With Kuala Lumpur booming on the Southeast Asia property scene, there’s never been a better time to get your foot in the door. And by door, we mean one of the luxury sky-rises shooting up around the city as developers flock to transform the skyline of the bustling Malaysian capital.
Those shopping around will likely already know of 8 Conlay, one of the brand new developments in Kuala Lumpur, an integrated high-res located in the heart of the city. Designed by celebrity designer Kelly Hoppen and Hong Kong-based architect Steve Leung, the luxury accommodation consists of three towers atop a four-storey lifestyle retail podium, and has the distinction of harboring the first and only five-star Kempinski Hotel in Malaysia as well as the world’s tallest twisted twin residential housing branded serviced residences, YOO8 serviced by Kempinski.
What else makes this property a truly unique addition to KL? We chat to Joanne Kua, Chief Executive Officer of KSK Group (the Malaysian lifestyle property developer of 8 Conlay), to dig deeper into the concept and inspiration behind the landmark project.
Tell us a bit about the background of 8 Conlay and the motivation behind this development.
8 Conlay is the inaugural development of KSK Land, a Malaysian lifestyle property developer with the vision to craft bespoke properties that prioritise design, craftsmanship and lifestyle. Scheduled to open by the end of 2020, this integrated development is located on nearly four acres of freehold land in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, consisting of three towers atop a four-storey lifestyle retail podium, featuring the first and only five-star Kempinski Hotel in Malaysia and the world’s tallest twisted twin residential towers devoted exclusively to branded serviced residences called YOO8 serviced by Kempinski.
Branded residences are a level above typical premium residences, a splice between a high-end condominium and a luxury hotel that caters to every whim, fancy and need of the resident. 8 Conlay is not a traditional building. We are designing for the future, and wanted to create something unique that will not fade over time. We wanted a building that is timeless. We wanted to create a building with architecture that is liveable.
What makes KL’s market primed for this opening? Is there major demand for luxury residences offering this shared experience?
There is an upward trend of high net worth individuals globally forecasted to rise by 22% over the next four years according to a 2019 Wealth Report by Knight Frank. As global wealth creation expands, the demand for luxury branded residences in key market centres such as Kuala Lumpur will undoubtedly rise.
At the YOO8 residences, the concept of building vertical communities will promote community relations amongst the residents through the facilities floors by Trop, liveable architecture that stands in time and the ‘confluential’ experience of 8 Conlay Kempinski connecting local experiences to locals and foreigners alike.
Luxury residences have long term value and are considered safer investments. The global recognition of the brand attached to luxury branded residences provides a sense of security in the investment.
How is 8 Conlay set to elevate the art of living for its residents?
The idea is that you walk into 8 Conlay and into YOO8 and everything is there, ready for you. It is like entering a Kempinski suite, but the suite belongs to you. Services are at your beck and call. Time is the most important luxury these days. So everything in our project has been thought out to be the most convenient for the buyer, so they can focus on the luxury of time.
The lifestyle at YOO8 Serviced by Kempinski is about the power of placemaking. Placemaking is a way we bring areas forward. It’s about watching people designing their own homes, creating new hubs, a world where people share similar aspirations.
Tell us about some of the main selling points of the development.
8 Conlay is an ambitious mixed-used development that will be the world’s tallest twisted twin residential towers in the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Triangle. Three towers will pierce the skyline when the project is complete – two of which are branded residences – anchored by a base of ‘lifestyle retail quarters’.
Exclusive design concepts mark the identities of the two branded residences — Hong Kong-based Steve Leung brings his Asian aesthetic to Tower A while British celebrity designer Kelly Hoppen’s creative handprint can be seen in Tower B. This gives potential buyers a wide range of options to choose a home from, a home that really suits them and their individual sensibilities.
For example, as Leung’s style is evocative of a modern urban space as well as a tranquil retreat, YOO8 Tower A exudes a sense of calm, bringing together the best of modern design and refined city living. With interiors designed to reflect Leung’s two exclusive concepts, Wood and Water, YOO8 Tower A’s 564 serviced residences range from 700 sq. ft. to 1,308 sq. ft. across 61 floors, setting a retail benchmark of RM3,283 per sq. ft.
