PROPCAFE Review: Sentral Suites @ KL Sentral by MRCB – Part 2

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(Source: PropCafe.net)

Why the part 2 the readers may ask? It’s been PROPCAFE’s DNA to be as meticulous as possible in each of our review and sometimes due to timing and hectic schedule we couldn’t produce the review to the level of PROPCAFE’s DNA. PROPCAFE will do part 2 (like Rev.O @ Bukit Jalil City and Ekocheras) or whenever the editors drop by to the sales gallery for more updated information. This is more prevalent when the first review didn’t’ do justice especially to the prominent project. Sentral Suites @ KL Sentral is one of the cases that PROPCAFE think deserve a 2nd review.

Before you read on the Part 2, please click on the link below for the first review that done by PROPCAFE way back in September 2016.

PROPCAFE® REVIEW : Sentral Suites @ KL Sentral by MRCB

For a start, despite the first review covers in length the micro location and accessibility of the development, we didn’t look into THE BIG PICTURE where KL Sentral is unique being not only Transit Oriented Development (TOD) but KL Sentral has emerged as Self-sustainable City where residents can work, live and play within the 79 acre development. With completion of Nu Sentral Shopping Centre, it is adding conveniences not only to the 60-70,000 working population (Refer to link http://www.theedgeproperty.com.my/content/1125939/mrcb-offer-more-residences-tods ) but many have called KL Sentral as their home. With completion of Sentral Residences, there will be another 752 residential units which will call postcode 50470 as “home”.

We were invited to visit The Sentral Residences, 55 storeys twin towers with majestic unobstructed KL skyline and Taman Tasik Perdana view. Surprisingly, the facilities were pretty decent and was told that Sentral Suites @ KL Sentral will probably have similar level of facilities despite lack of rooftop facilities. Also, the view from Sentral Suites @ KL Sentral especially upcoming tower 2 will enjoy unobstructed KL Skyline and PJ view.

KL City Center View from Sentral Residences KL Sentral

Also many readers wrote in expression their interest in Sentral Suites @ KL Sentral however they have concern about the supply and demand in KL Sentral? Does their concern is warranted? The Readers shall find out. Read on.

Sentral Suites KL Sentral Show Unit

Buying property as investment is probably one of the toughest decisions we will make in our life time and PROPCAFE is always inundated with questions from investors who need to re-affirm their buying decision or where to buy.

PROPCAFE did a short review on KL Sentral being the TOD (Click the link here http://propcafe.net/the-central-transportation-hub-of-kuala-lumpur/) but what not covered is the significant impact of KL Sentral not only being TOD but it is combination of the MSC status that pull companies to operate from KL Sentral, the strategic location where sandwiched between Bangsar, Petaling Jaya and  Kuala Lumpur with network of highways serving the development and experience of MRCB being commercial developer. There are few of TODs around the world such as redevelopment of Paddington and 67acres of King’s Cross  in London. The King’s cross redevelopment is pretty exciting with what used to be industrial wasteland (similar to KL Sentral). the King’s Cross itself houses 6 tube lines which are Picadilly, Northern, Victoria, Hammersmith and City, Circle and finally Metropolitan Line. Yes the King’s Cross is massive building. Excerpt from the website https://casestudies.uli.org/kings-cross/

“King’s Cross is a mixed-use, urban regeneration project in central London that is also a major transport hub for the city. Located on the site of former rail and industrial facilities, the 67-acre (27 ha) redevelopment is ongoing and involves restoration of historic buildings as well as new construction, with the entire plan organised around internal streets and 26 acres (10.5 ha) of open space to form a new public realm for the area. Principal uses include 3.4 million square feet (316,000 sq m) of office space, 2,000 residential units, 500,000 square feet (46,400 sq m) of retail and leisure space, a hotel, and educational facilities. The site is served directly by six London Underground lines, two national mainline train stations, and an international high-speed rail connecting to Paris.”

