VIBRANCY is picking up even as Phase 1 of the RM8.7bil Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC) in Kuala Lumpur nears its opening debut. Investors, buyers and owners are all eagerly waiting for the integrated transit-oriented development to showcase all the desirable aspects that will make it an outstanding global city like London, New York, Tokyo or Hong Kong.
This city within a city has attributes built into its framework, offering residents and investors the great diversity of the Big Apple, the cultural dynamism of London and the vibrancy of Shibuya Street of Tokyo.
The first components to be delivered include a shopping mall, entertainment hub, strata office and Lucentia – the first residential offering in BBCC. Featuring two conjoined towers, soaring 47 and 35 storeys each, Lucentia will set a new standard for urban living.
Lucentia takes a step further to accentuate its opulence with a private dedicated grand entrance so there is no mistaking the grandeur this residence has to offer. With unit sizes ranging from 454sqft to 882sqft, this highly valued property has a take up rate of 95%.
The infrastructure upgrading at BBCC such as the linking bridges, tunnels and transit hub at Hang Tuah station will go a long way in making this city within a city more accessible.
This is one of the many positive aspects of BBCC that make property valuers see the potential value growth of BBCC, both for the residential and commercial components, in the longer period. This makes this period as an opportune time to take a closer look at Lucentia, especially on the forefront of the commercial and retail aspects coming into play.
As the anticipation for the opening of its commercial component sets in, many are eager to see the transformation of this once idle parcel of land by joint venture (JV) partners Uda Holdings Bhd, Eco World Development Group Bhd and Employees Provident Fund (EPF).
As one of the last large parcels of land available within Kuala Lumpur city, this technological wonder presents great growth opportunities – not just in property and business values, but also for arts and culture since it is drawing international investments from the East and the West.
International big players
Japan’s big players are a part of the BBCC project, which is expected to drive more confidence and investments in the project. Mitsui Fudosan Asia Pte Ltd took a 50% equity in MFBBCC Retail Mall Sdn Bhd – the joint venture company that developed the RM1.6bill retail mall – and Zepp Hall Network Inc, a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc, is leasing and operating the 70,000sqft concert hall in BBCC.
With the music industry entering BBCC, it will become a centre of gravity of inspiration for many songwriters, artists and filmmakers. Zepp Hall plays host to many international tours and are a popular stop among Japanese musicians. Each venue takes the Zepp name, along with the city in which it is located.
And excitement is mounting as LaLaport will be opening its doors to the public giving shoppers and patrons a first taste of the specialty stores offering a full range of foods, a variety of brands and amusement options, with many of the items directly from Japan, never seen before in Malaysia.
With LaLaport, the appeal of being able to buy exclusive Japanese products otherwise unavailable in Malaysia is heightened, especially taking into consideration the SOP hassle of travelling out of the nation post-pandemic
With Mitsui Fudosan Asia’s participation, there is a strategic opportunity for the project to attract new-to-market Japanese and Asian brands by leveraging on their established network of retailers.
BBCCD’s other partners include global property management firm Regus, a member of the IWG Group, as the business facility operator to draw in the multinational corporations (MNCs) that have expressed their interest in taking up office spaces in The Stride.
Worth its value
The new Hang Tuah transit interchange to serve the three rail services of light rail transit (LRT), monorail and mass rapid transit (MRT) will certainly be noteworthy, considering its direct linkage to BBCC via the elevated walkway and tunnel to enhance the walkability.
“Any infrastructural improvement will definitely add value to the development and its surroundings,” said Association of Valuers, Property Managers, Estate Agents and Property Consultants in the Private Sector Malaysia (PEPS) president Michael Kong.
“I’m cautiously optimistic in the medium term as I expect a rebound upon the completion of the vaccination programme by the end of the year,” he said of the property outlook.
Given the Covid-19 pandemic and economic downturn, there might not be an increase in the property value, but the public transportation selling point would certainly help with BBCC’s retail and commercial components, noted Rahim and Co International real estate agency chief executive officer Siva Shanker.
“These components might get better occupancy rates over time as things improve,” he said, referring to the mass vaccination exercise the nation is presently carrying out to combat Covid-19.
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