SOME things never change. Some do. Taman Seputeh is going through a metamorphosis. After all, how long can all that tranquillity and green possibly last?
Especially when the residential suburb is located so strategically between Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya.
Especially now that there is Mid-Valley Mega Mall and the IGB group is about to expand the facilities there.
But before going further, let us go back a little while in time. After all, Taman Seputeh is a mature and established residential suburb that goes back some 30 years.
At about that time, Chew Sze Kong bought his triple-storey link house in Taman Seputeh for RM35,000. Today, it is worth about half a million. He's delighted with the capital appreciation but he is not ecstatic about the crowded roads on weekends or when there is a sale over at the mall, or the usual morning and evening hours jam.
Chew has long retired, but his children have not. Both of his children are still staying in Taman Seputeh; one of them having bought a triple-storey there.
The Chews form part of the 5,000 odd folks who have made Taman Seputeh and Robson Heights their home.
Assuming a household of 4, that 5,000 population translates into 1,250 landed properties in Taman Seputeh and Robson Heights, says Reapfield Malaysia Sdn Bhd's manager Sharifah Raudhah.
Besides bungalows, double-storey and single-storey houses, there are also about 10 high-rise condominium blocks in Taman Seputeh.
There is Bukit Robson Condo-minium, Robson Condominium (272 units), Seputeh Permai (121), Sri Tiara (144), Robson Court Apart-ments, Robson Heights (112), Le Chateau 1 and 2 (total: 316) and Casa Elita.
The 86-unit Sri Langit, located at the T-junction leading to Chew's house, is expected to be ready for occupation by the end of this year.
Even without all numbers, there are already 1,050 high-rise apartments. When the Chews moved in three decades ago, there were only landed properties there.
Chew contends the place is accessible from the Federal Highway, Brickfields and Mid-Valley Megamall. But to really enter Taman Seputeh proper, there is still that little stretch of road, currently occupied by Sri Tiara on one side and Seputeh Permai on the other.
This little stretch can get pretty busy during the morning and evening peak hours. A short drive-up the hill and one will reach Sri Langit, developed by Homemakers Sdn Bhd, says Chew.
There is every possibility that access may become increasingly limited as the years go by as more high-rise developments wheedled past all that residential protests. All are not lost however as there are some attractions to Taman Seputeh.
For one, there is still much greenery in spite of the proliferation of high-rise. For another, its location between Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur will always be a plus point. Added to that is the Mid-Valley Mega Mall.
Says Reapfield's Sharifah Raudhah: The people who live there seem contented with their lot. We have not seen many properties changing hands despite the many changes over the years.
There was a bit of excitement about a year ago when there was talk that properties in the area have risen 10 per cent to 15 per cent as a result of the mall.
A research head from a property consultant has her doubts. Maybe 5 per cent, and Mid-Valley may not be the catalyst. It could be just the usual capital appreciation. From my experience, too much amenities sometimes have a negative effect.
The other attraction, not so obvious but no less important, is that the suburb is quiet, a far cry from neighbouring suburbs like Bangsar and Brickfields. But it has its appeal. Not only among doctors, professionals and retired government officers, but also developers.
Laments a bungalow owner, who holds permanent resident status in the US: I won't sell my house now, but I may if the price is good. My neighbour beside me has put up her property for sale. So is the neighbour living behind me. If a developer were to purchase all three to four units of bungalows, he may have enough to build another condominium.
She has a point. According to a research head from a property consultancy firm, as long as the whole piece of land is 20,000 sq ft (half an acre), the developer can submit a plan to the local authorities. But the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) must be done because Taman Seputeh is a hilly area, likewise other studies like traffic, she says.
Yes, there are changes afoot in Taman Seputeh. How not to, especially when it is so strategically located?
Especially when there is another vacant plot opposite Sri Tiara, also owned by Singapore-based Far East Land and Housing Development. Watch that space.
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