Sentimental in sentul: A township awakening to opportunities
Sentul, a town steeped in a rich and nostalgic past is now an emerging hotspot for various high-rise developments that are now shaping the future of the area. Indeed, walking down memory lane in this once quaint town which is witnessing the emergence of more high-rises located off Jalan Ipoh in Kuala Lumpur is akin to taking a tour of a historic town once filled with thousands of railway workers mostly hailing from India.
This once-sleepy and sentimental town was founded in the late 1800s when the first Malayan railway line was opened, linking Taiping and Port Weld which gradually expanded its connection route to link both the North and South of the then Malaya.
The railway workers were commissioned by the British Government back then to work on one of the largest railway depots in the country incorporating one of the world’s finest integrated engineering workshops called Sentul Works.
Despite being well-known for its notoriety in the 1960s as a sleepy old hollow of an old forgotten town, overlooked and left in a dilapidated state teeming with old houses and buildings, the Sentul of today is a far cry from its lacklustre past.
Presently, it is well-sought after by expatriates and successful investors after a major transformation took place at turn of the new Millennium, with the redevelopment of the Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) land by YTL Corporation Berhad being one of the catalyst for the area. This led to the gentrification of Sentul and its rapid transformation from zero into one of the most desired heroic high-rise residential locations.
Just take a drive through Sentul and you will witness iconic looking skyscrapers making a statement juxtaposed against the skyline. The area has also greatly expanded with upgraded accessibilities and modern amenities contributing to the liveability of Sentul as a popular area to work, play and live.
Even accessibility is a breeze considering that the distance from Sentul to Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur is approximately 4.7 km. As for travellers, geographic coordinates of Sentul are set at 3°10’60.0”N (3.1833300°) 101°40’60.0”E (101.6833300).
Highly Favoured Property Hotspot
Of late, Sentul has become a maturing favoured property hotspot for high-rise residential developments comprising mainly serviced apartments and condominiums besides retail and office components as well.
Its name itself is derived from the Sentul tree named Sandoricum Koetjape which represents a species that can grow up to 150 ft tall. The neighbourhood, with its age-old trees frame the surroundings of the century-old brick railway building which was transformed into the KL Performing Arts Centre (KLPAC) years back.
This park has a lake and is complemented by generous green lungs within Sentul Park which include lovely landscaped gardens that are conducive and ideal as a setting for joggers and picnickers.
Its easy connectivity to the city and beyond also lends it attractive status as a thriving neighbourhood that is bustling with commercial activities as well as lifestyle and entertainment pursuits as in theatre at KLPAC and so on.
Spotlight on M Centura Mah Sing
Testament to the fact that Sentul is a rising shining beacon, many developers are beginning to recognise the area for its strategic location and future potential. Not to be left out in envisioning the great potential inherent in Sentul, prominent developer Mah Sing Group Berhad (Mah Sing) acquired 8.9 acres of prime freehold land fronting Jalan Sentul Pasar in Kuala Lumpur.
The development spans a total 8.9 acres with a total gross development value (GDV) of RM1.3 billion. The first phase of the M Centura development spanning 4.66 acres of land targets first-time home buyers, working professionals, young families and upgraders with the first block scheduled to be launched in Q42017.
Banking on its unique value-added proposition focusing on affordable luxurious living on the fringes of Kuala Lumpur, the development’s strategic location makes it easily accessible via major highways.
In addition to this, M Centura boasts a 100% residential freehold status setting it apart from other leasehold developments surrounding the vicinity. This is one of the sought-after attractive points for buyers considering the exquisitely designed units are priced indicatively net price from only RM328,000 onwards or approximately RM505 per sq ft with indicative built ups ranging from 650 sq ft to 1,000 sq ft.
The development’s total 1,413 units housed in two towers comprising Block A’s 46-storey and Block B’s 47-storey are cleverly designed based on practicality with six lifts allocated per block. All units will be facing a north-south orientation which will also capitalise on the views of the surrounding vicinity.
M Centura is located just 5km north of the heart of Kuala Lumpur. Nearby its location in Sentul are other surrounding mature townships like Kepong, Segambut, Setapak and Batu Caves as well as other suburbs in the Klang Valley that will add up to a population count of over eight million.
