13 March 2014

The Influence of Coffee on Real Estate.

I am in the midst of preparations for the upcoming launch of my latest property offering along Jalan Ampang - the redevelopment of the Dang Wangi LRT station. When my marketing team asked me who the target market would be - my reply would be this, "Our key target market to the lifestyle mall would be the people who pays RM10-12 for a cup of coffee; the creative bunch, the lifestyle trend setters."

The redevelopment of the Dang Wangi LRT Station. Launching soon...

My friend Jimmy tagged me on a particular website - a story on Coffee and Property. As a person who is in the Construction and Property sector, as well as a coffee lover myself, I figured I would give an account of how coffee has influence the property and real estate market. 

My grandfather used to run a coffee shop back in Kajang. When he passed away, my dad somewhat took over for awhile, before he got my grand uncle to come take over the coffee shop. Well, the family is Hainanese, and yes, the coffee shop is rather famous for its authentic Hainanese coffee. My uncle later renamed the coffee shop under his own name - and today, he is known as one of the Hainanese coffee grandmasters in Klang Valley. To my grand uncle, and perhaps to big percentage of the older generations, going to have a coffee, or the popular saying, yumcha would mean going to his coffee shop, or another Chinese coffee shop, and enjoy chatting and sometimes mahjong too with their friends over coffee which is priced at RM1.20 per cup. 

My grand uncle's place; today it is amongst the best coffee in Klang Valley.

Today, coffee is a totally different thing altogether. The coffee industry is a huge industry.

Coffee to me is a very important element of my daily lifestyle. My wifey and I are both coffee lovers - and sometimes we would have almost 5-6 coffees in a day, most of them with extra shots. We even went on a cycling for coffee session around KL, just to check out all the latest coffee offerings in town. Step aside the large coffee franchises. The smaller establishments are here to take over the market - and they are here to stay. 

Properties in KL have seen a meteoric rise in recent years. For shophouses alone, properties that were selling at RM500,000 are now going for millions, some even as high as RM5 million for a 2-3 storey shop. Location is still very important - but the popularity of coffee has made shophouse/shopoffice properties shoot up even more. The older shops in Ipoh and Penang have seen a tremendous increase in the last 12 months alone - and as a lover and promoter of Kuala Lumpur itself, I believe the cafe scene is here to stay. Years ago, this group revived the older dilapidated buildings at Jalan Doraisamy and made it into an entertainment hub called Asian Heritage Row. Today, the business has somewhat slowed down, but I believe that the coffee operators have yet to spot a good bargain in this area - otherwise, we would be seeing a number of coffee places opening here. 

Feeka, amongst the best in the area so far.

The Changkat area - boosted by the number of entertainment joints and expat community in the area, have started to see the coffee hype hitting it, and there are some really good ones coming up to rival Feeka - arguably the best in the area. Just minutes away at Jalan Tun HS Lee, there's this LOKL, which has its own strong fanbase too. Properties in the Changkat area as well as the older parts of town near Masjid Jamek and Jalan Tun HS Lee had seen a first wave of capital appreciation; and I believe that prices will continue to go up further once this considerably new coffee industry starts swarming into the area. 

An old shop in Ipoh - being transformed into a coffee joint.

Look further down the road and you have probably not heard of this shops behind Swiss Garden Hotel. Yes, this is where VCR is, and Ben's Barlai have quickly caught up in the area - and I for one believes that this will not be the end of the coffee offerings in this particular area. More places would open up in the area very soon - and very quickly, rentals would be double by the time the fifth shop opens in the area. 

Outside Barlai last weekend, but it was closed.

Factory lots which were not so commercially popular, together with older neighbourhood shops around Petaling Jaya area have also seen a revival - thanks to this coffee fever. Take a drive into Section 13 and you'll spot Artisan HQ. Also within the area is Butter + Beans, and the list just goes on and on. 

Coffee has also recently swarmed into the SS2 area.

With the increasing popularity of coffee and all these various cafes coming up almost every week everywhere, I wont be surprised to see rental rates going up tremendously, and very quickly, it will translate into higher coffee prices.

So, are you a creative person who loves your coffee at all this hipster coffee joints? Then I believe you will love my latest property offering along the forgotten side of Jalan Ampang. Watch this space for it is coming to you very soon...


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