Sustainable living in KL East
Ang Hui Hsien 
Quarza Residence consists of two residential towers atop a retail mall
By today’s standards, property development is no longer just about clearing tracts of land and constructing buildings.

As society becomes more environmentally conscious, developers are paying more attention to the impact of their development sites’ natural topography on their projects.

With the Klang Gates Quartz Ridge – the longest of its kind in the world – serving as a natural backdrop, Sime Darby Property Bhd’s KL East is leveraging its location’s unique qualities.

The 62ha integrated township in Gombak promises to deliver not just houses but a lifestyle sought by discerning purchasers.

“Many are committed to leading a healthy lifestyle within an urban setting and they appreciate the presence of natural greeneries for healthy outdoor activities or simply to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city,” explains Sime Darby Property interim chief operating officer Richard Ng.

The sustainability of a development depends on whether essential facilities and growth catalysts are present, says Ng

“With KL East, we provide exactly what they are looking for.”

Comprising residential, commercial and lifestyle components, KL East has a total gross development value (GDV) of almost RM2 bil.

The first phase called The Véo is a 30-storey two-tower serviced residence offering views of the quartz ridge and the city skyline.

Ng reveals that more than 85% of the 350 units of studio, three-bedroom and duplex condominiums have been taken up.

“Facilities include a three-tier security system, a community sky garden for each tower, gymnasium, clubhouse, wading and infinity pools, children’s playground and a multipurpose hall,” he tells FocusM.

The units, ranging from 735 to 3,638 sq ft, are priced between RM680 and RM750 per sq ft. The 1.69ha project, with a GDV of RM340.8 mil, is targeted for handing over in September.

Similar to its predecessor, Quarza Residence in the township’s phase two comprises two residential towers of 508 units atop a retail mall.

The first tower, consisting of 37 storeys, was launched in May last year and is 60% sold.

“The units in Tower A, which come with fully-fitted kitchens, range between 651 sq ft and 865 sq ft, with prices from RM536,888 to RM846,888,” Ng discloses.

Tower B, also 37 storeys, is scheduled to open for sale early next year.

The developer also targets to launch the third phase, a residential development with a resort-like concept comprising 350 condominiums units, next year.

For future generations

Describing KL East as a rare gem, Ng says future residents will enjoy the best of both worlds –a built environment complemented by the wonders of nature.

He reveals that the site’s topography was a major consideration during the planning stage, and great care was taken to ensure that its natural landscape was not significantly compromised.

“As it is a hillside development, we refrained from altering the key profile of the area by not developing critical slope areas based on the advice of our geotechnical consultant. We develop only the valleys or the foot of the hills,” he says.

Ng explains that this approach prevents slope degradation and keeps the development close to nature.

KL East has also been billed as the only development in the city to have a facility dedicated to rainforest regeneration and the promotion of sustainable living with the future in mind.

“We aim to work together with the community of KL East to ensure preservation of the rainforest, and maintain and upkeep its facilities for the benefit of the next generation,” says Ng.

Over 50% of the development has been designated for green open spaces, including the 21.4ha KL East Eco Park which is recognised as one of the destinations in the KL East Tourism Master Plan 2015–25.

It boasts facilities such as lookout points and hiking trails which will be open to the public, with plans for more facilities to accommodate various outdoor activities for the community, without sacrificing the original setting.

“We aspire to promote healthy living via nature-oriented activities at KL East by leveraging the offerings of the park which is part of the Bukit Tabur and Klang Gates Quartz Ridge network that extends into the Gombak Forest Reserve and beyond, including the Titiwangsa mountain range,” Ng says.

He adds that KL East Eco Park is regarded as a natural heritage, with its flora and fauna documented by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia research teams.

All-round amenities

According to Ng, the key to a development’s sustainability is the presence of essential facilities and growth catalysts to make the community self-sufficient.

For example, Quarza Residence will have a retail mall with amenities like a supermarket, cinema and ice rink alongside a host of eateries and outlets of well-known brands.

“The lifestyle speciality neighbourhood mall will be a catalyst for business activities in the area while offering retail conveniences to its residents,” Ng says.

About 30% of the retail space has already been taken up ahead of its planned opening at the end of next year.

The total GDV of Quarza Residence, encompassing the mall and two residential towers, has been estimated at RM700 mil.

Also set to make KL East its home is the private Kolej Yayasan Saad International School which will open its doors in early 2019. It will offer pre-school, primary and secondary education.

KL East is also known as a transit-adjacent development due to its proximity to the Gombak Integrated Transport Terminal (GITT) which is under construction.

The GITT, reportedly to start operations in 2019, will be integrated with the operational Gombak LRT station, Rapid KL and taxi hub as well a terminal for buses plying the Genting Highlands route.

The construction of a covered pedestrian walkway stretching 800m to link the development to the terminal is said to be in the pipeline.

Well-linked suburb

As its name suggests, KL East is located in the eastern corridor of Kuala Lumpur city centre, just a short drive away.

The corridor is generally said to encompass the Wangsa Maju, Setiawangsa, Ampang and Ulu Klang suburbs, among others.

The KL Middle Ring Road 2 serves as the major artery of the area, connecting the aforementioned areas to other towns like Cheras in the south as well as Kepong and Genting Highlands in the north.

The area is also accessible via the Duta-Ulu Klang Expressway and the Ampang-KL Elevated Highway.

The relatively established eastern corridor also houses the National Zoo, and is within the vicinity of amenities like Columbia Asia Hospital, Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur and Ampang Puteri Specialist Hospital.

Residents can patronise malls like Wangsa Walk and Great Eastern Mall for entertainment, dining and shopping needs, with the latest addition Melawati Mall set to open soon.

Education institutions like Fairview International School, Tunku Abdul Rahman University College and International Islamic University have also attracted a large student population to the area.

This article first appeared in Focus Malaysia Issue 241.