Tall storeys of pure luxury
The continuing regeneration of Kuala Lumpur is transforming the city into one of Asia's prime destinations for business, travel and investment. With forward-looking projects and a vibrant mix of cultures, there is a mood of real excitement and optimism, in which people from elsewhere want to share.
'When you are there, you feel the 24-hour pulse of a fast-rising metropolis in motion,' says Richard Teoh, sales director of Hamptons International in Hong Kong. 'It is clear that Kuala Lumpur is now a world-class city, with its own distinctive lifestyle that thrives on the energy and colour of the urban scene.'
A leading example of that style and transformation can be found in the central business district (CBD) at St Mary Residences. Three towers of apartments and penthouses, above a two-storey retail podium and set amid parks and greenery, offer a new landmark and are helping to redefine the local concept of luxury living.
'The development conjures up the spirit of Manhattan's iconic loft apartments, but with a uniquely Malaysian character,' Teoh says. 'These are urbane, chic and elegant apartments, which command impressive views of the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, Bukit Nanas Nature Reserve and the CBD skyline.'
Built on the previous site of St Mary's School, originally founded by the Anglican Diocese in 1912, the three 28-storey towers contain 657 upmarket residences. These come in various configurations, including a choice of one-, two- and three-bedroom units, ranging in size from 1,131 sqft to 2,249 sqft.
In addition, exclusive penthouses, split over three floors, are now available for the first time to buyers based in Hong Kong. Each ultra-luxurious 'triplex' has a private rooftop swimming pool, and overall floor areas vary from 4,130 sqft to 6,769 sqft. Only 16 penthouses are available, six in Tower A and the remainder in Tower C.
Throughout, the architects have made a point of orienting windows to afford the best views and maximise natural light. Floor plans have been designed to convey a sense of both space and convenience. All interiors feature high-quality detailing and finishes.
'For example, imported stone has been used for the foyer and bathrooms, with timber strip flooring for the rest of each apartment,' Teoh says.
Kitchens come fully fitted with cabinets and an integrated range of appliances, while bathrooms have brand-name sanitary ware and walls finished with stone or glass tiles.
To maintain comfort, bedrooms, living and dining rooms are equipped with concealed split air conditioning units and, for security, personnel are on duty round the clock. Car owners can claim free allocated parking spaces - with an entitlement of three bays per penthouse.
In terms of general amenities, there are a number of top-grade medical centres in the neighbourhood, and respected international schools and a local campus of Britain's University of Nottingham.
Noting Kuala Lumpur's increasing popularity among individual overseas-based property investors, Teoh attributes this in part to the 'Malaysia My Second Home Scheme'. The programme simplifies procedures, allowing foreigners who meet certain criteria to stay in the country with a multiple-entry social visit pass.
He also highlights the generally favourable investment climate. This stems from continuing government support, a strengthening economy, and a straightforward regulatory environment.
'The Malaysian property sector is poised to remain buoyant,' Teoh says. 'We believe that St Mary is an excellent chance for foreign investors. They can take advantage of an opportunity that will give attractive capital appreciation and relatively high yields.'
As a guideline, he adds that buyers should expect average prices to be in the range of 1,100 ringgit per square foot (HK$2,830 per square foot).
With future limitations on land supply for residential projects in the CBD, this should be viewed very much as a prime site.
Based on the market, rents should be about 6,000 ringgit to 8,000 ringgit per month for one-bedroom apartments and 10,000 ringgit to 12,000 ringgit for three-bedroom metro suites. 'Whether you are looking for a new home, a second home, or an investment property, St Mary is at the forefront,' Teoh says. 'We believe it will prove to be one of Asia's most-sought after developments.'