There are many dumb developers in the Klang Valley. I don't have to leave my apartment far to spot them. The couple of them within walking distance more than qualify to receive my medal of ridicule.
Citta Mall is one of the first among them. Malaysian weather is so hot and humid, the complex is not air-conditioned, yet the place has not been designed for air flows. No wonder it is still more than half empty even though it has been around for many years already. The developer also doesn’t seem to understand the word “catchment”. It is not pedestrian friendly to the residents nearby, who are basically their market. The surroundings are full of potholes, wild grasses and dangerous culverts. The tunnel at the Ara Damansara-Saujana Resort looks like a dungeon. One with common sense would have caused the authority to clean up the place for it to stream visitors through. Someone told me that it is owned by Lee Ka Shing; can you believe that?
The new addition is Nova Saujana. The condominium looks impressive enough. Its ground level houses Hero Supermarket and a Chinese restaurant. There are still a few shoplots waiting to be tenanted. But OMG, how do you go there? The developer must be some kind of armchair entrepreneur. Or have they just depended on their more dumb planners and architects to tell them what to build?
The Saujana Resort or Ara Damansara precincts are their logical market catchment. But I won't risk my life to walk there. Sure, one can always drive there, but the one kilometre journey might take you more than half-an-hour, thanks to the gridlock traffic condition that you often see along this stretch of Subang airport road! Bodoh, really!
And a little down the road is Hijauan Saujana, a massive apartment complex which has just been completed. The only way in-and-out of the complex is through a dual carriage but single lane underpass that leads to the only thoroughfare in Suajana Resort. Can’t imagine the situation when the units are more taken up.
A little further is ‘Evolve”. It is still thinly occupied. Let’s wait until it is more occupied to see how it is going to screw up the narrow road that serves such a development! No wonder it is named ‘Evolve’!
But the ‘dumbest of all the dumbs’ honour should go to the mighty Sime Darby. Its Ara Damansara township offers the best ‘How Not To Build’ lesson in property development. Roads have been badly planned and you have pockets of commercial blocks here and there. Most have ended up as automotive service shops! And rubbish are piling up everywhere.
Maybe these developers did not have to use their own money. The money must have come easy from their “Ah Kongs”.