[Sponsored Review] KL Wellness City (KLWC) – 9 Important Things We Need to Know
What is medical real estate?
Malaysia is a very popular destination for medical tourism. In 2019 alone, Malaysia received 1.3 million medical tourists. (Info Source: mhtc.org.my) It means non-Malaysians travel to Malaysia to get great medical care and doing things a tourist do as well. Visiting interesting places, eating amazing food and enjoying the sights, sounds and our beautiful country.
When they arrive, they will need a good hospital, they will need a place to stay before and after the medical procedure and they may need to visit the doctor again for further consultations. This is why if we have a property which could cater to these needs, we would be able to continuously profit from this demand for accommodation; real estate.
With most of the travelling restrictions lifted, Malaysia will again be receiving an increasing number of medical tourists. This is why every time a real estate development informs the world that they have secured an approval for a hospital within their township, the interest from buyers spike. Medical care will propel medical real estate to new heights because it is a need and Malaysia is a well-known destination worldwide.
#1 – Is KL Wellness City (KLWC) a hospital-based development?
Usually, a property development would be well sought-after if they advertise that a hospital will be built within or nearby the development. Buyers know that the properties they bought could be rented out to these potential medical tourists too. KLWC is beyond a typical development with a hospital.
KLWC is a master-planned development offering holistic facilities and services encompassing healthcare, wellness and fitness and it covers both Western and alternative medicine too. It is not a property development which has one hospital within the development or a hospital nearby the development.
#2 – Are there any similar developments like KLWC in Malaysia?
KLWC is the first-of-its-kind development in Southeast Asia. The management team developing this purpose-built development comes from medical background and they will also be the ones supervising the development and managing the hospital and all its other medical and wellness services after it has been completed too.
KLWC strives to establish a comprehensive, fully integrated and interconnected ecosystem of medical care, healthcare, wellness and fitness and this vision is led by medically qualified management team.
#3 – Who are the people behind KLWC?
The Managing Director for KLWC is DATO’ DR COLIN LEE who began his career as a medical doctor from University of New South Wales. He is an internationally recognised leader and innovator in the field of fertility technologies.
He has set up several medical and fertility centres, including the Damansara Fertility Centre, TMC Fertility Centre, Alpha Fertility Centre, and Genesis IVF Centre – including a world leading centre in pre-implantation genetic testing.
Dato’ Dr Colin Lee and his team are actively involved in medical tourism and work closely with the Malaysian Health Tourism Council to promote Malaysia’s medical services.
In 2003, he developed the Tropicana Medical Centre – a 5-star tertiary modern and prestigious medical centre at Kota Damansara, Selangor. Completing it within a short time period of 29 months, the design of Tropicana Medical Centre was nominated for the PAM award and featured in Roof and Construction, Malaysia Architecture, and Concept Architectural Magazines. (Please Read his full list of achievements and firsts here)
Executive Director for Branding, Sales and Marketing is Dato’ Sri Dr. Vincent Tiew Soon Thung. He has previously served as the managing director of Andaman Property Group of Companies, which specialised in property development and property management. During this time, he successfully spearheaded development projects amounting over RM 2 billion in value.
Dato’ Sri Vincent has also won numerous awards, notably the Ten Outstanding Young Malaysian (TOYM) Awards 2016 under the Business, Economic and/or Entrepreneurial Accomplishment Category by Junior Chamber International Malaysia. Others property related awards include:
Emerging Developer of The Year by Noble Excellent Awards 2016
Entrepreneur Par Excellence of The Year by McMillan Woods Global Awards 2016
Outstanding Young Developer of the Year for Prestigious Developer Awards by Property Insight 2016
ASEAN CEO of the Year for Property Development by ASEAN Outstanding Business Award 2016
Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards Malaysia by Property Development Industry 2016
With his in-depth involvement across diverse associations and industries, Dato’ Sri Vincent’s contribution of knowledge and expertise in property and entrepreneurship is invaluable.
KLWC is also helmed by many other established and experienced members. Please read about them here.
#4 What are the key numbers for KLWC?
KLWC is a 26.5-acre, wellness and healthcare-themed development in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur. It is only 300 meter away from Pavillion Bukit Jalil. KLWC has 7 parcels and these include a 624-bed tertiary hospital (with sufficient capacity for up to 1,000 beds). A typical 300-bed hospital is considered bigger than average. One example of such hospital is Parkcity Medical Centre. If we are to visit most established private medical hospitals today, the car park is always full. It may be more prudent to GRAB there instead.