Various Facilities Available at M Centura
M Centura will be equipped with 1-acre of resort facilities for the benefit of its residents. It is also a 100% residential property ensuring exclusivity, privacy and security. Its attractively designed grand lobby with double volume ceiling provides an impressive grand entrance statement to visitors. The building will be secured with 3-tiered security.
A comprehensive range of facilities include an Olympic-length swimming pool, wading pool, laundry bar, childcare area and more which are included for the enjoyment of its buyers. The dual floating gym is a unique selling proposition of the development, where residents get to enjoy the beautiful view of the facilities deck while working out.
The development will feature green living with vertical planting and tree preservation running down the external façade of the towers. Keeping the development sustainable, there is also a rainwater harvesting system whereby rainwater will be recycled for gardening.
M Centura will also be equipped with electric vehicle (EV) charging stations for hybrid or electric vehicles for the benefit of its environmentally-friendly residents.
Meanwhile, an efficient integrated garbage disposal system will ensure organised and hygienic disposal of rubbish.
Sentul is a town well-equipped with amenities and facilities including medical centres like the Sentul Medical Centre located about 4km from the development, the KPJ Tawakkal Specialist Hospital situated within 5km and Kuala Lumpur General Hospital (HKL) located 5.5km from the development.
M Centura will also be surrounded by schools including SJK (C) Sentul Pasar within 1km; SK Convent Sentul 1 located 2km away; Wesley Methodist School is located 3km away; SK Methodist Sentul is located 3km away and SMK Bandar Baru Sentul located about 4km away.
Capitalising on Sentul’s Shining Future
Mah Sing proactively plans to launch more affordably-priced properties in view of its existing and new land banks to meet current property market demand in the Sentul neighbourhood brimming with many exciting prospects and possibilities.
It is no secret that Sentul is a most sought-after address due to its strategic location which is within 5km from KLCC and 7km from Mont’ Kiara in Kuala Lumpur.
Another convenient feature for M Centura will be its strategic location which is easily accessible via Duta-Ulu Kelang (Duke) Expressway, Kuala Lumpur Middle Ring Road (MRR2) and the Kuala Lumpur – Karak Expressway.
M Centura is also adjacent to a myriad of conveniences such as proximity to various amenities besides public transportation infrastructure and more. The accessibility to various services would be an add-on convenience to M Centura’s homebuyers.
Nearby public transportation include Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) Sentul station which is located approximately 2.6km from the project. This is complemented by the Kampung Batu station situated about 2.8km away as well as the Batu Kentonmen station which is located around 3.7km away.
Residents have the option to park their vehicles at the respective stations and take the train to work to avoid the traffic on the road. Besides that, the Sentul Timur Light Rail Transit (LRT) station located 2.4km away and the Sentul LRT Station situated 3.5km away are both park-and-ride stations (P&R) under the Sri Petaling Line.
These alternative modes of transportation provide alternative routes of travel for residents. Direct shuttle services will also be provided, giving residents access to the pick-up and drop off points at the LRT and upcoming MRT stations.
Sentul – A Shining Beacon of Endless Possibilities
PPC International Sdn Bhd Managing Director Datuk Sr Sidsapesan Sittampalam (Siders) acknowledges that many established developers have “jumped unto the bandwagon of developing this neighbourhood into a high-end, high-rise residential township”.
“Surrounded by YTL’s Sentul East and West are other high-rise developments by UOA Group namely Sentul Village and Sentul Point, MAXIM with its One Maxim and Maxim Citylights projects and Mah Sing Group with its M Centura development which is testimonial to Sentul’s popularity for residential developments,” he says.
The Sentul locality he maintain is favoured for its proximity to the city centre within 3km underpinned by its connectivity and public transportation infrastructure. It addition, is accessible from various parts of the city via the Sentul Link and DUKE Expressway.
Siders adds that the proposed Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Line 2 would have a station in Sentul West.
The locality is estimated to receive about 7,500 units of apartments within the next three years. A notable trend has seen smaller apartments being launched which are within the range of between 650 sq ft to 1,000 sq ft. Incidentally, new launches have seen units being sold at an average price of RM600 psf.
