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Most challenging urban renewal project by YTL

   
The facade of the old Sentul workshop which will be retained as part of the urban renewal project by YTL Land in Sentul.
The Star, 22 April 2002

A MULTI-BILLION world-class mixed property development will finally be built in the little but bustling Sentul suburbs with the revival of the stalled Sentul Raya project by property developer YTL Land & Development Bhd.

Under its newly unveiled Sentul Masterplan, the group promises to develop a 294-acre prime land which would be effectively split in half by an existing Sentul KTM Commuter station and its tracks forming two precincts – the 186-acre Sentul West and the 108-acre Sentul East.

The project, which is slated for completion over the next seven to eight years, is expected to house about 50,000 residents across a total of 7,000 residential units spread over 117.6 ha, including over 14 ha of private fenced park. It will also include commercial and retail units.

The condominiums and apartment units, for example, are expected to be priced mostly over RM200,000 each, with the first-phase Tamarind Court to be launched next month.

YTL Corp Bhd managing director Tan Sri Francis Yeoh said: “We are fully set to take up the challenge of transforming Sentul into a well-renowned address similar to what we have done to Bintang Walk, Pantai Hill Park and Pangkor Laut previously.’’

“In fact, I believe Sentul East and Sentul West will in the future evolve into well sought-after residential locations like Soho or Central Park in New York,’’ he said at the unveiling of the Sentul Masterplan in Kuala Lumpur.

Yeoh has also described the Sentul Raya project as a difficult project to revive as the previous concession holder of the privatisation project had to guarantee the government RM17mil per year regardless of the economic situation in the country.

“I consider it timely to revive the project now as the economic environment looks more promising and people appear to be more confident in making investments,’’ he added.

According to Yeoh, YTL Land & Development, which is a subsidiary of YTL Corp, would look into the revival of Sentul as an urban renewal project which acknowledges business gains without sacrificing the downtown culture, the accessibility of urbanisation and the draw of life within the inner city – i.e. staying true to its heritage.

“Too often, city development projects in most countries are focused on decentralisation and relocating the whole communities, thus risking the danger of thinning and ultimate loss of city activity and identity.’’

Yeoh pointed out that “What we will develop in the massive Sentul area is about eight times bigger than our Pantai Hill Park project.’’

Referring to the life in Sentul West precinct for potential residents, he said YTL Land plannned to develop 14 ha as Malaysia’s first private gated park accessible exclusively to its residents. “We want to bring a country garden to town whereby the park, which is the size of St James Park in London, is also the largest private gated park in the country.’’

From the existing nine-hole golf course, the developer plans to convert it into a matured park with the landscape style of 18th century English gardens. “Many questioned our motive for converting the golf course into a park as it is a well-known fact that property with golf course view will catch higher value not only in Malaysia but also worldwide,’’ he said.

In YTL Land & Development case, Yeoh said: “We want to allow the residents of Sentul to savour a healthy environment although it is expensive to plant more trees.”

As Sentul Park is largely bordered by condominium developments, the intention was to provide a seamless continuation of the park into the condominium property where residents would have uninterrupted views of the park. The Sentul Park will comprise the South Gardens, West Fields, Central Lake, East Fields and Festival Plaza.

The Central Lake, for example, would have an island created with a slight expansion of the lake and the existing forested peninsula exaggerated. The amenities for this area are strongly influenced by the existing features onsite, including Forest Walk, Bird Island and Camp Ground, the Boat House and an Entertainment Lawn and Pavilion.

As for the East Fields section of the park, it comprises mainly three large fields that are ringed by tree-lined avenues.

Commenting on Festival Plaza, Yeoh said the focal point of this area would be an ex-Sentul workshop left behind from the days of Sentul Works that inspired great potential to serve the immediate park community.

“This area can also be considered as a transit area for people as they walk towards Station Square proposes to carry outdoor cafes and dining, bookshops and other retail outlets set within the building that is partly modified to incorporate outdoor gardens, weekend art and craft markets,’’ he added.

According to Yeoh, there would be 4,000 luxury condo units bordering the park and the residences here can potentially house up to 20,000 people.

Meanwhile, Sentul East precinct would continue to retain its colourful heritage with a blend of the traditional and the modern Sentul town. Lofts and other residences with open architecture overlook will spice shops, hypermarkets, cafes and even “kopitiams”.

At the core of Sentul East is the tree-lined boulevard of Jalan Sentul as well as an elevated pedestrian skywalk is a distinct feature of Sentul East that connects one end of pedestrian link beginning from Station Square up to Sentul Timur Light Railway Transit Station.

With the anticipated increase of the new activity nodes within Sentul West and Sentul East, YTL Land & Development has also taken into consideration the expected increase in the volume of traffic as the existing road, infrastructure and facilities which would not able to accommodate future needs.

The connectivity for Sentul includes Sentul KTM Commuter, the direct link to KL International Airport in Sepang via KL Sentral from Sentul Timur STAR LRT as well as the proposed Mahameru Highway linking Jalan Mahameru to Jalan Perhentian.

Yeoh commented, “With everything well in place for the development of Sentul, we strongly believe our dream for Sentul will shortly come true, making it yet another successful hallmark under the YTL group.





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