KLWC’s other parcels include 379 medical specialist suites, wellness suites, business suites, independent and assisted living, a healthcare hub, residential units, commercial retail suites offering health and fitness-centric retail as well as food and beverage outlets, a Multimedia Super Corridor (Tier 1 status Malaysia Digital Status) business suites designated office space, and a 1.33 acres central park with cycling, jogging tracks and wheel chair friendly tracks. This is not just a hospital block surrounded by residential units.
#5 Is KLWC selling some units first and build the hospital later?
Usually developers would start selling the residential units and promising to build a hospital at a later stage. This is especially when approval for new private hospitals needs to go through all the relevant approvals and would take a significant amount of time. KLWC has already obtained the necessary approval for the hospital.
KLWC’s first phase is the hospital and the The Nobel Healthcare Park, both of which will be connected by link bridges. The Nobel Healthcare Park has gross development value of RM1 billion and will comprise 379 medical suites and business suites in two blocks, 512 wellness suites in one block, and retail shops on the ground floor of these blocks. The whole phase will be completed by end-2025.
#6 What are the prices if I would like to be an early buyer into KLWC’s first phase?
The medical suites’ sizes range from 248 to 1,561 sq ft. This caters to many different needs from specialists who wish to own their own unit and not just renting a unit within a private hospital like the usual. Another plus point is that the units are only within a few minutes of walking distance from the hospital to the link bridges. It will be sold at an average price of RM1,500 psf.
Meanwhile, the wheelchair-friendly, healthcare-focused fully furnished wellness suites will have built-ups of 268 and 386 sq ft, and will be sold from RM1,300 psf. For understanding, a typical room with an attached shower room is around 200 sq ft. In other words, these built-ups provide a much bigger space so that it’s spacious enough and yet not too big; the size is just right for its purpose.
The suites are also equipped with a kitchenette and fridge and is an added convenience should the patient prefers to cook their own food.
#7 What is the difference between a medical suite in KLWC versus in a typical hospital?
Specialist doctors usually have their suites within a hospital. Their patients would visit them and get the necessary medical consultation and if procedures are needed, the specialist doctor would then conduct it at the operating theatres within the hospital. The sizes are usually predetermined and the specialist doctors would have to work within the predetermined sizes. The units are also not owned by the specialists too. Specialists need to pay rental on it.
Meanwhile the medical suites in The Nobel Healthcare Park allow specialists to acquire and operate their own clinic. In other words, they have freedom to run it as they wish. For example, they could see the patients in their clinic, dispense drugs, minor procedure or some checkup and then walk over to the hospital to check on other patients. Beyond just as a clinic like a typical hospital, these suites could also be used by other medical and wellness-related businesses such as physiotherapy, chiropractic, medical device supplies and pharmaceutical. All these services are complementary but is not usually available within the same typical hospitals today.
Buying medical suites is another opportunity for specialist doctor to expand their career path. This is Singapore business model to allow specialist doctor to have more flexibility in setting up the clinic.
#8 Would there be sufficient demand for KLWC units?
Imagine a doctor or a healthcare practitioner working in a hospital and at the end of the day, they go home. Home could be nearby or home could be further away. However, if they were handling a critical patient, they would prefer to rest well and could provide quick attention if ever needed. This would not be for the long term but when circumstances happen, then the wellness suites would be ideal for them as well.
According to Dato’ Dr Colin Lee, “When the hospital is fully operational, we expect 8,000 units of accommodation will be needed per night due to the demand from medical tourists. The whole KLWC won’t have that many number of units, so we expect the wellness suites to be fully occupied.”
The suites also cater for patients who are in step-down care – those who have been discharged from hospital but are still recovering and may require some assistance such as daily physiotherapy or rehabilitation. We need to also remember that patients do not usually travel alone. They will come with their loved ones too. Their loved ones would want to be as close as possible to the patient undergoing medical procedures so that they could visit and care for them too.
Briefly, demand would follow the current trend; supply will play catchup with the ever increasing demand.
#9 Why is there a gap which KLWC is striving to fulfil for medical tourists?
KLWC is not just a hospital. It is an international tertiary hospital within a planned and purpose-built wellness development. It is focused on serving the needs of medical tourists in search of a one-stop healthcare service.
Imagine if I am travelling from another country, the last thing I want is to make an appointment with my medical specialist and then having to find an accommodation for my family and then learning that the hospital and the accommodation for my family is not nearby to one another. This is why KLWC will fill this gap.
Decision making can only happen after a visit to the actual site and asking lots of further questions. Here are the contact details: (30 seconds to fill up a simple form or details as below)
Address: No 1, off, Jalan Bukit Jalil Indah 2, Bukit Jalil, 57000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Phone: +603-8090 7777
It’s also awesome to know what’s really happening in the world of property investing coupled with the healthcare demand. Recent article with lots of actual numbers here: The Dynamic Duo: Property Investment and Healthcare Demand