Subang Jaya Revisited
Experience the tranquility at the fringe of this bustling suburb
Call it a mature residential area, a vibrant township or a commercial and educational hub, Subang Jaya has come a long way since the days the developer need fully furnish the terrace houses in order to attract homebuyers 3 decades ago. Today, it is the seat of Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) whose jurisdiction covers the Southern half of Petaling district, well-connected with other parts of Klang Valley via LRT lines and a network of expressways.
With more residents moving to this part of Klang Valley, Subang Jaya has experienced a housing boom, to the extent that it’s residential areas gradually sprawls outward. Today, we will be exploring the newer developments on the fringe on Subang Jaya, which are rapidly emerging as the talk of town. The reputation is so strong that some of those projects in the neighbouring Shah Alam also began naming themselves Subang West to ride on the rising tide. For the study today, we shall not be bothered by the municipal border, because it is after all the same area where people’s life intertwined with one another.
Two busy highways, E6 North South Expressway Central Link (Elite) and E5 Shah Alam Expressway (Kesas) intersect here, with the Seafield System Interchange offering seamless transfer between one another. These two highways quadrisect this area into four parts. Via the Ebor Interchange of NSECL and the Hicom Interchange of SAE, motorists enjoy direct access to downtown Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), as well as other cities and towns in Penisular Malaysia and beyond.
While there is no institutions of higher learning located within this neighbourhood right now, there are plenty of them a stone’s throw away. Across the Federal Highway, there are Management Science University (MSU) in Section 13 Shah Alam, Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Polytechnic in Glenmarie, as well as the new campus of KDU University College in Utropolis. Right next to Taman Subang Mas, there is Shah Alam Vocational College (KVSA), while big names such as Monash University, Sunway University, Taylor’s, Inti, SEGi, The One Academy and many more have established themselves for decades in various parts of Subang Jaya, USJ and Bandar Sunway.
This part of Subang Jaya was primarily an industrial area, with the corporate headquarters of DiGi Telecommunication, Times Publishing Group and many more based here. On the other hand, Central Sugar Refinery is located in Batu Tiga, while the national carmaker, Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional (Proton) as well as beverage manufacturer Fraser & Neave (F&N) have their factories located in the Hicom industrial area nearby. As such, the area has a high concentration of working class, and the residential units are hotly in demand.
When one of the major occupants in Subang Hi-Tech Park, Chunghwa Picture Tube from Taiwan decided to move their facilities overseas in the year 2010, prominent local developer Tropicana Corporation (then still named Dijaya Corporation) acquired the 88 acre land for a sum of RM385.5 million. It has now been turned into a posh residential enclave that goes by the name of Tropicana Metropark.
According to Ung Lay Ting, Tropicana Corpoation’s Executive Director of Marketing & Sales Tropicana Metropark is a sprawling freehold 88-acre mixed development that lies within the exclusive enclave of Subang Jaya – an affluent, suburban city in the Klang Valley. The superior design of this neighbourhood aims at nurturing a holistic lifestyle for complete urban living.
“Inspired by ideal living along the Yarra River in Melbourne, Australia, Tropicana Metropark features a Central Park to call its own. Tropicana Metropark is a sustainable integrated neighbourhood infused with the Tropicana DNA, which is built on the cornerstones of accessibility, connectivity, innovative concepts and designs, generous open spaces, amenities, facilities, multi-tiered security and quality carefully. Hence, the development will house a mall, healthcare centre, a cluster of educational institutions and entertainment hotspots,” elaborated Ixora.
Asked about why did Tropicana choose to develop Tropicana Metropark, which boasts of a Gross Development Value (GDV) totaling RM6.3 billion here in Subang Jaya, Ixora was delighted to share that Tropicana Metropark occupies a prime location within Subang Jaya. Sandwiched strategically between Shah Alam and Subang Jaya, it enjoys easy access via major highways. It is also surrounded and serviced by existing amenities such as schools, medical centres, shops, places of worships and even golf courses etc.
