Streetscapes: Jalan Setia Bakti shops in Bukit Damansara holding their own

This article first appeared in City & Country, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on July 26, 2021 - August 01, 2021.
The ground floor units enjoy a healthy occupancy, and are mostly occupied by F&B outlets (Photo by Mohd Shahrin Yahya/The Edge)

The ground floor units enjoy a healthy occupancy, and are mostly occupied by F&B outlets (Photo by Mohd Shahrin Yahya/The Edge)

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Despite the limited parking, the row of six three-storey shops in Jalan Setia Bakti, Bukit Damansara, is home to some popular restaurants. On the ground floor are outlets such as Asian Kitchen by Decanter, Ahh-Yum By Kampung Kravers, Smith Breads & Café, and DV Ristorante Pizzeria.

The row of shops, commonly known as Plaza Damansara 2, is located in the peaceful, upmarket neighbourhood of Bukit Damansara, or Damansara Heights. Its sister development Plaza Damansara 1, on Jalan Medan Setia 1 and Jalan Medan Setia 2, has many popular fine-dining eateries, cafes, bars and pubs.

In addition to the F&B outlets, other tenants on this row include Damansara Heights Dental Centre, T32 Dental Academy, Synapse Physiotherapy, women-only gym Curves as well as offices such as BCM Consulting and Karpal Singh & Co.

According to Savills Malaysia group managing director Datuk Paul Khong, the shops are doing relatively well. “They enjoy an above-average occupancy, with their ground floors well occupied mostly with F&B outlets. There are a few upper-floor units available for rent, with asking rents of about RM5,500 for an intermediate unit of 1,173 sq ft,” he says.

A typical intermediate unit here has a land area of 1,873 sq ft and built-up of about 4,730 sq ft, whereas the corner units have a slightly larger land area of about 2,250 sq ft and a bigger built-up of about 5,550 sq ft, notes Khong.

He says there are currently no units available for sale.

(Photo by Mohd Shahrin Yahya/The Edge)

According to reports, Plaza Damansara was originally built in the 1980s by Syarikat Perumahan Pegawai Kerajaan, which was held by the Minister of Finance Inc (MoF Inc) and Island & Peninsular Bhd (I&P) on a 29.91% and 70.09% basis respectively. I&P, a subsidiary of Permodalan Nasional Bhd, subsequently bought over MoF Inc’s stake.

Khong says the last transaction recorded at this row of shops was a bulk purchase that was concluded in December 2018. “Five contiguous units were acquired at RM25 million collectively, translating to RM5 million per unit. The transactions were all made between PNB and Nuswarna Sdn Bhd,” he says.

As for the surrounding residential landscape, the majority of the houses in the area — specifically along Jalan Setia Bakti as well as from Jalan Setia Bakti 1 to Jalan Setia Bakti 10 — are two-storey semidees. There are also a few individually designed two- and three-storey bungalows.

“House prices in the area have been relatively stable over the past three to four years,” says Khong. 

He points out that well-maintained semidees have recorded transacted prices of between RM3 million and RM3.5 million, depending on land size, property condition and built-up area. “For instance, a well-maintained two-storey semidee with a land area of 4,340 sq ft and built-up area of 2,015 sq ft was transacted at RM3.45 million in mid-2019.”