And not only the 6 tube lines but King’s Cross also linked to 2 train lines and high speed train to Paris.

Source: http://rehdainstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Matthew-Holloway_Distribution-Slides-v2.compressed.pdf

How this staked up against our KL Sentral?

Let’s do comparison side by side between KL Sentral and King’s Cross

KL Sentral King’s Cross
Location Kuala Lumpur London
Site Former KTM rail yard former rail and industrial facilities
Land, Acre 79 67
Transit 1 LRT, 1 MRT, monorail, 2 KTMs, main train line, ERL Transit/ Express 6 tube lines, 2 main train lines, HSR to Paris
Offices, million sqft 12.5 (include 3.2 future lot F) GFA 3.4
Residential 3,400 units (include St. Regis) 2,000
Retails, millions sqft 1.3 GFA 0.5
Green Area No Info 26 acres open space
Education, Healthcare Yes Yes
Hospitality Meridien, Hilton, St Regis and Aloft (2.75million sqft) Yes
Daylight population 60-70,000 45,000

Benchmarked again the size, the composition of offices, retails, residential, hospitality etc, KL Sentral is stacked up nicely against King’s Cross. As Malaysians we should be proud that KL Sentral is world class development and suffice to say it is up to the par with the best such as King’s Cross redevelopment project.

Plenty of MNCs, GLCs, Government Bodies and SMEs companies have call KL Sentral as their business address and home.

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MNCs, Banks, SMEs, GLCs etc have call KL Sentral as home

The oil giant, SHELL for example has a long term lease at menara SHELL for 15 years (http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2012/11/01/gapurna-wants-to-grow-further-designbuildlease-business/) and that itself showing the level of commitment to set the base in KL Sentral. Google sets their 10,000sqft office in Quill 7 in 2013 and subsequently the space expanded to 150,000sqft and relocated to 1 Sentrum. Even though the office is primarily for marketing and sales activities, the office setup is full with Google DNA – work and play.

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How cool to work in such office with vibrant set up with playing space for mind to take off from work

The purchasers of strata office lot of Plaza Sentral are swear by the liquidity of tenancy where the strata office lot could be rented for about RM7.50psf. Those who have sold off are making more than double of the initial developer price.

How about the residential properties? The buyers of Suasana Sentral and Sentral Loft have enjoy tremendous capital gain of the properties where the current subsale PSF are easily double the initial developer price.

Development Completion Year Unit*** Size, sqft** GDV, million Land Launching Price, psf Current subsale, psf*
Suasana Sentral 2002 400 1410-1551 249 Freehold Appr RM300 750-850
Suasana Sentral Loft 2008 600 818-1665 351 Freehold Appr RM350 900-1100
St Regis 2016 160 N/A N/A Freehold N/A >RM2500
Sentral Residences 2017 752 1087 – 1873 1,200 Freehold Appr RM1100 1300-1450
Sentral Suites @ KLS 2021 1434 650-1166 1,500 Leasehold Ave RM1200 N/A
Total Units 3,346

* subsale psf from theedgeproperty.com

** standard size units, exclude penthouse

*** 208 hotel suites from St Regis not included

With approximately 60-70,000 working population and only less 3,400 units of supply until 2021, it is pretty safe to say even just tap the demand on the working population in KL Sentral, the supply is pretty much limited and this yet to take into account the residents who prefer to live next to KL Sentral but work somewhere else.

The location of residential properties in KL Sentral

Even with the limited of less 3,400 units in KL Sentral, the size, layout configuration, age, property class and grade are widely different. On one end of low spectrum Suasana Sentral asking for RM750-850psf,   you have another high end spectrum St. Regis currently asking for more than RM2,500psf and touted as 6 star uber luxury serviced apartment. In PROPCAFE’s view,  Sentral Suites @ KL Sentral which will be latest addition to KL Sentral in 2021 are priced at quite a rather sweet spot RM1,200psf average where slightly premium against the aging Sentral and Sentral Loft where in 2021 these condos will be 20 and 14 years old respectively.