To cater to the educational needs of kids, the first intake of GEMS International School located within Tropicana Metropark will commence in September 2017. Fully equipped with world-class facilities, the approximately 210,000 square foot campus will be able to accommodate up to 2,400 students aged from 3 years old all the way up to 18 years old. As such, the convenience will be highly cherished by the urban folks who wish to take a break from the daily hustle and bustle of the cities.
Central Parks have been one of the main feature in many Tropicana developments in the country. The newly completed 9.2-acre Central Park in Tropicana Metropark surrounds a 750-metre canal, which is equipped with a bio-filtration systems. Functioning as the social heart and green lung for residents, the lush landscapes in the park provides the ideal setting for recreational activities that are suitable for all residents. It also boasts meandering cycling and jogging tracks, a pedestrian promenade and a food and beverage strip. Besides serving as a meeting point for work, life and play, the park also forms a truly breathtaking scenery when viewed from the residential and commercial blocks towering around it.
As residents of Klang Valley are more wary of traffic congestion, convenient public transport has become one of criteria when choosing where to live. While the new stations along the Kelana Jaya LRT line extension such as Subang Jaya (interchange with KTM Komuter under one roof), SS15, SS18 or USJ7 (interchange with BRT Sunway Line under one roof) are not exactly as close as one would like to be, the Tropicana Metropark’s side of Subang Jaya is served directly by the Batu Tiga station of KTM Komuter’s Tanjung Malim – Port Klang Line. Upon the completion of Klang Valley Double Tracking upgrading project in 2019, KTM Komuter will be able to run at a frequency of every 7.5 minutes, bringing the service quality much closer to those of LRT.
For those who wish to access other parts of the Klang Valley through Federal Highway, they will be delighted to know that a direct flyover linking the area around Tropicana Metropark to Federal Highway is also slated for completion later this year. Built by Tropicana at a cost of RM106 million, the flyover will allow motorists to bypass other junctions and reach their destinations in a speedier manner.
A stone’s throw away in the part of town now popularly referred to as Subang West, Crest Builder subsidiary CB Land is The Greens @ Subang West, a freehold residential development comprising 646 condominium units developed on 7 acre land, with a total Gross Development Value (GDV) of RM400 million. It is a new addition to other high rise projects completed by the same company in the vicinity, including Alam Prima, Alam Mesra, Alam Idaman, Avenue Crest and Alam Sanjung. Alam Prima and Alam Mesra were sold en bloc to Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd (SPNB) in 2005.
The Greens is just five minutes away from E35 Guthrie Corridor Expressway (GCE), E2 North Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE), E5 North South Expressway Central Link and E10 Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP). Eric Yong Shang Ming, managing director of Crest Builder said, “Looking at the immediate vicinity, there are close to 1.3 million people living within a 20-minute radius of our development. With the skyrocketing property prices in Klang Valley, Subang West is the next best location to look at.” When Alam Idaman was first launched in 2010, it was sold at around RM200 per square foot on average. Now with the 915 sq. ft. unit in The Greens selling at RM485,000, it clearly shows that residential properties here have enjoyed quite a significant growth.
Crest Builder has appointed property consultancy Nawawi Tie Leung (NTL) as the exclusive marketing agent for The Greens. Eddy Wong, managing director of NTL was happy to share that for landed properties within the vicinity, such as the terrace houses in Taman Mutiara Subang right next to Batu Tiga KTM Komuter station, prices have been increasing marginally in the past few years despite the soft market. The transacted prices in 2016 for a typical 2-storey terrace house was about RM620,000 to RM630,000, compared to about RM550,00 to RM600,000 in the years of 2014 and 2015.
On the other hand, for completed high-rise properties, prices generally remained stable for the past 3 years. Units in neighbouring schemes, such as Subang Andaman (Jalan Jubli Perak 22/1) were transacted at the RM400 psf to RM430 psf range; whereas units in Puri Aiyu Condominium (also located along Jalan Jubli Perak 22/1) were transacted at the RM360 psf to RM400 psf range.
