Friday, 31 October 2014

(The Star) Good response to project due to its strategic location

Hua Yang Bhd showcased the newest development phases in their Bandar Universiti Seri Iskandar (Busi) project recently.

The project is one of their premier township developments in Perak spreading over a 314ha area, saw its first two phases, Ceria 1 and Lavendar 1, launched last year.

Group assistant general manager Tony Ng said in view of the positive response received from the first two phases, they planned to launch three new phases this year.

“The newest phase, Ceria 2, which was launched in May this year and D’ecolake in September, have both experienced a positive take-up rate as well.

“The Lavendar 2 phase is currently open for registration and will be launched soon,” he said recently.

He added that these three phases have a total of 518 units with a total gross development value (GDV) of RM141mil.

“The project is expected to take advantage of the significant population increase in surrounding areas.

“The area is well-connected, with direct access from the Ipoh-Lumut highway, and is one of the fastest growing townships in Perak.

“We are optimistic that these new phases will meet the requirements of new buyers,” said Ng.

Ceria 2 comprises 180 single-storey terrace houses with a built-up area of 990 sq ft and a lot size of 24’ x 65’.

The phase has an estimated GDV of RM36mil, with pricing for the units beginning from RM175,800 onwards.

As for D’ecolake, it features a gated community concept and consists of 32 semi-detached units with a built-up area of 2,478 sq ft with a lot size of 40’ x 80’, and 25 bungalow units each with a built-up area of 2,886 sq ft with a lot size of 60’ x 90’.

The phase embraces the concept of a green environment landscaping and with units overlooking the natural eco-lake.

Prices start from RM588,800 onwards, with an estimated GDV of RM31mil for the phase itself.

Lavendar 2, which will be launched soon, comprises 281 double-storey link houses with a built-up area of 1,540 sq ft and a lot size of 22’ x 70’.

With an estimated GDV of RM74mil, prices for the units start from RM244,800 onwards for this phase.

(The Star) New road linking Jalan Jelutong and expressway opens

A new link road connecting Jalan Jelutong to the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway in Penang will be open from midnight today.

The 800m road, which is an extension of Jalan Tan Sri Teh Ewe Lim, will connect the Jalan Tan Sri Teh Ewe Lim, Jalan Perak and Jalan Jelutong intersection to the expressway.

More sections of Jalan Perak and Jalan Jelutong and a stretch of Jalan Panchor will be converted into one- way at the same time to ease traffic congestion in the area.

The conversion will be on trial run for three months after which the Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) will decide whether to make it permanent.

The affected section of Jalan Jelutong is from its junction with Solok Perak to its junction with Jalan Tan Sri Teh Ewe Lim, with the traffic flow heading that direction.

For Jalan Perak, the one-way flow will be from its junction with Jalan Tan Sri Teh Ewe Lim to its junction with Solok Perak.

The affected stretch of Jalan Panchor is from its junction with Jalan Setiawan to its junction with Jalan Perak.

Besides the one-way conversion, traffic will be disallowed from making right turns from Jalan Tan Sri Teh Ewe Lim to Jalan Jelutong, from Jalan Jelutong to the new link and from Jalan Jelutong to Jalan Tan Sri Teh Ewe Lim.

Traffic from Jalan Kurau will also not be allowed to drive straight across into Solok Perak.

State Local Government, Traffic Management and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow, IJM Land general manager (North) Datuk Toh Chin Leong and MPPP engineering department officers visited the site yesterday.

Chow said the opening of the new link road completed the third and final phase of the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway project.

“We hope it will benefit about 80,000 vehicles that travel here and ease the congestion in the area, especially along Jalan Perak and Jalan Jelutong.

“The state government has yet to decide an official name for this road,” he said.

It was earlier reported that the RM70mil cost of the link would be borne by IJM.

Those who wish to send their comments on the new one-way traffic flow can do so via email to or by letter addressed to Pengarah Kejuruteraan, Jabatan Kejuruteraan, Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang, Tingkat 13, Komtar, 10000 Penang.

