Picture this — the best shopping complexes, hip and urban serviced apartments, exquisite fine-dining restaurants, and corporate offices, all neatly-tied up in a luxurious package, located in a thriving and an established community?
Sorry to burst your bubble, but Setiawalk is NOT that, unfortunately. Yes, it might be one of the venerable SP Setia’s flagship projects, but while it’s rather passable as an integrated development, there’s lots left to be desired in many ways. First, some disclaimer: GoodPlace’s office is here, but we receive no financial incentives from this review directly or indirectly (we are renting!).
Now let’s cover some groundwork. Setiawalk is located in Pusat Bandar Puchong. The Puchong vicinity is a well-received township, with a population of some 250,000 (and growing rather rapidly too – look at the traffic buildup on LDP every morning at 7am).
Setiawalk’s mixed-development theme is relatively a new one for this side of town, and it’s is definitely leading the way in making Puchong the latest to-go destination because of its commercial establishments and serviced apartments. We are seeing this trend catching up in greater KL and also in Penang (see our real estate predictions for the island state); as more Malaysians are getting fed up with the traffic congestion (let’s face it – getting stuck on the roads for 2 1/2 hours every day sucks mega donkey balls) there will be HUGE demand for these property types. You hear this first at GoodPlace.my. 😉
Setiawalk is made up of corporate offices, retail and shopping complexes, restaurants and cafes, an entertainment complex, and serviced apartments. It is built on a massive freehold land which measures at an impressive twenty-plus acres. Divided into 336 office spaces and 170 retail shops and units, these are split into 85 staggering blocks of four, six, and seven-storey shop offices. There are also a small handful of SoHo units – one of which is occupied by GoodPlace (come pay us a visit!).
Strategically nestled on elevated ground are Setiawalk’s serviced apartments. These are: Solace, Brio, Vio, and Trigon — all of which have good views of the Setiawalk’s not-too-bustling commercial area, situated around a rather nicely manicured park. We like the park. Shame about the shops.
Solace, Brio and Trio are serviced apartments have built-up areas that range from 845 to 1,387 square feet. Apartment units are 759 in total, including SoHo units, which measured at 1,500 square feet. The latest addition to the Setiawalk serviced residents is the Trigon. A serviced apartment with 28 storeys, its expected date of completion is estimated to be in 2014.
Some rather nice amenities, of course, are readily made available for its residents. They include a wading pool, fountains, water jets, sand dunes, and a cascading waterfall. Adding a dramatic touch are modern sculptures that line the serviced apartments’ entrances and lobbies. They may seen as pretentious and over-compensating to some… but they are quite nicely done. Reminds me somewhat of those sculptures outside some Mont Kiara condominiums. Really. 😉
Layouts for the serviced apartments are as follows: 845 square feet, 1,007 square feet, 1,096 square feet, and 1,396 square feet. Residents are given one to three parking slots on its covered parking bays.
Average for sale prices for these serviced apartments range from RM520 per square feet, listed back in March 2013 – this might have increased marginally by 10+% since then. Check the listings at your favourite property portal. We like iProperty. It’s one of the best property classifieds website in Malaysia, right up there with Property Guru, Prop Wall and Star Property. Until we come up with our own listings service, that is. *wink*
Eating, Drinking & Frolicking @Setiawalk
Puchongites definitely know how to get their fill of fun. 😉 Setiawalk boasts of a large entertainment complex that a brand new cinema (TGV – the Beanieplex!), a small-ish but functional gym, restaurants and cafes, and a karaoke lounge is rumored to come in soon.
The retail outlets are all seem to be pretty inactive, and the saving grace are (some of the) restaurants and the watering holes. Yes, pubs are doing well here, and Setiawalk is fast getting the reputation of being the numero uno drinking place in Puchong, beating the nearby IOI Boulevard by nearly a mile… hallelujah! Brussels Beer Cafe is hands down the best of the lot; the Hoegaarden Rosee brew is hard to beat. The Beer Factory is also a top choice with a rather nice ambience with its “industrial factory” design. The others: 3 Wise Monkeys, Horoscope and Myhome Pub are rather off-the-mill, although Muzeum has got some pretty good lunch deals (chicken chop for RM7.90). Fancy a game of darts? Head on to iDarts Gold in Block C. Want to shoot some balls? Try Lucky World Snooker in Block A.
