RISE OF THE SOUTH
By: Aidil Mohammad Noor
South Cheras is undergoing remarkable facelift as new developments and infrastructures keep pouring in.
Cheras South, the area mainly situated in the border of Cheras and Kajang, was originally referred as Balakong until the name “Cheras Selatan” or Cheras South came after a new commercial hub Jusco Cheras Selatan opened in December 2006, and the name stuck.
During its time as Balakong in the early 80s, it was just a village divided by Sungai Balak, surrounded by rubber plantations and disused tin mining lakes. The majority of the residents were rubber tappers. There was a primary school, a few Chinese temples, a wet market, a Lutheran church on a hilltop, a cowboy-town street, a town hall and a football field.
In the 1990s, Taming Jaya developed rubber plantation opposite the village into a small-industry area and housing estate. During the development of Taming Jaya, the locals said that the developer had rebuilt the Balakong road into a two-lane highway from Mines Wonderland to Cheras 11th mile. Later, from behind the village, Taman Connaught also had a road connecting it to Cheras.
Cheras South today is one of the more exciting locations with ready highways such as SILK, Grand Saga Cheras-Kajang, LEKAS, and with an MRT station under construction. Research by Mitraland in 2009 showed that Cheras South has a population of approximately 300,000 and it estimates that the population is experiencing an annual increment of 5%.
“There are around 380,000 residents now and the number is vital in ensuring an area’s sustainability,” says Mitraland Group chief executive officer and founder Chuah Theong Yee who is well-versed in Cheras South and its potentials.
Compared to other investment in Kuala Lumpur (KL), Cheras South is considered a low entry with high potential capital appreciation and rental yield. In terms of price appreciation in the last two years, Chuah illustrates, “Our Livia Service Apartment @ C180, the first stratified development in Cheras South was launched at RM290 per sqft in early 2012 for 551 sqft. Now, the sub-sale price has went up at approximately RM600 per sqft with rental of RM1,400 monthly with partially furnished, which is equivalent to 10.5% rental yield.”
In term of price, “the estimated current land price for landed property now is at RM350 to RM400 per sqft, a small-sized high-rise apartment is from RM500 to RM600 per sqft and for shop office the price is around RM600 to RM700 per sqft,” explains Chuah.
Among the developments currently going on in Cheras South is by Mitraland itself, Vina Versatile Homes @ Cheras. The project, launched in June 2013, comprises of three blocks of condominiums with a total of 472 units sitting on a 7.5-acre freehold land next to Bandar Tun Hussein Onn Secondary School. Vina sets itself apart from other residential developments with its unique recreational park that boasts a resort-like recreational pool, four acres of green deck, 60% of greenery and landscape area, floating cabanas, 610m jogging track/forest walk, an aqua gym and many more. The project is expected to see its completion in 2016.
Another development is by PJD Regency at Batu 9 named ‘You City’. The mixed development project is undergoing construction on freehold land and, as its name implies, is almost a city by itself with a total of 20.6 acres nestling with residential units and retail shops. Phase 1 consisting of You Residences, launched in August 2012, and the sister project You Vista launched in January 2013. You City features four blocks of three different layouts which are Executive Suites at 1,033 to 1,073 sqft, Family Suites at 1,026 to 1,311 sqft and Dual Key Residence at 1,744 sqft. The project targets its completion in July 2016.
Selangor Dredging Berhad (SDB) also plays its part in developing Cheras South. One of their projects in Cheras South is named ‘Windows on The Park’ located in Bandar Tun Hussein Onn, one of the main towns in Cheras South. The project was launched in July 2012 on an 8.9-acre freehold land with 4.2 acres of landscaped parkland. The project features three blocks of high-rise condominiums with a total of 540 units and built-up ranging between 916 sqft to 4,311 sqft.
Yet another project located in Cheras South is Lumiere @ Bandar Tun Hussein Onn by OCR Property. Lumiere villas and condominium development is spread across 6.12 acres of land in a quiet yet convenient township. The development offers 384 exclusive units. The low-density condominium development features spacious units measuring from 1,271 sqft to 1,391 sqft in size. With only six units per floor, the condominium offers privacy and exclusivity. Lumiere also offers double-storey villas comprising 4+1 bedrooms complete with private gardens and private garages with roller shutters to accommodate up to four vehicles at a time. The villas offer grand spaces measuring from 2,604 sqft to 3,097 sqft in size. The project is scheduled to complete in 2017.
One of future launches in Cheras South is Lake Vista Residence by UDA Land, a condominium project in Bandar Tun Hussein Onn comprising of a total of 250 units. Lake Vista Residence offers set of facilities like swimming and wading pool, sauna, gymnasium, outdoor shower, multipurpose hall, BBQ area, sundeck, green area, game room and cafeteria. The built-up area for the project starts from 1,049 sqft to 1,367 sqft, with the price range yet to be announced.
Another new launch is by Adenland (Cheras) Sdn Bhd called 9INE, a freehold condominium project in Batu 9. The project features a 23-storey main tower with 224 units of uniquely designed residence and three blocks of 4-storey villas with 32 units of luxury villas. It promotes resort living environment and promises 7-tier controlled security system.
Plenty of amenities and facilities
“Cheras South is now a mature township which is accessible via major highways and easy access to various shopping malls such as Aeon Cheras Selatan, Cheras Leisure Mall, Mines Capital Mall, Aeon Big, Cheras Central Mall and also Giant,” Chuah tells. This shows how Cheras South residence will have no problem in leisure shopping. As for connectivity, it is accessible via major highways such as SILK Highway, Grand Saga Highway, East-West Link, Cheras-Kajang Highway, MRR2, and MEX.
In terms of public transportation, the under-construction MRT from Sungai Buloh to Kajang is coming up. There will be two stations located in Cheras South, namely in Bandar Tun Hussein Onn and Balakong. As for existing stations, though not in Cheras South per se, Serdang KTM station is of close proximity to Cheras South, about 15-minute drive.
As of leisure activities, there is Selangor Turf Club for racing enthusiasts, along with Palace of the Golden Horses, a hotel located within Mines Resort City. Cheras South is the home of two international schools, Australian International School Malaysia and Alice Smith School. As for local schools, there are three schools situated within Bandar Tun Hussein Onn: Sekolah Kebangsaan Bandar Tun Hussein Onn, Sekolah Kebangsaan Bandar Tun Hussein Onn 2 and Sekolah Menengah Bandar Tun Hussein Onn. For higher education, there is a nursing and health science college Masterskills located right inside Mahkota Walk in Bandar Mahkota Cheras.
“Cheras South will not so much be a capital city, but it will be a regional hub complete with commercial, shopping and entertainment convenience within the vicinity,” Chuah says. He also anticipates that with the completion of MRT line within Cheras South, the land price will further escalate and more high-rise residential will enter the market, since the lands for properties are getting scarce. The strata developments will be a replacement for landed property which is always the main supply in Cheras South as of today.
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