They can also call 04-2592202 or 04-2592015.

(The Star) Playing the long game pays

Much has been said of Naza TTDI Sdn Bhd’s mammoth development project, KL Metropolis, near Jalan Duta in Kuala Lumpur.

Naza TTDI has been criticised by every quarter from the time the private developer secured the 75acre tract under a privatisation deal with the Government towards the end of 2009.

Critics questioned the building-for-land deal, under which the group bought the prime land for only RM620mil. In return, Naza TTDI was obliged to construct the Matrade Centre and develop the surrounding area.

The developer also drew flack for its plan to build the sprawling Malaysian International Trade and Exhibition Centre (Mitec) exhibition space within KL Metropolis because some deemed the centre surplus to requirements.

However, the strategic direction of the group is taking fruition today. KL Metropolis is fast emerging as an attractive prospect for commercial property investors confronted by the current downbeat property market.

Just this month, industry observers estimate that the land value where the mixed development is sited will increase to RM900 per sq ft in the next two years when Mitec is completed. The current value of the land where KL Metropolis is situated stands at a minimum of RM1.3bil or RM700 per sq ft.

The increase of land value is also buoyed by an average plot ratio development of 1:11, indicating a healthy density for a commercial development of its size.

Mega project

The KL Metropolis project is projected to have a gross development value of RM20bil. The three-phase integrated development will comprise Mitec, condominiums and office towers, four hotels, an international retail centre as well as a landmark tower.

At the heart of the development sits the exhibition space Mitec, which will cover almost 1mil sq ft, about 10 times the size of the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre in terms of gross floor area.

Built to be the country’s largest exhibition centre, Mitec is 40% complete and on track to meet its delivery date to the Government in 2016.

It will offer 12 exhibition halls, meeting rooms as well as food and beverage outlets built over three levels, with the capacity to handle 40,000 visitors at any given time.

The MITEC exhibition centre is about 40 completed.
The MITEC exhibition centre is about 40% completed.

The future phases of development after the exhibition centre are expected to be located close to the MRT Circle Line-3, work on which is expected to commence in 2016, improving connectivity for the area. The future phases are expected to be completed by 2025.

Since the launch of KL Metropolis and the ground-breaking of Mitec in 2011, Naza TTDI has been working discretely to plan the initial phases of development and has received proposals from several parties, local and overseas, for joint developments.

Among the future plans for KL Metropolis include the establishment of a 260-room four-star international business hotel located in the commercial area of the development. Company officials say that the hotel will be the maiden entry into the local market by the hotel brand.

The developer is also in negotiations for two en-bloc sale of its office towers, located across from Mitec. The deal is expected to go through at a transacted price of RM1,000 per sq ft.

Growing with the area

Areas such as Mont Kiara and Hartamas neighbouring KL Metropolis have shown an indication of the potential of capital appreciation.

In 2009, residential land was being transacted at RM303 per sq ft and it has now surpassed the RM1,000 per sq ft mark.

This pricing allows the Naza Group the opportunity to capitalise on the spillover effect for the development’s potential.

KL Metropolis could also benefit from the improving rental rates in the area.

According to research on Grade A offices located in the KL City Centre and KL City fringe conducted by property consultants Knight Frank, rental rates ranged from RM6.50 to RM12 per sq ft in the first half of this year. The figures show a marginal increase compared to the second half of 2013 which recorded rental rates of RM5.96 per sq ft at the lower end of the range.

The research also noted that companies are relocating from the KL City Centre to the KL City fringe to avoid the crowded city centre. Both work in favour of KL Metropolis as the mixed development has Grade A office space and is located within easy reach of the city centre.

Not the first time

Naza TTDI’s entry into major property projects began back in 2008 with the 9acre RM4bil Platinum Park development near KLCC.

