Current units for purchase, they do seem expensive to me (I think the supply of small luxury units may well be too large in JB) but if the MRT to Singapore is built where it is believed it will be, this will be a very desirable location:
Here is a webcast showing a 360 degree view of downtown Johor Bahru in 2014. You can see the sky scrapers in the central business district (CBD) of Johor Bahru and Iskandar and in 5 years this will show many more high rise luxury condos. The beginnings of numerous (more than the total completed high rises) are visible in the video.
The CIQ, the causeway to Singapore, the Straits and Singapore beyond are visible. Even Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands, located at the far southern edge of Singapore, can be seen in the background.
Stulang Villa Condos offer large units in a small building near the Cyberport building (walkable to CIQ, though a long walk). It is an older building close to downtown but in a residential area.
Given the small size finding units available online may not be easy. Though will all the new condo units going online recently and soon it would not surprise me to see more vacancies here so more chance of finding units available.
See our overview of the Stulang Villa Condos. I personally think the rates are a bit high and would try and negotiate a better rate, they are large units so maybe the rate is reasonable. Units available now include:
The Sri Samudera is in the neighborhood of the Thistle hotel and Indah Samudra Condos. It offers great views for a few units, but the units looking north seem like they are going to be looking directly into the second tower which is very close.
Given the overall market the prices seem a bit high to me; maybe the demand from hospital workers is high enough to justify the prices. The more expensive units are also much more likely to be shown online (the less expensive units are often not put online – low level, not updated, etc.).
Setia Sky 88 and Twin Galaxy are located right next to each other near KSL Mall and Plaza Pelangi in Johor Bahru CBD. Here are a few photos of the progress so far. The Setia Sky 88 site had nothing going on for months but lately has had some activity.
Sweetwater Mediterranean Restaurant is another excellent restaurant in Taman Pelangi, Johor Bahru. The food is excellent as are the furnishings. It is a bit expensive but worth it if you are looking to splurge.
Even the bread is worthy of mention, it is excellent and warmed in this stone oven before serving. The fixed price lunches are a great way to experience this wonderful restaurant for a very reasonable price (around 40 MYR, about US$13). They come with wonderful bread, a salad, entree, tea, and desert.
Aster Court condos offer a good location and good prices. They sit on top of a few shops but unfortunately the shops are not very busy and some are not rented. But the location is quite close to KSL Mall, Plaza Pelangi (and all the good food near there), Hotel New York etc.. It is also very close to where Setia Sky 88 and Twin Galaxy are under construction.
The condo has a pool and security but has a bit less in the way of amenities than most other condos considered by expats.
As always, expats should remember most agents in Johor Bahru merely show you properties they (or their company sometimes) have been paid by the owners to show. Seeing multiple units, even at the same condo, often requires appointments with multiple agents.
Chakra Indian Restaurant is located in Johor Bahru’s CBD. It is a wonderful Indian restaurant with a wide variety of Northern and Southern Indian food. I have eaten there several times and the quality of the food has been excellent every time.
Indian bread is one of my favorite foods and good bread is one thing a good Indian restaurant must have. Chakra delights on this score. Every dish I have had has been excellent, including the fried squid shown above.
The setting of the restaurant is quite nice, with several small dining rooms (old rooms in a house). It is located a bit away from anything (just houses nearby). And the restaurant itself has a nice look and is a nice place for a good meal.
There are plenty of dishes that are quite inexpensive and there are also dishes that are quite pricy. It is actually an odd combination, normally places that cater to the higher spending customers don’t offer cheap main dishes. I was wondering if cheaper dishes (some simpler quite quite good vegetarian dishes) would in fact be very small appetizer sized dishes but they were not.