SUPER condos seem to be the latest “in thing” in Kuala Lumpur and Penang these days as more developers jump on the bandwagon to build for the rich.
Some of them are coming on stream and are the talk of the town.
I was back in Penang to celebrate New Year's Eve recently and was amazed to see a new landmark towering over Jalan Tanjung Bungah.
This is The Cove, four blocks of 40-storey freehold luxury condominiums where the unit starts from 5,850 sq ft with five bedrooms and a large lanai balcony facing the sea!
The sleek buildings loom over the Dalat International School, Crown Prince Hotel, Copthorne Orchid Hotel and Sandy Bay Paradise Hotel. They seem to challenge the heights of the Pearl Hill across the road.
As the owner, you have the entire floor to yourself and your family. I was earlier told that the last few units were priced from RM1.1mil to RM1.75mil. Now back in KL, I've learned there is only one unit left and one owner sold his RM1.7mil unit for RM2mil recently.
Handing over is slated for this April.
Nearby is another super-condo called The Infinity, which will be completed in March 2009. It comprises two 36-storey blocks where the typical sizes are from 3,669 to 4,873 sq ft and are priced from RM1.5mil while the duplex and sky lounges are from 6,680 to 8,917 sq ft.
Now, why would people want such cavernous residences? Is it because Penangites are so used to living in big bungalows that they have switched to living in “mansions in the sky”?
Our super condos are still affordable, especially for foreigners. Developers are also eyeing the expatriate as well as the foreign retirement home markets.
As landed properties on the island are expensive but old and do not have security, some locals find that it may be better to sell their bungalows and live in a super condo. The same kind of rationale also applies to the Klang Valley folks whose children have grown up and are living elsewhere.
Anyway, at the rate super condos are being built on Penang island, it may soon be called the Super-Condo Island.
Some of the others vying under this super league are:
·Tanjung Bungah: Springtide Residence (76 units priced from RM1.75mil each); Sri Golden Bay (2,875 sq ft and priced from RM1.4mil to RM1.55mil) and Sky Home (6,300 sq ft and priced from RM2.2mil each).
·Gurney Drive/Kelawei Road: My Residence (20 units in a 35-storey tower; 6,380 sq ft to 5,880 sq ft. Priced from RM2.59 mil); The Regency (37-storey; 4,040 to 5,000 sq ft units); Eleven Gurney and Kelawei View (4,300 to 6,400 sq ft and priced from RM1.6mil to RM3.6mil).
There is also the Mayfair, comprising 49 units in a 29-storey tower along Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah. Units are priced from RM2.2mil. Penang's famed “twin towers”, The View, is another super condo at Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah overlooking the Penang Bridge.
What's the attraction of super-condo living?
Imagine the luxury of entering your apartment that is as big as, if not bigger than, a bungalow and knowing that the entire floor is all yours! You even have your own private lift lobby.
For condominiums that have only two units per floor, usually two units share one lift that opens at both ends of the respective units (like Hijauan Kiara). It is still a luxury only a few can enjoy.
Is there really a demand for such super condos? Well, The Cove is almost sold out, although in Kuala Lumpur, there seems to be a slowdown, especially in the KLCC area.
What is a super condo? While there is yet to be a proper definition, it usually refers to condominiums or serviced apartments that are not only big but are priced over RM1mil. Some would prefer to label a super condo as one that is priced at over RM1,000 psf. Condominiums like the Avare at KLCC has only two units per floor.
The Klang Valley has plenty of land and there are many opportunities to develop high-end landed residential products.
However, for Penang Island, the way to go is up.
One day it may end up like Hong Kong with super-super condos hitting the skyline.