Permai transport hub stalled

The billboard of the proposed Permai transport hub at South City Plaza junction looks almost new, but in reality the project is already three years-old and likely to be stalled.

The project, consisting of a five-storey commercial block, four blocks of two and three-storey shop offices and a seven-storey office tower,  was initially drafted to attract community buses to pass through the area.

According to a senior executive of the developer Equine Capital, it was a commercial decision to defer the transport hub due to its poor response and bad timing.

“The project was launched during the time (July 2007) when the economy was bad and the market was not interested in this project,” the person, who requested anonymity, said.

However, it was reported that the developer had already sold 35 percent of the shophouses prior to the launch.

The launch even drew the arrival of the then-Transport Minister Chan Kong Choy. He was reported as saying the community transport hub project would greatly benefit the residents and the academic institutions nearby.

The source said the actual sales were not good despite the hype.

“Assuming that 35 percent was actually sold, (yet) there were no further sales later. We think that it will damage the project if we insist on starting it because we won’t have the finances to complete it.”

The RM80 million transport hub, if completed, would be a major stop-over for short-distance buses and would much improve the accessibility of Seri Kembangan. It was expected to be completed in 2010.

The brochure of the proposed hub

The source said purchasers of the project were given options to choose either to terminate the contract mutually or to take any compensation offered.

“For those who choose mutual termination, we have given them refunds which included interest.”

The source said the transport hub might not be relevant anymore as many bus stops have been setup at strategic locations to provide easy access to the residents.

A staff at the developer’s home gallery office confirmed that the land of the aborted project was sold off early this year.

When asked how the developer would address increasing congested traffic without the hub, the source said he did not have the answer for that.

“The whole area involves many developers, not just Equine Capital alone.”

He said he will have the project’s billboard pulled down soon.