The revitalisation of Pantai Dalam
Aliff Yusri 

Pantai Dalam is coming into its own as a satellite township of Kuala Lumpur. The catalysts are IJM Land Bhd’s flagship Pantai Sentral Park development and the rapidly maturing South Bangsar enclave nearby.

The township’s diverse pull factors also include robust connectivity, balanced product mix and central location between Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya and Cheras.

Until recent years, Pantai Dalam was primarily seen as an area comprising low-cost housing, including People’s Housing Project (PPR) and police quarters such as PPR Kampung Kerinchi and Desa Aman PDRM.

These are bordered by higher-end condominiums in Pantai Hillpark, along with terraced homes and bungalows in Kampung Pantai.

Lee says Pantai Dalam is on its way to becoming a self-sustaining township

“As Pantai Dalam undergoes gentrification, however, we’re seeing less focus on affordable housing and more on the mid- to high-end market,” says Reapfield Properties Sdn Bhd group chief operating officer Jonathan Lee.

Changing the game
IJM Land senior general manager (central region) Datuk Hoo Kim See says condominium units in Inwood Residence, its first residential project in Pantai Sentral Park, have appreciated in value by about 10% since its launch in 2014.

Hoo says condos in Pantai Sental Park’s first residential project have appreciated by about 10%

“This is also seen in price points for the development, with Inwood Residences starting from RM760,000 at launch, and Secoya Residences, our second residential launch, from RM850,000,” he says.

Existing projects in the area have also benefited, with prices for YTL Land & Development Bhd’s Pantai Hillpark apartments going from a median of RM411.88 psf in Q3 2014 to RM466.94 psf in Q3 last year.

Its close proximity to thriving South Bangsar appears to have rubbed off on Pantai Dalam. The appreciation of property values in Pantai Dalam is attributed to the rise of its neighbouring suburb as a commercial hub, and nightlife and event destination.

While exact geographic limits for Pantai Dalam vary from source to source, it is generally seen as the area bounded by Jalan Kerinchi and Jalan Pantai Permai to the north. The New Pantai Expressway (NPE) defines its limits to the east and south, and Bukit Gasing in the west.

Commercial catalyst
An influx of upscale residential projects, from Pantai Sentral Park to MKH Bhd’s Saville @ The Park, is also transforming the profile of the area.

Reapfield’s Lee characterises Pantai Dalam’s revitalisation as a “second wind” for the area, with UOA Development Bhd’s focus on commercial properties in nearby South Bangsar working in favour of the area as a whole.

Retail and office offerings there such as Nexus, The Vertical and The Horizon, along with hospitality components like Capri by Fraser, have catalysed job creation in the area, drawing in an affluent working population while improving rental yields.

Previous commercial properties were limited to shoplots such as those along Jalan Pantai Murni and the low-rise Centrio mixed development in Pantai Hillpark.

Suez Capital Sdn Bhd’s KL Gateway development in South Bangsar also serves as a shopping and leisure destination, with Lee noting its potential as a neighbourhood mall serving the immediate vicinity.

“With nearby Grade A offices and retail spurring employment, followed by more upmarket residential projects, Pantai Dalam is on its way to becoming a self-sustaining township,” he says.

“However, it is constrained by availability of land, and it still lacks components such as education. SMK Seri Pantai serves as a public school, for example, but there are no private schools.”

The presence of schools is a key consideration for young families and newly married couples, which form a key demographic driving the property segment.

Comprehensive connectivity
Pantai Dalam’s limited room to grow is somewhat mitigated by a first-rate connectivity, with nearby routes ranging from the Federal Highway to the Sprint Expressway and NPE.

In addition, the area is served by no fewer than three stations in Klang Valley’s growing rail transit network. The stations are KL Gateway-Universiti and Kerinchi stations on the LRT Kelana Jaya line, and the Pantai Dalam station on the KTM Komuter line.

As such, residents could easily leverage on amenities in the surrounding areas, with the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur and Garden International School in Mont Kiara offering educational facilities, for example.

Pantai Dalam’s connectivity is set to improve further with IJM Land’s upcoming Pantai Sentral Park interchange.

Construction of the 2.8km infrastructure project began last October, at an estimated cost of RM52 mil. With completion projected for Q4 next year, the interchange will provide a direct link from Pantai Dalam to the NPE.

It will incorporate no fewer than five ingress and egress routes to and from Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, Subang Jaya and Petaling Jaya.

“Traffic dispersal can be problematic at the Federal Highway exit, particularly during peak hours,” says IJM Land’s Hoo.

“This interchange will relieve some of that pressure, while facilitating travel to destinations such as Subang Jaya and Cheras.”

The infrastructure project will also facilitate access to the Pantai Dalam KTM station, although Lee notes this would be a secondary consideration for many residents.

“The KTM caters more for intercity travellers. It will still be a factor, but will be less of a catalyst than the LRT line,” he says.