With all new development, the layouts are much efficient and in space utilization. Despite the same layout configuration, the buyers are paying lower absolute price due to the smaller sizes. In next chapter readers can see the shootout! Between Sentral Suites @ KL Sentral and Sentral Loft to illustrate the point.

Rental wise, Sentral and Sentral Loft despite the healthy capital gain enjoyed for past few years due to booming property market from 2009-2012, the rental yield remain to be quite healthy at 5% and 4.3%. For example a 3 bedrooms 1532sqft at RM1,050psf if rented out at RM5,500 the rental yield is about 4.1%.

Development Rental (RM) Rental (PSF) Rental Yield, %
Suasana Sentral 3.800-5,500 2.60-3.90 5
Suasana Sentral Loft 3,500-5,500 3.00-4.30 4.3
Sentral Residences 4,200 – 8,000 3.60-4.80 3.8

* Rental data from theedgeproperty.com 

The property market has been in conundrum for past 3 years therefore the lacklustre demand in property market. Sentral Suites @ KL Sentral VP-ed probably in right timeframe in 2021 to ride on trending up cycle property market. And with limited future residential supply and coupled with expected increase of demand of brand new properties and rental demand of KL Sentral, PROPCAFE was not be surprise if the buyers are pretty bullish with Sentral Suites @ KL Sentral. In fact MRCB acknowledged RM550million worth of Sentral Suites @ KL Sentral the purchasers already signed the SPA. A healthy 34% of GDV translated into sales even without tower 2, the premium and the best of all 3 towers yet to be launched.

In order to create a conducive work, live and play environment, all elements must be in balance without ignoring one another. With 79 acre of land it allow MRCB to create all these elements in KL Sentral.

With Nu Sentral Shopping Centre, it has balanced all the elements where workers and residents can play and shop within. To catch movie after the office hour? No problem. To entertain clients, plenty of F&B such as Chili Espresso (Foods is really good here!) and Outback Steakhouse. For grocer and shopping can drop in to Sam’s Grocer and Parkson.

If you are looking for rustic and authentic living experience, fret not as KL Sentral is neighbour to one of the oldest town which has more than 100 years or rich tradition and history, Brickfields. F&B experience whether you are looking for authentic Chettiar Banana Leaf Rice, Fried Banana Fritter, Char Kueh Tiaw, Pork Noodle, Nasi Kanda and Claypot chicken Rice, Brickfield is truly a melting pot. Having a sore foot and legs? Just dropby to few massage parlours that ran by professional masseurs who are blind.

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Random images of Brickfield from Google Image Search

The combo of these factors are making the KL Sentral truly a unique proposition development that unrivalled in Malaysia probably with many years to come.

Sentral Suites KL Sentral Show Unit

In our first review, we didn’t mention much about the facilities due to time constraint. Essentially the main amenities and facilities are located Level 8 where  more than 2 acres allocated for family and infinite pool, Jacuzzi, playground, full length basketball court, meditation deck, BBQ Area, Gym, multipurpose hall, surau etc.

More than 2 acres of facilities on level 8 to serve the need of residents of Sentral Suites @ Kl Sentral

In our review, PROPCAFE mentioned the façade is busy however what PROPCAFE forgot to mention 5 sky gardens with different theme are located on different level. These gardens not only a space for residents to chill, relax or congregate but it is also serve as a break to the facade and by punch through it allow fresh air to circulate the internally block and therefore cool the building more efficiently.

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The concept of each themed garden

Each block will have 5 of these sky gardens and on top of these themed sky gardens, each block will also have pocket gardens spread in 5 different levels. Therefore in total there are 15 themed sky gardens and another 15 pocket of gardens spread across all 3 towers.

