,” assures Tiong.

At one point, Bukit Bintang was just another shopping zone but today it has become an integrated hub of choices, allowing locals and tourists to soak up the advancing colours of Malaysia via top-of-mind brands, lifestyle retail outlets, a sizzling F&B range and big hotel names that call it their home.

Amidst the big names and buzz, you can find little food businesses, soup kitchens, household item suppliers, rest and relax zones, fun and entertainments that cater to all ages, seamlessly tucked in between.

You can perceive Bukit Bintang as an integrated lifestyle hub that feeds all kinds of needs. In recent years, it has attracted tourists, expatriates and businessmen due its close proximity to the city centre and this trend does not seem like it will cease in the near future, especially with bigger and greater developments in the pipeline. Being one of the most forward and sought after tourist destination, Bukit Bintang has no choice but to advance from what it is now. Play big, win big, all in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.

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