Radiating timeless elegance and Hoppen’s quintessentially English style, YOO8 Tower B appeals to the inner cosmopolitan with its understated glamour and aesthetic vision of leisure and luxury. With interiors designed to reflect the South African-born designer’s linear style in two exclusive concepts, Spring and Urban, YOO8 Tower B’s 498 serviced residences range from 705 sq ft to 1,328 sq ft across 56 floors, setting a retail benchmark of RM3,370 per sq ft.
Kempinski will anchor the experience of living in YOO8. Beloved for its unrelenting dedication to luxury, the German luxury hospitality brand will bring its impeccable level of service to all units – completing the name of the brand: YOO8, serviced by Kempinski.
The final tower of 8 Conlay will also be a Kempinski – the first Kempinski hotel in Malaysia, itself with its own residences component. All the hallmarks of Kempinski will be present – including its ambassador extraordinaire ‘Lady in Red’, the sybaritic Kempinski spa and the local ethos that colours its service and experience.
What are the most unique factors that makes 8 Conlay different from other luxury residences?
8 Conlay will be the tallest twisted twin residential towers in Malaysia (when completed), spanning across 3.95 acres of commercial and freehold land. A mixed-use integrated development with a gross development value of RM5.4 billion, 8 Conlay differentiates itself from what is ‘perceived’ to be competition.
The branded residences at 8 Conlay called YOO8 serviced by Kempinski features not one but two power brands — international design studio YOO founded by John Hitchcox and Philippe Starck and Europe’s oldest and most established hotel group, Kempinski.
The property’s two residential towers feature interior concepts exclusively designed by Steve Leung & YOO and Kelly Hoppen for YOO, as well as landscape architecture by TROP Studio. The branded residences will provide luxury in-house services by the adjoining five-star Kempinski Hotel. While the retail lifestyle quarters will complete the bespoke lifestyle experience.
What other major trends are you seeing in KL’s property market? Are you planning additional developments in the area?
Kuala Lumpur is now one of the destinations to ‘watch’, being selected as one of ’52 Places to go in 2020’ by the New York Times, while there is a rise in the number of expatriates, with Malaysia ranked as the 9th best destination for expatriates to live and work in, according to The Expat Insider 2019 Survey.
The potential for KL’s property market is limitless, with the rapid on-going infrastructure development over the years focused in Kuala Lumpur city resulting in more connectivity and accessibility inbound to the city and within the city and its surrounding areas. The future high-speed rail project linking Malaysia to Singapore enables a seamless and a shorter travel time (90 minutes from KL to Singapore) and the expansion of the Mass Rapid Transit lines. The improved connectivity will enable businesses to be more productive and access a broader market place, spurring urbanisation.
The next future project will be in a strategic area in Kuala Lumpur and will reveal more details of the development in the future.
What do you think people are looking for as far as property investments in KL?
Kuala Lumpur has a capital appreciation on average of 5.1%, giving high return on investment (in terms of Luxury Residential Property Capital Gains). Foreigners can buy freehold properties in Malaysia and have the same rights as the locals, governed under national land code which is the same system as Hong Kong are used to, which is the British Torrens. KL offers high quality residential products at lower entry costs compared to some of the other SEA countries.
In the space of “luxury residences”, Kuala Lumpur has one of the most “affordable” price per square feet, in comparison with Bangkok, Hong Kong and Singapore. For example, the 8 Conlay development is priced at USD809 per square feet. While, in Bangkok, the price per square feet is US$2,061 for 98 Wireless, in Singapore US$2,511 per sq. ft. for the Ritz-Carlton Residences and in Hong Kong at US$4,376 per sq. ft. for the YOO Residence.
This makes it an attractive investment especially for foreigners who are looking at high return on investment.
What is your favourite feature of the development?
To create something memorable and iconic, the twisted design remains a favourite feature of the development, where it is inspired by the curves of 8 Conlay from the Chinese character of the figure 8.
More than a luxury development, 8 Conlay has been curated to be a place where the next wave of trailblazers can gather and create their own stories – a vision we take to heart in everything that we do. Throughout the hotel and branded residences, as well as the property’s experience-driven retail space, we have worked diligently with our partners to transform public spaces into shared experiences.
It is also the maiden project undertaken by KSK Land.
For more information, visit the website here.