Moving forward, infrastructure within Pantai Dalam may need to expand to accommodate its growing population.

Many roads in the area, such as Jalan Pantai Murni, are two-lane single carriageways, vulnerable to traffic back-ups should one lane be obstructed. This is a particular concern due to an anticipated increase in traffic volume once the Pantai Sentral Park interchange is ready.

As for roads, expansion is difficult due to the density of existing developments in the vicinity.

Other potential hurdles for developers include the presence of cemetery grounds such as Tanah Perkuburan Islam Pantai Dalam within the area, from which Jalan Kubur takes its name.

Township within a township
To partly address this issue, IJM Land has invested heavily in dedicated pedestrian and cycling walkways throughout Pantai Sentral Park.

The initiative leverages on the natural scenery of the adjacent 80.8ha Bukit Kerinchi forest reserve, while encouraging pedestrian traffic to ease road congestion.

In addition, the walkways will link up to the nearby Taman Rimba Bukit Kerinchi, which features camping sites, a fish pond, edible plant garden and hanging bridge.

Hoo bills the RM2.5 bil Pantai Sentral Park project as a 23.4ha township within the larger township of Pantai Dalam.

It represents a joint venture between IJM Land and Amona Development Bhd, with the latter serving as the landowner, and this is the single largest new project in the area.

“The development consists of seven residential and six commercial phases, for an estimated total of 2,000 residential units and five million sq ft of commercial space,” says Hoo, adding when completed, Pantai Sentral Park will house a resident and working population of more than 20,000.

Commercial and residential blocks are clearly separated from each other by Jalan 4/112e, which bisects the development.

Residential launches such as Inwood Residences are located on the side of Jalan 4/112e facing the Bukit Kerinchi forest reserve.

This, along with a design DNA emphasising shallow floor plates, linear design and ample windows, maximises natural frontage and views for residents.

Unit sizes in Inwood Residences range from 1,125 to 1,965 sq ft, while Secoya Residences units start from 1,050 sq ft.

The built-up areas are slightly larger than the norm in the area, where developers favour smaller units to present lower entry points for first-time purchasers.

“Two-bedroom units are moving fast right now, while three-bedroom units can still do well depending on price points,” says Lee.

Hoo shares that smaller built-up ranges will be considered for future residential launches within the township, depending on market currents.

A look at the field
Due to limited land availability, there has not been a surge of new projects in Pantai Dalam. However, recent launches include Saville@The Park, located in southwest Pantai Hillpark next to the Lembah Pantai Community Centre.

Similar to Pantai Sentral Park, it is a collaboration between MKH and the Amona Group, with Amona Metro Development Sdn Bhd as the joint-venture vehicle.

Comprising two 27-storey condominium towers, Saville@The Park features 408 residential suites and 18 semi-detached villas with built-ups from 1,019 to 4,735 sq ft.

The project’s avant-garde design aesthetics, elevated site and consciously upscale market positioning stand in contrast to the low- and mid-cost projects it overlooks.

“The presence of low-cost housing around upcoming projects has less impact on desirability than you’d think,” says Lee.

“Millennials are adventurous enough to trade upscale surroundings for convenience and location, and they constitute a key purchaser segment for developers.”

Other upcoming projects announced include an as-yet-unnamed development by boutique developer Ancubic Capital Sdn Bhd.

With an anticipated gross development value of RM700 mil, the apartment offering is planned for a 0.81ha site in the heart of Pantai Dalam.

While unavailable for comment, the developer shares the launch is tentatively scheduled for year-end.

By the numbers
The sub-sale market in the area showed healthy activity, with 97 landed and non-landed residential transactions recorded between May last year and April this year.

Median residential prices in Pantai Dalam over this period were RM447 psf, or about RM467,500
per unit.

Flats made up the lower end of the market, with values ranging from RM164 to RM399 psf. Apartments and condos comprised the bulk of transactions, with prices from RM409 to RM662 psf.

Leasehold SoHo (small office home office) suites at YTL Land & Development’s Centrio represented a high point in the segment, with a median price of RM731 psf.

Terraced houses, in contrast, transacted at comparatively lower values of RM464 to RM670 psf.

The highest recorded prices for residential unit transactions were RM1.8 mil for a 2,374 sq ft terraced house on Lorong Pantai Prima in February this year, and RM1.46 mil for a condo at The Park Residence 1 in May.

“This activity is driven by loan growth earlier in the year, with banks reporting a 5.6% increase in total loan volume year-on-year,” says Reapfield’s Lee.

“We’re also seeing more purchasers moving up from the affordable segment, as well as a rise in the number of Bumiputera buyers.”

The commercial segment was substantially slower, with just four transactions recorded between February 2015 and January last year, according to Brickz Research Sdn Bhd and Valuation and Property Services Department data.


This article first appeared in Focus Malaysia Issue 240.