Most of the restaurants in One Bangsar have either moved out or closed down. — Picture by Mohd Yusni Ariffin Eight out of nine outlets in One Bangsar have moved out after their business licences were not renewed by City Hall KUALA LUMPUR: The spotlight on One Bangsar, a row of upscale chic outlets in Jalan Ara, Bangsar Baru, has faded as eight of nine businesses it houses, have moved out. The only restaurant that continues to soldier on is Bangsar Seafood Garden Restaurant which still attracts lunch and dinner crowds daily.

A recent Streets check on One Bangsar revealed that the businesses had either ceased operations or relocated a couple of months ago. Even though the businesses have moved out, security personnel are still stationed along the strip to safeguard the area. Although no longer occupied, the general surroundings of the area remain well-kept. The restaurants that have moved out are Sagar Restaurant, House of Tang, Signature Snips Hair Salon, CungDinh Vietnam Restaurant, Saigon, Divino, Zens Korean BBQ and Vincenzo Ristorante Italiano.

Once, it was touted as the most frequented dining areas as it had restaurants offering various cuisine, ranging from Chinese to Italian to Northern Indian. Now, most of the premises have notices informing patrons that their businesses have either moved out or closed down. An undated notice pasted on the doors of House of Tang stated that operations had ceased with immediate effect.

Saigon, on the other hand, hung a "We Have Moved" banner near the entrance of the premises. It stated that the restaurant had relocated to Jalan Doraisamy, also known as the Asian Heritage Row. Signature Snips Hair Saloon's notice stated that it, too, had moved out since March 31. Our checks also showed that the signages or fixtures from some of the restaurants were still intact. A peek into Chinese tea house, House of Tang, popular for its dim sum, showed an empty dining hall. Remnants of discarded furniture were also left behind at the entrance by the operator of Sagar Restaurant. Bangsar Baru Residents Association president Datuk George Joseph said as the issue of One Bangsar is currently in court, the association would reserve their comments. Meanwhile, Mayor Tan Sri Ahmad Fuad Ismail said City Hall had won the case and Markibra Services, the developer of One Bangsar was appealing against the decision. "City Hall had given them six years to operate and the residents now want the land to be reverted back to residential," he said. The issue of One Bangsar arose after the status of the land, which was allowed to be changed to commercial from residential for five years, expired in Dec 31,2009. Fuad announced early last year that in keeping with his promise to Bangsar Baru residents, their business licenses would not be renewed and that the land would be reverted to its original title. At that time, Fuad also gave business operators six months to move out. Unhappy with the decision, Markibra Services had on Feb 25, last year, filed a judicial review to quash the planning permission, which is a temporary approval for the change of land use from residential to commercial status, and renewable yearly. The judicial review also sought the court's order compelling Fuad to grant a renewal of the planning permission for 10 years or any period deemed fair and reasonable by the court. Markibra was represented by counsel Tommy Thomas while Fuad Ismail was represented by B. Thangaraj. On Oct 6, last year, Markibra Services lost its bid after High Court judge Datuk Mohd

Zawawi Salleh dismissed the application of the planning permission. Zawawi dismissed the application in chambers with costs of RM20,000. Following the dismissal, Makribra Services filed an appeal against the decision at the Court of Appeals. It has been pending since.

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