The development was the result of the foresight of the Naza Group’s founder, the late Tan Sri SM Nasimuddin, who had acquired smaller plots of land within the city centre during the economic downturn in the late 1990s. The land acquired then has since increased in value to an estimated RM3,300 per sq ft today.

The group’s amalgamation of these sites gave rise to Platinum Park where three grade A office towers (Menara Felda, Naza Tower and Menara TH) are taking shape and a further two residential apartments and a hotel are planned for launch soon.

With the smooth development of two of its mega projects, Naza TTDI is proving to be a property developer to be reckoned with.

If all goes smoothly, the privately held developer could very well spin-off a valuable entity once it realises its listing ambitions some time down the road.

(The Star) Preview of new i-City development to take place next month

To celebrate the strong reviews and the 250 bookings Liberty Tower @ i-City development generated during the recent property fair organised in i-City, a New York City lifestyle-themed preview will be organised to reward purchasers of the latest property project in i-City.

To be staged over the weekend of Nov 1 and 2 at the i-Gallery @ i-City, the first part of the preview will be opened exclusively to all registered purchasers to select their units. Only once this is completed will other interested buyers be invited to do so.

Liberty Tower @i-City, a New York-themed high-rise tower located within i-City’s larger 72-acre development, has drawn strong interest due its location adjacent to CentralPlaza @i-City shopping mall.

Residents of Liberty Tower @i-City get to enjoy direct access via a dedicated pedestrian walk to retail, dining and entertainment outlets.

Slated for completion in 2018, Liberty Tower @i-City presents an opportunity for residents to live within a business hub of international stature. Bringing together real estate, business, leisure and education, residents in the MSC Cybercentre-status location and the larger integrated i-City development can look forward to a true taste of metropolitan lifestyle in the near future.

“The Light Rail Transit Route 3 i-City station will improve connectivity for every resident of i-City,” saysI-Bhd director Monica Ong. I-Bhd is the master developer of the i-City project.

“On top of that, residents of i-City also enjoy the convenience of connectivity through various expressways such as the Federal Highway, which has direct flyover access into i-City; the North Klang Valley Expressway; Guthrie Corridor Expressway; and the proposed West Coast Highway.”

Ong also highlighted the progress in i-City. Buyers of the i-Sovo @ i-City units are set to receive their keys bynext month, while buyers for the i-Residence @i-City can expect the handing over of their units in Maynext year.

“Elsewhere, the Best Western Hotel @ i-City with 216 rooms will be opening its doors by the midldle of next month,” Ong added.

Ranging in size from 466 sq ft to 769 sq ft and priced from RM360,000, each unit of Liberty Tower @ i-City is fully furnished with kitchen cabinets, cooking hood and hob, wardrobes, bed sets, air conditioners, TV sets and other interior furnishings.

For details, call 03 5521 8811, 012-321 2165, or 014.968 9040, or go to

(The Star) High-end development features clubhouse built from repurposed chengal

Today's high-end properties mostly come with promises of luxury, security and grand concepts with full furnishings and fittings.

These are givens when vying for buyers in this niche of the property market.

However, even at this rarefied level, Paramount Property, a subsidiary of Paramount Corporation Bhd (PCB), stands out with is maiden high-end residential development, Sejati Residences.

The development is anchored by an 11,000sq ft eco-friendly clubhouse with roof trusses and columns made from reclaimed 200-year-old chengal wood.

Costing RM8.5mil to build, the well-equipped clubhouse is the first commercial property of its kind to be designed with reclaimed timber.

It is encircled by an 8km cycling and jogging track to enable the residents to enjoy their home and the surrounding greenery.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin officiated at the launch of the project and also witnessed the partnership agreement that will promote the use of Malaysian wood in different ways between PCB, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and the Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB).

The clubhouse’s cross-ventilated designs by Tony Mak of SA Architects Sdn Bhd with its high ceilings and wide verandas provide a breezy respite in Cyberjaya.