Siders further states that Sentul has the ideal ingredient for rental growth and capital appreciation in the near future given its proximity to city centre, comprehensive public transportation infrastructure and highway accessibility.
Amongst the range of developments launched in Sentul a few years back, he notes that Capers commands the highest rental and capital value psf. The Fennel located across Capers he adds is expected to achieve high rental and capital values once the entire development is completed.
Rejey Properties Principal G. Jayakumaran says that Sentul residential properties are selling fast.
He quotes Fajarbaru Builder Group Bhd’s maiden project called Rica Residences which has a gross development value (GDV) of RM270 million as an example.
Fajarbaru’s principal activities focused on civil works, building construction and turnkey contractor, and now property development has sen the developer acquire the Sentul Cinema together with adjacent empty plot of land measuring 2.3 acres.
Jayakumaran adds that the project comprising 473 serviced residences within a 39 storey tower is selling well. Prices for the units with built-up areas ranging between 657 sq ft and 1,283 sq ft are priced from RM600 psf.
“There is currently only four non-Bumi Rica Residents units available, one of which is facing the Kenny Hills with gross selling price of RM639,000,” he says.
Sheakay Real Estate agent Seann Leng Yoong Kee shares that the average rental yields projection currently for some residential developments as in three-bedroom units which are partially furnished are between RM1,400 and RM2,000 per month while fully furnished units can fetch prices ranging from RM1,800 to RM2,500 per month.
Leng assets that one indication of Sentul’s future viability relates to its easy accessibility and comprehensive amenities that are available like the Sentul Link which connects to the city centre quicker. In addition, there is the introduction of the Bandar Baru Sentul shoplots to meet consumers needs.
In addition, Leng adds that “Sentul poses an attraction for foreigners to reside here, being a strategic location with easy accessibility to the city centre posing another aded advantage.”
In addition to this, he says that the rental rate is far lower as compared to the central business district (CBD) area of Kuala Lumpur.
Developments in Sentul
Nawawi Tie Leung Property Consultants Managing Director Dato’ Nawawi Mohd Arshad says that the Sentul vicinity is easily accessible via the existing major arterial roads including Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, Jalan Sentul/Jalan Sentul Pasar, Jalan Kuching, Jalan Pahang and Jalan Ipoh. Meanwhile, there are ample highways leading into Sentul including Sultan Iskandar Highway (formerly Mahameru Highway), Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2) and Duta-Ulu Kelang Expressway (DUKE).
He says that Sentul’s rail system has transformed by leaps and bounds over the years. This is because the Sentul infrastructural blueprint was given a good-to-go by the Government in order to enhance the mode of transportation and inter-connectivity between towns and cities.
Testament to the public transportations systems in place today are the light rail transit (LRT) line including the Sentul Timur station and the KTM commuter line servicing the Sentul station. The transportation line will be further boosted by the proposed Mass rapid transit (MRT) line2 Sg. Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya – Sentul West station and the MRT Circle Line 3.
In addition, a few notable affordable homes projects in Sentul have mushroomed to meet the demands of first-time home buyers such as SkyAwani Residences by prominent developer SkyWorld Group under the RUMAWIP Scheme. This comprises a total of 1,226 units housed in four towers situated on 2.78 acres of leasehold land at Bandar Baru Sentul.
Other affordable homes initiatives include Sentul Raya Sdn Bhd’s Sentul Raya Affordable Homes which is also known as Kampung Railway comprising 250 low-cost units and 826 affordable medium-cost apartments spanning 123.5 acres of land.
Nawawi adds that the residential rental market in Sentul can be segmented according to apartment units which can command rentals from between RM1.20 psf and RM1.50 psf per month. Meanwhile, rental prices for condominiums or serviced apartments range from RM1.20 psf to RM1.90 psf with new and luxury residentials like The Capers and The Maple able to achieve higher rents of above RM2.00 psf.
Besides that, the analysis done by Nawawi also notes that the market rental for commercial spaces in Sentul can be categoried from RM3 psf to RM4 psf for office spaces. Rentals for terraced shop-offices (upper floors) range from RM1.40 pf to RM3 psf while retail space in mixed-use developments (podium) range from RM2 psf to RM4 psf with terraced shop-offices (ground floor) ranging from RM3.60 to RM7.10 psf.
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