(File pix) Fortune Perdana is among new projects that have improved the landscape of Kepong. Asian Pac Pic

DOES Kepong have what it takes to be the next Mont Kiara, especially with UEM Sunrise Bhd’s entry there?

UEM Sunrise is the pioneer developer of Mont Kiara. Its journey started in 1990s when Sunrise Sdn Bhd founder Datuk Alan Tong Kok Mau acquired about 40.5ha of land in Kampung Segambut Dalam settlement.

Tong named the area where he bought the land Mont Kiara, and established and branded it as a high-end locality with an eye on the expatriates.

The first project launched on the site was apartments that were priced at RM190 per square feet (psf). That was over 20 years ago. The apartments at UEM Sunrise’s recent launch, Residensi Astrea, are selling at RM870 psf.

UEM Sunrise has been buying land in Mont Kiara, but with only 13.35haleftfor development, the company is banking on other areas in the central region to boost its property sales.

It has picked Kepong and recently acquired 29.14ha of land near Kepong Metropolitan Park from Kuala Lumpur Mayor at RM416.4 million, or RM131 psf.

Kepong Metropolitan, with 57ha of lake, is located at the northern end of Jinjang. The park is quite popular with developers, which have been buying land in the neighbourhood for the past few years.

UEM Sunrise managing director and chief executive officer Anwar SyahrinAbdul Ajib said the company intends to replicate the success of Solaris Dutamas and communities of Mont Kiara.

Anwar said the proposed 15-year project will have an estimated gross development value of RM15 billion.

Meanwhile, property consultants said despite UEM Sunrise coming into the picture, Kepong will be a far cry from Mont Kiara.

“Kepong is one of the earliest townships in Kuala Lumpur’s history. The older areas in Kepong like Bandar Menjalara, Taman Fadason, Taman Indah Perdana, Taman Kemacahaya, Taman Kepong, Kepong Baru, Desa Aman Puri, Desa Jaya, Jinjang Utara, Jinjang Selatan, Taman Bukit Maluri, Taman Bukit Desa and Taman Ehsan are home to thousands of low-,medium and high-end houses as well as traditional and heritage shops.

“Things started to improve in the last 10 to 15 years when new housing developments like Desa Park City, Metro Prima, Fortune Perdana and Laman Rimbunan were established. Property prices started to inch upwards, with the price benchmark of new apartments at hovering about RM600 psf.

“Mont Kiara is a different ball game. It is a luxury residential enclave and popular among expatriates, with prices doing about RM850 to 1,000 psf.

It’s not easy to replicate Mont Kiara in Kepong. It will take years and plenty of new high-end projects to get there,” said a consultant.

UEM Sunrise chief marketing officer Kenny Wong told NST Property that the company will look at developing the Kepong land in the fourth quarter of next year.

“We’ve just bought the land and won’t be developing it so soon. We have to look at market conditions and demand,” he said.

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