‘Majority of Kg Sg Baru folk keen on development’

The old PKNS flats in Kampung Sungai Baru was built in 1969. Many units are in a dilapidated state. — CHAN TAK KONG and AZLINA ABDULLAH/The Star

The needs of many outweigh the needs of few, says Kampung Baru Development Corporation (PKB) chairman Datuk Affendi Zahari.

He was referring to the redevelopment of Kampung Sungai Baru in Kuala Lumpur, where negotiations with residents started in 2016.

“A majority of residents there want a better living environment to enjoy a comfortable and healthy life,” he said.

Affendi added that these residents could have been living in their dream homes now had the project not been delayed.

“If everyone had been on board then, residents would be moving into their new larger units with modern facilities today,” he stressed.

He highlighted that 66.77% or 219 flats and landed property owners had agreed to the redevelopment and signed a joint venture agreement with the developer.

Terrace house owners will get units in the new development based on the size of their original properties.Terrace house owners will get units in the new development based on the size of their original properties.

For the uninitiated, the government had invoked Section 8 of the Land Acquisition Act 1960 after failing to get the consent of the entire population of Kampung Sungai Baru for the project.

Before the Act was invoked, the developer carried out 60 engagement sessions and dialogues with owners between 2016 and Oct 7, 2020.

Flats owners are being paid compensation in stages from February this year.

ALSO READ: Talk to us first, Kg Sg Baru house owners urge govt

Prime location

Located in Kampung Baru, Kampung Sungai Baru is leasehold land under PKB.

It covers 5.23ha and some 3.18ha or 60% of the land has been earmarked for redevelopment.

Part of the project is a mixed development being touted as KLCC 2 or KLCC North.

The first phase of the project on a 0.67ha site involves the construction of a condominium tower with modern facilities.

Affendi says phase one of the project is expected to start in a month’s time.Affendi says phase one of the project is expected to start in a month’s time.

Flats and terrace house owners who signed an agreement with developer Ritzy Gloss Sdn Bhd will move into these units once completed.

Earlier this month, letters issued to some residents pertaining to the land take-over was misinterpreted as an eviction notice, simultaneously irking residents and going viral.

“The likelihood of a government kicking out residents from their homes in the month of Ramadan is too far-fetched to even consider,” Affendi said.

Village in city centre

Kampung Sungai Baru is sandwiched between the Ampang-Kuala Lumpur Elevated Highway (Akleh), Kampung Paya and Kampung Pindah.

Here, there are 264 flats units across eight blocks (A, B, C, D, E, F, G and N) of walk-up flats.

They were built in 1969 by Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS).

The sizes of the units range from 40.97sq m to 53.04 sq m and 56.02sq m.

There are also 64 terrace houses of varying sizes.

The flats and terrace houses have another 58 years left on the 99-year lease.

Artist’s impression of the brand new residential tower that will be built at the Kampung Sungai Baru redevelopment site.Artist’s impression of the brand new residential tower that will be built at the Kampung Sungai Baru redevelopment site.

For the flats, out of 264 stratified units, 72 unit owners refused to take part in the redevelopment, so their units were acquired by the government.

The other 192 residents had signed an agreement with the developer.

For the terrace houses, 27 units were involved in the land acquisition while the process is still ongoing for the remaining 37.

“Once we reached the threshold of 50%, we went ahead with the land acquisition as enshrined in the Kampung Baru 2040 Development Master Plan (PIPKB 2040), Kampung Baru Redevelop-ment Implementation Guidelines (PPPSKB) and Kuala Lumpur Structure Plan 2020 (PSKL 2020).

“Then, we applied to the Federal Territories Ministry to evaluate all the documents before proceeding with the land acquisition on June 21, 2021,’’ he said, adding that everything was done by the book.

Instant millionaires

According to the joint venture agreement with the developer, the package offered to residents is based on the type of unit and size of the property.

For instance, a property owner with a 40.97sq m apartment will get a replacement unit measuring 90.03sq m while the owner of a 53.04sq m or 56.02sq m property will get a 111.48sq m unit, which has an estimated value of RM1.09mil.

For terrace houses, the number of units they get depends on the size of their landed property.

However, the minimum number is three units measuring 90.02sq m, worth an estimated RM2.7mil.

According to PKB, some owners would be getting up to 11 units.

Additionally, owners were given a choice to move into a transit home in Residensi Kerinchi, KL South with the rental borne by the developer or to accept a monthly rental payment between RM900 and RM2,500 for the duration of the construction period.

Artist’s impression of the residential tower planned with modern facilities such as swimming pool and gym.Artist’s impression of the residential tower planned with modern facilities such as swimming pool and gym.

Ritzy Gloss Sdn Bhd is a sister company of Suez Capital Sdn Bhd. Suez Capital is the developer of Residensi Kerinchi.

Residents were also given RM5,000 for moving costs and will get another RM5,000 when they move again into their new units.

Affendi said about 90 residents opted to move into the transit home, while the rest either rented on their own or went back to the kampung to await the project’s completion.

ALSO READ: Some prefer to hold on while others move out of units hastily

Flats owners who did not sign the agreement will be getting around RM200,000 to RM350,000 in compensation.

The compensation amount for terrace houses is still being discussed.

“Some may think this is an offer that is too good to be true, but the developer has the money.

“And like all developments, they are banking on the sale of residential and commercial units later on to make a profit,” he explained.

The project involves six plots of land, with two plots for residential and four for commercial units comprising Soho, service apartments, shops and offices.

Unlocking potential value

Kampung Baru has two categories of land — one comes under Malay Agricultural Land Authority (MAS), where only Malays can own units, while the other has no restrictions.

Although properties in Kampung Sungai Baru are mainly owned by Malays, the land here does not fall under MAS.

“Many owners tell me they would prefer to unlock the value of the area by opening up to outsiders.

“The ones opposing this are mostly third generation beneficiaries where the title is shared by many.

“Without land acquisition, we would still be stuck and that is not fair to the majority who want to see the area grow,” said Affendi.

He added that phase one of the project was expected to start in a month’s time, with a targeted completion date within four years.

“The final hearing for the remaining 37 must be done soon, as the project has been delayed too long and the developer has already paid some RM60mil in compensation fees and rental payments to landowners for the last four years,” he said.

The remaining residents opposing the project, however, want a better compensation package, saying that RM200,000 to RM350,000 was too low and they would not be able to buy a house in Kuala Lumpur.

Compensation negotiations are ongoing for this group.

Meanwhile, residents can remain in their homes until July 31.

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