Regarding those ongoing projects around the area, Eddy has also listed their launching price as an indicative reference for potential buyers. For example, Paisley Serviced Residence in Tropicana Metropark starts from RM790 psf, Stellar Residence by Naza TTDI is sold at the average of RM790 psf, while The Greens by Crest Builder is sold at the average of RM695 psf.
As for transportation convenience, Eddy would like to point out that, “Besides the existing KTM Komuter and LRT service, the new LRT Line 3 linking Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya to Johan Setia, Klang will be ready by the year 2020 too. With the new LRT Line 3 targeting for completion in 31 August 2020, the residents will be able to catch the LRT at the nearby Shah Alam Stadium station. By then, properties in the area will be more attractive, as LRT Line 3 further improves the overall accessibility and provides a more viable transport option for all.”
Moreover, Eddy also highlighted to the readers that Subang SkyPark Terminal of the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport Subang is located nearby. That is certainly a good news for those who wish to catch domestic flights often. With so many benefits, it is no wonder that Eddy was confident that Subang West, which is seen as an extension of Subang Jaya, would enjoy exceptional growth over the next several years.
Renowned urban planner Khairiah Talha, a former president of Malaysian Institute of Planners (MIP) who still serves as a member of the MIP Advisory Council now, remarked that based on the take-up rate of the condominiums, the area is regarded as good for investment. By having LRT 3 as a frequent and reliable form of public transport, the area where the West of Subang Jaya meets the East of Shah Alam will be a very attractive locations especially for the young working adults.
However, Khairiah believed that there is room for improvement in terms of drainage infrastructure and township planning. The Sungai Damansara could overflow during heavy rains, and as a result flash floods might occur. With greater developments, chances are more and more natural ground surfaces will be covered with concrete, thus creating greater surface water run-off, contributing to more flash floods. And while the highway network offers good connectivity to those who drive, congestion might occur when too many people opt to drive instead of taking public transport, and the loud noise emanating from the heavy traffic might also become a nuisance to those living in projects fronting those highways.
Khairiah also foresee the need for better town planning that can coordinate the provision of public amenities according to the population growth. Currently, since most of the developments are taking place on private lands, each projects were developed individually without a proper and comprehensive coordination among one another. All that the local authorities could do was to coordinate in terms of road and other infrastructures. As such, the lack of proper planning might lead to the shortage of schools, community facilities and places of worship.
Another vital element of wholesome living sorely lacking in the township is open space, such as public parks, gardens, recreational facilities or community squares. Without prior planning through a comprehensive town planning, it is difficult to insert parks into a fully built-up environment.
Also, if the aim of providing alternative mode of transport to reduce the automobile dependency was prioritised from day one, provisions would have been made to construct proper pedestrian sidewalks and cycling paths that connect the residential areas to the educational hubs and commercial areas. Khairiah emphasised that this is an important piece of infrastructure due to the demographics here, which included a high proportion of students and young families.
Khairiah predicted that the development there would intensify once the LRT 3 operation commences, with plenty of high rise development coming up around the station in Shah Alam Stadium. Hence, she would like to put forward her wish for this growing neighbourhood. “I am just hoping that the local authorities would provide for more public spaces, public parks and gardens and make the area greener. This would offset the resultant pollution from the heavy traffic as well as help reduce noise levels. There should be greater connectivity to the transit stations through a comprehensive, disabled-friendly pedestrian walkways and cycle tracks, to reduce the car dependency and create a healthier living environment.”
With speedy development and growing population, Subang Jaya and the neighbourhoods in its Western suburbs will soon be transformed into a wholesome metropolis, where needs such as education, healthcare, recreation and socialising are taken care of. If the infrastructure can grow in tandem with the population, the residents will surely find it a greater place to live!
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