At GoodPlace, I get the opportunity to work with some of the biggest players in Malaysia property, but I’ve always had a soft spot for the smaller, “boutique” developers.
It’s because behind each of these smaller developers and their projects, there’s always a remarkable story to be told.
In the case of Rimbun, it’s the story of Datuk PK Poh and his quest to build one of the most defining upmarket condominiums in the country located in perhaps one of the most distinguished locations in Kuala Lumpur.
Datuk Poh is a veteran in Malaysia property, having led the Dijaya Corporation (now Tropicana Corporation) as its CEO for donkey years, and Rimbun is shaping up to be his tour-de-force of his career, despite what he has already achieved in the industry.
I had met Datuk Poh at Starbucks, Jaya One a couple of months ago, and his passion and enthusiasm were unmistakable. We had a good chat for more than an hour where he shared his backstory, and how his educational background in Singapore (complete with the shenanigans that he pulled at college!) led to a long, storied career in Malaysia property which culminated with Rimbun.
I am writing this review because Rimbun is good stuff, and It deserves nothing less than spectacular success. So, I’m doing my bit in giving it some GoodPlace lovin’ – simply because it deserves it.
Despite my well-documented love for KLCC condos, given a choice of where I’d want to live in the city, I’d probably choose the Embassy Row. Why? Pretty simple… it’s about five minutes away from KLCC, and yet it’s also one of the greener areas in the city. Also, the fact that it’s populated with embassies and upmarket properties that it’s a pretty distinguished address – maybe even more so than KLCC.
Not All Luxury Properties Are Equally Luxurious
Any two-bit poser can lease a BMW to impress his family, friends and mother-in-law. The true blue big-time baller would probably roll in a Bentley, or a Bugatti.
Flashy real estate is just like flashy cars – not all are the same. As any seasoned Malaysia property professional will tell you, the word “luxury” has been misused to represent anything from the most upmarket KLCC condo to a derelict-looking pangsapuri tucked inside the slums of Segambut Dalam (cough, North Kiara, cough). The trick is to know the legit players from the pretenders.
Don’t be fooled by high prices quoted on per sq ft basis: a shoebox apartment of 300 sq ft with a price tag of $2,000 per sq ft is about as luxurious as a knockoff Prada from Petaling Street. Instead, you’ll need to look at two things – the total (i.e. not per sq ft) price and the density factor. If it’s so cheap that any joker on the dole can afford it, and if it’s packed like the freakin’ Kowloon Walled City then it’s not “luxury” no matter how they try to spin it. Don’t get suckered!
With a price tag of at least $4.25 million per pop and only 56 units spread over 17 floors (or two units per floor), Rimbun is as luxurious as the Pope is Catholic. At that price, you can be sure that your deadbeat uncle won’t be moving in anytime soon, and with such a low density factor (increasingly rare among city condominiums), you’ll probably not see your neighbour more than twice a year (which can be a good or bad thing depending on your personal preferences).
Rimbun has been previously covered at our sister site PropertyReviews.my, and so I won’t go into the details of the sizes and configurations as such (click here). Rather, here’s an addendum to that review with new updates since the publication of that review:
- It’s one of the few projects which are truly “green” – it has been provisionally awarded the Green Mark Gold Plus Certification by Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority (BCA)
- Sliding sunscreens which shade you from the sun without affecting the ventilation
- Carbon monoxide sensors in the car park to detect potentially toxic fumes
- “Gentle” ramps which are designed for low-slung sports cars
- Every unit has its own private lift and foyer. Guests have separate lifts and lobbies
- High ceiling (my favourite feature!) at 3.75m (or 12.4 ft)
- Building footprint occupies less than half of the total land area. The rest are dedicated to landscaping, recreational facilities and open spaces
What I Think
Compared to mainstream, mass market development companies, boutique developers in Malaysia are a somewhat different kettle of fish altogether. Smaller in size with a different focus of types of projects and target market, they are forced to be more adaptive to the needs of the buyers and nimble.
Of course, this is not an indictment of the bigger players in one way or the other. Far from it! Being a big, branded developer has the advantage of being seen as established, consistent and reliable – and the importance of these factors in the eyes of the buyer simply cannot be overstated.
On the other hand, there’s no shortage of dodgy boutique developers which sell iffy “serviced apartments” built on awkwardly shaped tracts of land in the slummier parts of the city. These condos probably are as solidly built as my two-year-old son’s birthday Lego set. Really, I wouldn’t dream of touching those with a stolen ten-foot pole.
For a boutique player like Datuk Poh which has got no “big developer” brand to capitalize on, there’s only one way to “sell” his wares – by delivering a stellar product with kick-butt features and extra trimmings to make even the most jaded upmarket property connoisseur drool. And I have come to believe that with Rimbun, he has completely knocked it out of the park.
If you’re interested to find out more about Rimbun, I can connect you with Datuk Poh himself for a personalized briefing and a tour of the property. Just let me know.