5 level of Pocket of Garden on each tower at Levels 28, 31, 33A, 37 and 40

Theme Garden on Level 13, 18, 28, 32 and 36 on each tower

For property observers…. MRCB has been known as their reputation as commercial player and has been delivering the more than 9million sqft of commercial office and 1.3million of retail space in KL Sentral. Their past track record in delivering residential high rise probably limited to highly popular Suasana Sentral and Suasana Sentral Loft. Therefore when PROPCAFE received invitation to visit The Sentral Residences, a luxury residential developed jointly by MRCB and Quill, PROPCAFE received with open arm.

One word. Spectacular. The KL Skyline and Taman Tasik Perdana view from 55th floor of The Sentral Residence was simply breathtaking and worth the top dollar paid just for the unobstructed view alone.

Overlooking KL Skyline View from Lap Pool

Panorama setting of the KL Skyline View

Breathtaking Taman Tasik Perdana View

How were the execution and delivery facilities the readers may be wonder? Despite the majestic view and impressive concept with the 2 infinite and lap pools to booth in, somehow PROPCAFE think the MRCB execution of residential is lack of cutting edge and slightly found wanting. You need to visit development by Tan&Tan to appreciate the “package” where the ID, furniture selection, space utilization in the Sentral Residences are still quite lacking despite the price tag.

The visitors and residents are greeted with Sentral Residences signboard which somehow feel soulless. Despite the ample of space in the sky villa to allow the creativity to decorate the space, it was left empty and kinda of wasted. The dining set selection seems to be wanting and lack of wow effect. Rather than solid rock for seating at the rooftop garden like what SDB did on 5Stones, MRCB has installed plastic seating.

The Sentral Residences represent excellent development to allow MRCB showcase what they can do with the prime location. PROPCAFE observed some efforts taken such as nice water feature before the lobby and arts along the wall etc however being flagship residential development, PROPCAFE hope MRCB will spare no effort to execute and delivery Sentral Suites @ KL Sentral to surpassing The Sentral Residences.

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The Sentral Residences Facilities

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Randomly chosen arty photos

Looking over the majestic KL skyline from The Sentral Residences, PROPCAFE couldn’t stop wandering and seems that Sentral Suites @ KL Sentral Tower 2 and 3 will enjoy some unobstructed KL Skyline view.

The Site of Sentral Suites with possible KL Skyline View

One of the most underappreciated element in buying property is the unit layout and efficient i.e. how well the space is utilized. You can have one bedroom apartment for 1,000sqft however the space is disproportion or a wasted space which will serve no real purpose. In current climate where affordability is a big concern among the purchasers, this factor has become more and more relevant and important. PROPCAFE has compile and do a shootout comparison between Suasana Sentral Loft (SSL) and Sentral Suites @ KL Sentral.

From the table comparison below for the same configuration 1+1 bedrooms, SSL is bigger by 13 – 19% compared to Sentral Suites @ KL Sentral. This has become more obvious in larger type for example for a 3 bedrooms configuration the size has become 45-55% larger than Sentral Suites @ KL Sentral!

Configuration Suasana Sentral Loft Sentral Suites @ KL Sentral %
Unit Type Built Up Unit Type Built Up
1 bedroom N/A Type A~A1 650-653 N/A
1+1 bedroom Type A~A2 818-913sqft Type Corner A~A1 724-762 13-19%
2 bedroom Type B~B1 1119-1135sqft Type B~B2 826-858 32-35%
2 + 1bedrooms Type C~C5 1441-1665sqft N/A N/A
3 bedrooms Type D~D1  1532-1544sqft Type C, Corner C 1,025-1,138 35-49%
3 bedrooms Type E~E1 1584-1652sqft 45-55%
2 bedrooms + 1 suite N/A Type D (DK) 1166 N/A

On absolute price point wise, the 3 bedrooms in Sentral Suites @ KL Sentral will cost less than RM1.25m where else it will cost a whopping RM1.65m ( absolute price wise 32% more expensive) for similar 3 bedrooms configuration in SSL just like the deal that concluded in Nov.2016 (Click the link http://www.theedgeproperty.com.my/content/1101829/done-deal-suasana-sentral-loft-kl-sentral-condominium-unit )

