5 things that have transformed Ara Damansara into a buzzing place to live in

Ara Damansara’s liveability is off the scale today and here are some reasons why.

Ara Damansara is one neighbourhood that feels like it has gone from heading towards the path of mediocrity to being quite a buzzing place to live in recent years. These days, it’s one of the top neighbourhoods that people who are looking to live around the PJ area go to because of its nice balance between affordability and great amenities.

So, what exactly were the things that have transformed this neighbourhood so dramatically? Here we list five things that have happened over the years to give Ara Damansara a real new lease of life.

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1. The gentrification of the neighbourhood

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The skyline of  SS2, Petaling Jaya (PJ). © alfredsd/ 123RF

Initially, when Ara Damansara was first developed, it looked very much like a meat and potatoes suburban enclave with rows upon rows of terrace houses. Like Kota Damansara later, it provided a more affordable opportunity for people looking to buy or live in the Petaling Jaya (PJ) area.

Over the years, Ara Damansara has certainly gotten jazzed-up a lot more with further developments. Aside from more high-end developments around the area such as Seri Pilmoor and serviced residences like Verde giving it a more upscale feel, the landscaping of the neighbourhood has also transformed the liveability of the area with increased greens. The emergence of Oasis Square Ara Damansara and Evolve Concept Mall over the years has also given the residents a focal point for their social and dining activities.

2. Neighbourhoods around it becoming more ‘happening’

Neighbourhoods are sometimes like partners among themselves. Hang around a more upscale crowd and you may look upscale as well. Ara Damansara has certainly benefited from neighbourhoods around them gentrifying at hyper speed.

Surrounding neighbourhoods like Taman Tun and Kota Damansara have seen a boom in lifestyle-changers such as hipster cafes, chic malls, well-stocked grocery stores, and large open-air parks which immediately uplifted the areas around them and that includes Ara Damansara. Given that these neighbourhoods are just a couple of minutes’ drive away has most certainly improved how Ara Damansara looks these days.

READ: Top 5 areas in Malaysia for properties below RM 500,000

3. Important amenities being developed

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© masuti/ 123RF

There are currently two LRT stations in Ara Damansara alone, the ‘Ara Damansara’ and ‘Lembah Subang’ stations. That is quite a few for a relatively small enclave which has increased the accessibility of Ara Damansara. Traffic has always been a concern for anyone looking to set up a home in Ara Damansara, but the development of these LRT stations has gone some way to alleviate the traffic burden for residents.

The development of the Ara Damansara Medical Centre has certainly uplifted the entire neighbourhood as far as amenities are concerned. Under Ramsay Sime Darby Healthcare Group, the fully functional hospital is a big feather in the cap for Ara Damansara.

The presence of the Japanese School of Kuala Lumpur, which offers the Japanese curriculum, just a stone’s throw away at the Saujana Golf and Country Club adds a nice international flavour to the amenities that are offered. This international school would most certainly attract more expatriates into the neighbourhood, which in turn would appreciate the properties in Ara Damansara as well.

4. Improving accessibility 

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© alfredsd/ 123RF

There was a perception before that Ara Damansara is a bit of a traffic death trap. And while traffic is not exactly smooth these days, the neighbourhood has gone from having the Tropicana tunnel being one of the main accesses into the neighbourhood to having multiple ones that can take you into a variety of highways.

Ara Damansara is sitting in the middle of where popular highways such as NKVE, LDP, and Federal Highway intersect so it’s quite easy to head towards places like Shah Alam, Subang Jaya, and Petaling Jaya. Heading out of town from Ara Damansara is a breeze. Heading out of the country is a breeze too given that the neighbourhood is just a stone’s throw away from the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport (Subang Airport) which has flights heading to Koh Samui.

5. Life-changing lifestyle options

© TEA/ 123RF

The great thing about Ara Damansara is the options it provides for a variety of different lifestyles. Take food options, for example, if you prefer more affordable and less fussy food, places such as Warong Pokdi and Do Re Mi food court (which offers you a great variety of food) are great options. If you are looking for something a little fancier, there are places like Forebidden and Foremula which offer you great food, in more selfie-friendly environments.

Between the Evolve Concept Mall and Citta Mall, you have the two big grocery chains, Jaya Grocer and Village Grocer in each respectively. If you prefer a hypermarket, there is a Tesco in the enclave that you can go to. There is also an MBO cinema in Citta Mall as well, so you don’t even have to leave the neighbourhood to catch a flick. If you love the outdoors, there is a gorgeous private park for the community in Ara Damansara that is just perfect for a run. The park has dense trees, beautiful landscapes, and even a lovely lotus lake.

If you are like many people who were initially sceptical but have become convinced with the transformation that Ara Damansara has undergone, and you are considering maybe living there, just what are the numbers you’re looking at to make that happen?

If cost is not a major concern for you and you are looking for a more luxurious stay, then you are looking at probably setting yourself back at least RM 4.5 mil (median price) for sizeable semi-detached or bungalow in the gorgeous neighbourhood of Seri Pilmoor.  If you’re looking for a more cost-effective link-house, then you can also get one in the enclave for under RM 1 mil at Ara Impian (Berkeley).

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Pacific Place, Ara Damansara. © iProperty.com.my

Prices for high-rise residences are a lot more affordable, even though more luxurious serviced-residences like Verde are priced at the median price of RM 912,500. This serviced residence houses a total of 409 residential units. The built-up sizes for the units range between 1,383 sq ft and 2,110 sq ft. You can also get a unit at Pacific Place for an amazing RM 475,000 (median price). The unit sizes are ranging between 717 sq. ft and 1,365 sq. ft while there are 11 layouts for you to choose from.

If you feel you are not ready to buy but are looking to rent, you can check for the latest rental listing on iProperty.com.my. The median rental price for a unit at Pacific Place is RM 1,750 per month and most of the units are fully furnished.

The gradual transformation of Ara Damansara has certainly made the neighbourhood a great place to live in today. If you are looking to live around the PJ area, Ara Damansara is a good place to start.

ALSO READ: Periodic Inspection of Buildings: What is it and why is it important for your property?

Edited by Rebecca Hani Romeli

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