The family theme park located at Jalan Desa in Taman Danau Desa, near Jalan Klang Lama in Kuala Lumpur, will close its doors after 16 years of entertaining more than four million visitors from all over the country.
The family-favourite Thunderbolt, one of Asia’s longest uphill water coaster, will come to a permanent halt after today.
The wave pool – a children’s delight – and the surf shack, a tropical-themed structure featuring multi-level platforms integrated with pipes, vales, pulleys, buckets and waterslides – will fall silent.
Land sold to highest bidder
Now the question is what will it be replaced with?
According to Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), who had owned the 16.99ha land (total: 42 acres including surrounding areas, the theme park itself is built on 12.6 acres) that hosted the theme park and a restaurant, a mixed development consisting of high-end bungalows, multi-storey towers and condominiums as well Federal Territories Affordable Housing (RUMAWIP) scheme will be built on the land.
The site is next to the 50-acre Desa Lake.
“DBKL has sold it (the land) to the highest bidder,” said Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Mohd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz.
While the mayor did not share any other details pertaining to the project, StarMetro learnt that it was an outright sale and DBKL would not have any further ties to the land.
“It was sold on condition that the developer agreed to build affordable homes at the site,” said a DBKL source.
It is also learnt that Berjaya Corp, which operated the Desa Water Park and rented out one of the buildings to the management of the Dragon Hut Restaurant, were given notice to vacate the premises by 30 September by DBKL.
DBKL had leased the land to Berjaya Corp. When contacted, a staff from the Berjaya Corp corporate communication department said they were no longer associated with Desa Water Park and hence did not want to comment further.
London’s River Thames cruise?
StarMetro managed to contact the new owners of the land, Aset Kayamas Sdn Bhd, who confirmed that they had recently acquired the land from DBKL.
“Yes, we acquired the land about two months ago. Our plans for the area is still at the design and planning stage,” said executive director Michael Chai.
“It is going to be a mixed development with a gross development value of RM6 billion to RM7 billion.
“We are certainly taking into account the need for affordable homes, as well as leveraging on the lake area,” he said.
“We appreciate the fact that Desa Water Park has been an iconic establishment in this area for many years.
“Which is why we are planning something to give back to the community,” he added.
When asked to elaborate on the plans, Chai said: “Well, we have been visiting London’s River Thames and we have something in mind along those lines.
“All I can say for now is that it is going to be special for the community as a whole.”
Privatisation of lands
Of late, DBKL has been selling off its prime land in the city.
Two years ago, DBKL sold a huge chunk of its land in Jalan Air Jerneh in Setapak, for a mixed development project.
In 2014, Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai highlighted that DBKL had been disposing prime plots through joint venture deals that were not benefitting city folk. He said the deals were not made through open tender and there were existing facilities on the land.
Tan cited the velodrome in Cheras, DBKL’s Health, Engineering and Mechanical departments in Jalan Cheras and another plot in Jalan Pinang as examples.
He said other plots of land had been sold recently in similar fashion.
Aset Kayamas’ growing portfolio
The proposed Desa Water Park project will mark Aset Kayamas’ entry into multi-billion integrated mixed development, comprising both residential and commercial elements.
Aset Kayamas’ first project in Bukit Jalil is Parkhill Residence, launched in 2014 and scheduled for completion by October 2018.
The project on 5.65 acres offers 1,062 units in two 45-storey towers, with facilities that include an infinity pool, a lazy pool, a floating gym, badminton court, sauna, putting green, multipurpose hall and playground. The take-up rate is more than 98%.
The developer is also building the first Rumah Mampu Milik Wilayah Persekutuan (RUMAWIP) in Kuala Lumpur called Residensi Pandanmas in Kampung Pandan, which is slated for handover in April next year.
Since 2014, Aset Kayamas has launched more than 10 projects with majority of them sold out within a short period of time. The developer moved to a new corporate headquarters in Old Klang Road in June this year.
The developer is currently planning more than 5 new projects. All of its past and current projects are built within the jurisdiction of Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, such as the following:
Parkhill Residence @ Bukit Jalil (Jan 2015) – 1,052 units
The Holmes @ Bandar Tun Razak (May 2015) – 604 units
The Henge @ Kepong Metropolitan Park – Crest & Dawn (Aug 2015) – 736 units
The Henge @ Kepong Metropolitan Park – Eden & Folio (Apr 2016) – 736 units
The Haute @ Gurney KL (Jun 2016) – 274 units
[COMING SOON] —- The Hamilton @ Wangsa Maju – 435 units
[COMING SOON] —- Bandar Tun Razak, Cheras – 1,015 units
[COMING SOON] —- Penchala, off Jalan Damansara – 435 units
RUMAWIP Affordable Homes Scheme
Residensi Pandanmas (Aug 2014) – 700 units
Residensi Pandanmas 2 (Oct 2014) – 2,220 units
PPA1M Bukit Jalil (Apr 2015) – 1,050 units
Residensi Sentulmas (Jul 2015) – 351 units
Residensi Razakmas (Sep 2015) – 604 units
Residensi Puchongmas (Oct 2015) – 524 units
Residensi Kepongmas (Oct 2015) – 1,514 units
Residensi Gurneymas (Feb 2016) – 274 units
This article has been adapted with additional information. The original article was first published in today’s The StarMetro with article title “The end of Desa Water Park” written by Bavani M.