Food-wise, the choices are rather ho-hum. Amelio is somewhat like Brotzeit with its pork-laden menu (and the price tag to boot without the ambience). Cafe Barbera serves fine pasta, but seems to be somewhat empty most of the time, while Padi House is rocking it despite a derivative menu offering pretty much everything under the sun. There’s also a nice burger joint “Gourmet Burger Kitchen” which serves rather tasty burgers (say that in a Samuel L Jackson voice) but is somewhat off the beaten path on the first floor. In the last few months, at least two makan places went out of business – notably Sharetea despite occupying one of the best spots in the whole of Setiawalk, and another coffee-and-bubble-tea joint which is now replaced by My Sweet Hut. If you’re craving for your Chatime-style bubble tea drink then your best bet is Ding Tea which unfortunately faces “outwards” to the LDP unlike the others.
The retail scene is, sadly, quite non-existent. BATA closed its outlet here about two months back. Some small-time boutiques (with names as generic as Elizabeth Boutique, 5s Boutique, Irene & Jojo) line up the ground floor of Block C offering the usual Sungei Wang fare. There’s a guitar shop in Block C with a friendly shopkeeper who would dispense six-string advice to whoever who visits the shop – no matter if you’re there only to get a bottle of polish or a pick.
Celebrity Fitness in the “Setia Mall” wing is nice although somewhat small – if you’re here after 5pm be prepared to jostle for weights and benches. If you’re a workout buff and you thrive on your daily concoction of creatine, DMAA-laden Jack3d and whey protein shakes then The Muscle Factory has just opened up an outlet here in the D Block.
GoodPlace.MY’s Take: Yay or Nay?
We have developed a love-hate relationship with this place ever since we moved in here. This place is literally five minutes from where we live, and since we now don’t have to get stuck in the daily LDP crawl we have been able to crank out reviews like this on GoodPlace.my more frequently. 😉 But if we don’t live in Puchong, we don’t think we are that interested to come here. #truestory
First, the positives. Apart from its location, we like the integrated development concept, and the overall layout is done very well indeed with a nicely landscaped park and water features. F&B choices are ample (but not superior), and the choices of pubs are excellent if you’re in the company of drinkers.
But sadly, apart from its pubs and some eateries, Setiawalk has not been able to develop the retail part of the development – possibly because the lack of an anchor tenant. (UPDATE: APRIL 2014 – previously there were “RedTick coming soon” banners put up at the Mall, but those have been removed. Nobody’s sure if they’re still coming or not… but we do need a grocer here, desperately.)
Additionally, many of the office lots are not rented out – just look at the property agent banners plastered all over the place. Eyesore.
Also, some tenants have been complaining about the noise from the drinking holes – but come on, fellas… what do you expect living in a mixed development like this? You want the retail convenience and the occasional drunken night out with your buddies at the pubs just at your doorstep, but peace and quiet at other times? You can’t have your cake and eat it too, you know. 🙂
Setiawalk also suffers from some other niggling problems:-
- Broadband is, for a lack of an apt term, shit. You can’t get Unifi here. Maxis owns the “final mile” which means that you’re pretty much stuck with what they have got to offer, which means that you’ll have to pay over-the-top prices for comparatively slow connections. Why let one telco monopolize an entire area? It’s a bad deal for everyone, except maybe for Maxis. And while I am at it, the customer service at Maxis (for broadband solutions) is exceptionally bad. Our line went down for seven days before they sent an engineer over. Worst. Telco. Ever. (UPDATE: APRIL 2014 – we are finally wired up with an 8Mb broadband line. Performance reviews later.)
- The car park is rather badly designed with lots of blind spots; as one of the tenants quipped to me recently – “accidents are just waiting to happen.” Also, the layout seems to encourage drivers to break the rules and turn into wrong lanes for some reason. And don’t get me started on the dumping grounds which also happen to be in the car park next to each lift – which means that visitors will get to inhale the putrid smell while they wait for the lift. Why, oh why?
- Lifts are dodgy. They break more often than usual. Quite dirty at times, too.
Bottom line:- SP Setia should focus only building up the retail / office part of the development. And of course, fix the broadband / car park/ lift problem!
Setiawalk holds much promise, and mixed development properties like this will increase the vicinity’s value, as well as put them on the map as being one of the places-to-be for entertainment, fun, and modern living. But it’s not perfect… far from it.