The development will be surrounded by approximately 1,200 trees that will be planted and tagged as part of a corporate social responsibility tie-up with UPM and MTIB.

“Paramount’s Chengal House is the starting and ending point in making a statement for the development. Paramount wanted to build something authentic and iconic so it made sense to use chengal. The wood was obtained from a 70-year-old factory on land bought by the developer.

“We selected and reused the existing wood based on two purposes — aesthetics and for its structural potential.

“Chengal was then used extensively throughout the whole clubhouse on the roof, roofing strips and on the pillars,” he said.

“Residents here can be proud that they will be able to enjoy a part of history here. They can feel a personal attachment to the timber that has been used over two centuries ago, as it is something of value that one cannot just go out and buy. Nowadays, you can’t get this much chengal in one location,” he added.

Representing an evolution from its previous developments of township-based residential developments targeted at the middle- and upper-middle class, Sejati Residences is derived from the Malay word which means authentic, natural and original.

“Chengal House will be a catalyst that will change the way Malaysians think about forests, timber and wood preservation. Moving forward together with UPM and MTIB, we will continue to identify various joint initiatives to create more community development platforms around the clubhouse and other iconic projects such as this,” PCB group chief executive officer Jeffrey Chew said.

Sejati Residences’ spacious 249 landed residences spread across approximately 40 acres of undulating greenery enables man and nature to co-exist harmoniously.

The freehold development with a gross development value of RM800mil features cluster bungalows, semi-detached and superlink residences and has a green space called the Garden of Five Senses teeming with herbs and plants for the residents.

The first phase of the project features 24 units of three-storey bungalows with built-up areas ranging from 5,739sq ft to 5,890sq ft priced from RM2.89mil and 28 three-storey semi-detached units with built-up areas ranging from 4,287sq ft to 4,954sq ft priced from RM1.89mil.

All 26 units of three-storey super-links ranging from 3,805sq ft to 3,838sq ft, which are priced from RM1.37mil, have been fully sold. The units, which have enough space to accommodate three cars, will be complemented by double-volume ceilings and full-length windows.

Another 10 acres have been set aside by Paramount Property for a future condominium development.

“Property development is about more than just location. It’s actually about connectivity, products and branding. Today, property is about designing your products, marketing, sales, sourcing for land, the ability to get financing for your project and what the customers really want.

“It’s very much about building the brand, creating new businesses and differentiating oneself in the market in terms of branding and making sure that one listens to the customers and then designing the products that they want,” Chew said.

(The Star) New location for 257 traders

Market traders must make cleanliness a priority when doing business, Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said.

He urged traders to keep their business premises clean to avoid attracting rats to the area.

“I was embarrassed when I read a report saying there were an estimated 6.8 million rats in Kuala Lumpur.

“The cleanliness of the city is everyone’s responsibility and we should work together to keep the city clean,” he said during the ground-breaking ceremony for the Integrated Commercial Complex (ICC) in Jalan 1/77C, Pudu, Kuala Lumpur.

The RM57mil project on one hectare of land will house 257 traders from the Bukit Bintang market, which will be demolished to make way for the ongoing Tun Razak Exchange development.

Traders can start to move in to ICC by May 15 next year once the first phase of the project, which includes the lower ground, ground and first floors of the building, is completed.

The entire project is expected to be completed by Feb 17, 2016.

Jointly developed by 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), the eight-storey building consists of a wet market with 208 lots in the basement, a food court at the ground floor, 19 commercial lots, a four-storey elevated parking structure wih 576 parking bays, banquet hall, multi-purpose hall, as well as basketball, volleyball and badminton courts.

Also present were 1MDB group CEO Mohd Hazem Abdul Rahman, Federal Territory Ministry Planning and Development deputy secretary-general Datuk Mohd Sani Mistam, 1MDB Real Estate Sdn Bhd CEO Datuk Azmar Talib as well as DBKL Project Implementation and Maintenance deputy director-general Datuk Mohd Najib Mohd.