The layout must be practical and no wastage of space. PROPCAFE compare the 2 bedrooms type B in SSL and type B1 in Sentral Suites @ KL Sentral and readers can immediately appreciate which type is a more efficient layout. Even size is smaller, type B1 allow for storage area as MRCB recognizes living is compact apartment residents will have plenty of infrequent used of items that they wish to tuck it aside. Another corner infront of bedroom designed to be flexible as cabinet or study area space.

Similarly comparing the 3 bedrooms configuration between SSL and Sentral Suites @ KL Sentral, a distinct advantage observed such as walk in wardrobe space in the master bedroom. Two bedrooms enjoy en-suite bathrooms where else in SSL, only the master bedroom enjoys ensuite bathroom with another 2 bedrooms sharing common bathroom. Again, a space between yard and living used as study area where developer propose the space can be converted to guest bed if necessary.

What does this tell you? When consider buying and investment decision, do not only solely look at the PSF but the size and layout efficient play important factor especially you are comparing against different condominium.

Comparison of 2 bedrooms between SSL and Sentral Suites

Comparison of 3 bedrooms between SSL and Sentral Suites

From the table mix of composition of Sentral Suites @ KL Sentral, more than 60% or 878 units are below 1,000sqft and therefore the price should be below RM1m. This also means from absolute pricing and layout configuration POV, these units are not with direct competition with any of the residential condos within KL Sentral. Even for type C and D, the 3 bedrooms in SSL are much pricier due to absolute size and unless you could accept 20years old Suasana Sentral post 2021, Sentral Suites @ KL Sentral will be preferred choice for buyers and tenants who are looking for brand new apartment.

Unit type Built Up, sqft Configuration No ouf Units Total Unit %
A 652 1BR + 1 Bath 270 430 30%
Corner A 724 1+1BR + 1 Bath 131
A1 653 1BR + 1 Bath 5
Corner A1 762 1+1BR + 1 Bath 24
B 826 2BR + 2 Bath 327
B1 858 2BR + 2 Bath 96 448 31%
B2 812 2BR + 2 Bath 25
C 1138 3BR + 3 Bath 138 347 24%
Corner C 1025 3BR + 3 Bath 209
D 1166 3BR + 3 Bath 209 209 15%

Given that booking rate was over 700units out of 976 units offered for tower 1 & 3 with RM550million confirmed sales with SPA signed, MRCB is optimistic and plan to launch tower 2 on 20.May.2017. In PROPCAFE’S view, MRCB is saving the last for the best as this Tower 2 will not only enjoy unobstructed view to KL Skyline but for the low floors, they will also enjoy the idyllic pool view.

Scale model of overall KL Sentral in the Sentral Suites @ KL Sentral Sales Gallery

The Sentral Suites @ KL Sentral sales gallery located along Jalan Tun Sambathan, next to the open carpark. The GPS coordinates is 3’08’06.7N 101’41’21.3E or follow the google map by clicking The Sentral Suites @ KL Sentral sales gallery

Sales Gallery
Lot 74, Jalan Tun Sambanthan,
Seksyen 70, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Email: sentralsuites@mrcb.com

T: +603-27277510

View and Orientation of Sentral Suites

Sentral Suites @ KL Sentral may located at the fringe of KL Sentral but so far it didn’t stop the interest from prospect buyers even at current property market where developers are struggling to sell unlike the heyday 2009-2012. Aside of the future development Lot J and YTL’s land opposite the YMCA, KL Sentral lacks of prime available land and this make Sentral Suites @ KL Sentral as interest proposition investment. Oh well do not forgot this is leasehold status development which can be a bump for purchasers.

Chill and have cuppa of coffee! Happy Investing Folks!

From Intern of PROPCAFE

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