TAMAN Melawati, located in Ulu Klang, Gombak district, has come a long way from a rubber plantation in the 1970s to become one of the most sought-after addresses in Kuala Lumpur.
It has not only attracted the growing middle-income group since its transformation into a matured housing area, but as of late, many ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) and expatriates have also called Taman Melawati their home.
About 40 years ago, the land in Taman Melawati was mostly occupied by the Hawthornton Estate, which at one point in the early 1900s was owned by Loke Yew.
The 364ha township, located about 15 minutes from the Golden Triangle area, was launched in the mid-1970s. It was positioned to be a tranquil residential park set against dramatic landscape features at the city limits.
The Klang Gates Quartz Ridge is now the great backdrop of Taman Melawati, which is indeed Kuala Lumpur’s best kept secret.
Also benefiting from the world’s largest quartz dyke that spans 16km long and 200m wide and soars to 380m are the neighbouring Desa Melawati and Taman Melati, located adjacent to the Middle Ring Road 2.
There are several viewpoints in Taman Melawati that show visitors sights of Ampang Hills, Genting Highlands and Lagong Hills.
Some people are moving to Taman Melawati, Desa Melawati or Taman Melati just to be a part of this harmonious natural offering.
As demand builds up, some developers are launching new developments, especially in Desa Melawati, and leveraging on nature as a selling point for their projects.
Because of the rapid developments taking place in the past few years the prices of older houses there have risen.
A double-storey terraced house is fetching around RM1 million today.
Sime Darby Property Bhd, the leader in developing sustainable communities, is developing an integrated development called KL East in Desa Melawati, an established housing enclave.
The 62ha project with a gross development value (GDV) of RM2 billion comprises residential, lifestyle and commercial components.
It is the only development in the city with a facility dedicated to rainforest regeneration and the promotion of sustainable living.
More than 50 per cent of the development comprises green open space. This includes the KL East Eco Park that covers 21.5ha.
Among the offerings at KL East Eco Park are view points and jungle trekking.
Sime Darby Property KL East head of development Mohd Shahreza Maswan said the company was trying to leverage on the uniqueness of the site to sell KL East properties.
“It is a hillside development, but we try to develop it in such a way that we do not touch the key profile of the area. This means we will not develop slopes that are too steep. We will only develop the valleys or the foot of the hills. We will keep the steep area as it is,” he said.
According to Shahreza, more and more people nowadays are dedicated to leading a very healthy lifestyle.
“These are the people who would appreciate the forest and greeneries that can be utilised for their outdoor activities, yet at the same time they want to live within an urbanised set-up,” he said.
Shahreza said Sime Darby Properties aimed to work together with the KL East community to maintain and upkeep the trail in the future.
“We want to ensure that we can educate the younger generation here to understand why it is important to maintain and preserve the forest. Yes, of course we cannot run away from modernisation, but we can maintain the value of nature,” he said.
The whole KL East project is expected to be completed by 2025.
Currently, it was 30 per cent developed, said Shahreza, adding that the development was also located about 800m away from the Gombak Integrated Transport Terminal (GITT).
The first phase of the KL East project is The Veo, featuring two 30-storey residential towers with 350 stylish condominiums units (studios, three-bedroom units or duplexes with private decks).
Owners have a choice of two equally impressive and breathtaking views of either the world’s longest quartz ridge or the Kuala Lumpur city skyline.
The Veo won two awards at the Southeast Asia Property Awards 2014 for Best Mid-Range Condo Development in Central Malaysia and Best Residential Interior Design.
It has recorded more than 85 per cent take-up rate and those who bought are expected to get their keys in September this year.
KL East’s second phase is called The Quarza, an integrated development with serviced apartment and a mall.
The Quarza comprises two 37-storey residential towers (Tower A & B) with a total of 508 units.
Tower A, launched in May last year, is 60 per cent sold, while Tower B will open for sale early next year.
The unit in Tower A, which comes with fully-fitted kitchen, ranges between 651 sq ft and 865 sq ft. Prices start from RM536,888 to RM846,888.
The GDV for the two towers, including the mall, is RM700 million.
Shahreza said The Quarza was catered for young families, young professionals, investors and downscalers (retirees who look for smaller space to live in).
He said for the third phase, Sime Darby Property would launch another residential project adjacent to The Veo in the fourth quarter of next year.
He said Phase 3 would be unique as it would be a residential development with a resort concept, with 350 condominium units.
For the higher-end market in Desa Melawati, there is Sunway Montana, a prestigious freehold gated and guarded development by Sunway Property located just opposite KL East.
Sunway Montana is a low density development with a GDV of RM590 million.
It comprises 158 units of three- and four-storey country houses, 14 units of three-storey semi-detached houses, and 10 units of three-storey courtyard villas.
The country homes have built-up areas ranging from 2,392 sq ft to 2,774 sq ft, while the semi-detached units have a land area of about 3,627 sq ft and a built-up of about 4,166 sq ft to 4,340 sq ft and consist of five bedrooms and five bathrooms.
The courtyard villas have land areas of around 2,153 sq ft with built-up areas ranging from 3,548 sq ft to 3,674 sq ft. These units come with five bedrooms and six bathrooms.
Buyers purchased Sunway Montana properties as they were attracted to the design, layout and landscaped garden.
Sunway Montana offers a 5.67ha private forest equipped with outdoor recreational facilities such as the skywalk.
The development prides itself as 60 per cent green, with only five units of houses per 0.4ha on average.
Another highlight of this development is its RM10 million 19,000 sq ft LEED Platinum clubhouse, which comes with a function room, gourmet kitchen, swimming pool, yoga room, karaoke room, gymnasium and viewing deck.
CONVENIENCE AND ACCESSIBILITY
• In terms of accessibility, Desa Melawati is connected to the Ampang-KL Elevated Highway (AKLEH) that heads to the Kuala Lumpur city centre.
• The area is also linked to Duta-Ulu Kelang Expressway (DUKE) that takes motorists to Federal Highway, NKVE and ELITE; Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2); Shah Alam Expressway (KESAS) connecting the major industrial and residential areas within Klang Valley; Kuala Lumpur-Karak Expressway heading to the East Coast; and Sungai Besi-Ulu Kelang Elevated Expressway (SUKE).
• With the upcoming Setiawangsa Pantai Expressay (SPE) , Desa Melawati will also have direct links to major developments in Kuala Lumpur. This includes the Tun Razak Exchange, Bukit Bintang City Centre and Bandar Malaysia.
• Several hospitals are located nearby Desa Melawati. They include Damai Service Hospital, Hospital Angkatan Tentera Tuanku Mizan, Columbia Asia Hospital, Ampang Putri Specialist Hospital and Gleneagles Hospital.
• Education institutions include Islamic International University Malaysia, Islamic International School, International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL), TAR University College, Malaysia Institute of Art (MIA), Consist College, Saudi School Kuala Lumpur and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.
• Residents of Desa Melawati can enjoy easy access to shopping malls, supermarkets and hypermarkets, namely Giant Hypermarket, Festival Mall, Wangsa Walk Mall, AEON Big and AEON AU2.