Tengku Adnan said the development not only provided a place for the market traders but also served as a place for the community to gather.

“ICC is for the community and people can also come here for sports and leisure as well as community programmes.

“I hope that ICC will give these market traders better business opportunities and be a suitable place for them to operate,” he said.

(The Star) Safer and smoother ride for motorists in Cheras

Motorists now enjoy a smooth ride along the newly tarred roads in Taman Len Sen and Bukit Anggerik, Cheras.

Bandar Tun Razak MCA chairman Datuk Chew Yin Keen said the resurfacing work on the 2km stretch connecting Jalan 4, Taman Len Sen, and Jalan 2/154, Bukit Anggerik, was completed about a week ago.

“Prior to the resurfacing project, this stretch was riddled with potholes and was uneven. Despite numerous complaints from the residents, there had been no action from Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) for the past 10 years.

“Following this, I contacted the DBKL Civil Engineering and Drainage Department, which is in charge of building and maintaining city roads, to resurface the entire stretch. After nine months, the resurfacing works have been completed and we commend DBKL on the work done,” Chew said during a visit.

DBKL Civil Engineering and Drainage Department civil engineer Hamdan Awang said the resurfacing project cost about RM600,000 and took two weeks to complete.

“One of the major causes for the poor road condition was the frequent utility works being carried out here. Utility companies excavate in different parts of the road and although they are patched up, it cannot achieve the original strength of the previous pavement,” he said.

Chew said the large volume of traffic was another cause for the road deterioration.

“This route is frequently used by heavy vehicles as there is an increasing number of development projects in and around Cheras,” he said.

He added that the stretch was the main access route used by seven residential neighbourhoods including Alam Damai, Taman Bukit Anggerik, Taman Bukit Cheras, Taman Dahlia, Taman Delima and Taman Damai Puspa, comprising some 2,000 houses.

Taman Dahlia resident Tan Kok Leong, 76, is glad the road is finally resurfaced.

“Before this, I saw many accidents on this stretch, mostly involving motorcyclists. Especially at night or during heavy rain, motorists are not aware of how deep the potholes are and tend to crash into the holes.

“Hopefully, this will make the roads safer for motorists and make the traffic smoother,” he said.

(The Star) NGOs out to save ashram

Support for the campaign to save the Vivekananda Ashram in Brickfields poured in after news broke that the historical site had been earmarked for redevelopment.

The ashram board of trustee had said the development plan would inject funds for their charity work.

The Brickfields Community Society (BCS), a coalition of 40 non-governmental organisations including schools, temples, churches and business groups, plans to submit its objections against the proposed redevelopment project.

BCS organised a meeting on Wednesday night at the Brickfields Rukun Tetangga, which saw about 50 stakeholders and interested parties in attendance, to discuss the next move.

Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has put up a signboard in front of the century-old building, inviting the public to send in their objections to its Planning Department in Menara DBKL 1, Jalan Raja Laut by Nov 11.

The notice from the Kuala Lumpur mayor also stated that DBKL had received an application from the developer, seeking its permission to change the land status from institutional to commercial, in order to build a 23-storey serviced apartment (264 units) block, an eight-storey carpark podium and a one-storey basement carpark on Lot 33, Jalan Tun Sambanthan.

The BCS pro-tem chairman G. Gunasegaran said the coalition’s priority was to stop the project.

“We want to gather as many supporters as possible to show DBKL that the people are against the redevelopment of the site.

“Once this has been achieved, we will look into reviving the site.

“We are going all out to collect signatures for the objection,” he said.

A concerned member of the public, Sitpah Selvaratnam, said she visited Vivekananda Ashram on Monday to put in a donation after reading about the lack of funds.

“Only the caretaker was present. I told him my intentions and passed a note for the secretary to contact me but no one has called me yet.

“I also sent a letter by hand and fax, repeating my intentions but I have not received a reply,” she said.

An action committee was formed that evening to organise the “Save Vivekananda Ashram” campaign.

Some came with readily printed copies of the petition letter to be distributed.

Among them was a member of Scottboyz, Stephen Sachi, who collected 320 signatures from the public along Jalan Scott.

“Scottboyz is a newly formed group comprising about 100 men in their 40s and 50s who grew up along Jalan Scott in Brickfields. It was devastating to know that the iconic Vivekananda Ashram is going to be redeveloped. The news just crushed the old boys of Brickfields.

“The Vivekanda Ashram is an iconic building in Brickfields that needs to be preserved for its identity,” he said.

Cultural activist Uma Pushpanathan, who was also present, questioned the need to redevelop the site into a commercial entity.

“The authorities should look into retaining the heritage and culture. A cultural and art centre would be more appropriate.

“Look what has happened to Little India. A lot of money has been spent and the area looks tacky,” she said.

Anyone who wishes to sign the petition can download the letter from and the petition list from

Completed forms can be dropped off at Brickfields Asia College (Mon to Fri from 9am to 9pm), Rukun Tetangga Brickfields in Jalan Padang Belia (Mon to Fri from 9.30am to 10.30pm) and Sri Sakthi Karpaga Vinayagar Temple Brickfields (Mon to Sun from 9am to 9pm).

Alternatively, a scanned copy can be emailed to

The committee is also working on having more signing booths set up.

For details and updates, visit

(The Star) 1MDB: Price for real estate assets is commensurate

PETALING JAYA: 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) has refuted claims that it had overpaid for real estate assets, and believes the price it had paid is commensurate.

1MDB has been subjected to claims that it had overpaid for its 234 acres in Air Itam, Penang, for RM1.38bil which it had bought last year.

It was announced that the land was planned for 9,999 units of low-cost and affordable houses in the Air Itam estate.

“The size of the land acquired will allow us to build close to 10,000 affordable homes, and we intend to use the remaining parcel of land – which would be of a considerable size – for other development purposes from which we would expect to generate significant value.

“As such, we are confident of adding to the overall value of the land, and believe that the price we paid is commensurate with this,” the government-owned fund said in a statement.

It added that it was reflected in the prices that other developers had paid to acquire land in neighbouring areas which, at over RM200 per sq ft, was substantially higher than what 1MDB had paid.

“We understand that in one instance, dating back to 2013, approximately 9.8ha in Air Itam were purchased for RM267.4mil, about RM251 per sq ft, for a mixed-use development,” it pointed out.

1MDB also rubbished claims that it had overpaid for its energy assets, citing that it looked at a long-term view and broader synergies.

“We take a long-term view and consider broader synergies for the group, as well as the social and economic impact on the country, when we evaluate assets and forecast economic returns.

“As such, we believe that the value we paid for these assets - which may have involved a premium in certain instances, as is common when acquiring another business - is commensurate with their existing and future potential,” it said in the statement.

1MDB’s foray into the power sector kicked off in 2012, when it bought the power-generation assets of Tanjong plc, Genting Sanyen Sdn Bhd and Jimah Energy Ventures Holdings Sdn Bhd for a combined total of RM12bil.

The fund said like any other company, it only acquires assets when it is convinced that they represent compelling value for its business.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

(The Star) New high-rise in pristine townships

JOHOR BARU: KIP Group of Companies have launched its second development project within Iskandar Malaysia here.

Its director Valerie Ong said its new high-rise project, the 8scape Residences @ Sutera is located within matured and pristine area of Taman Sutera and Taman Perling townships.

She pointed out that a total of 1,255 units would be built in a 3.7ha land and is categorised into four towers.

“The project is an exclusive freehold service apartments that comprises four towers namely Aurea (300 units), Banyan (356 units), Cypress (253 units) and Daphne (346 units).

“The project is scheduled to start construction by Nov 1 where it will be divided into four phases and the completion would be in four years time,” she said when met at the launching here.

Valerie also said the selling price for the units starts from RM456 per square feet, which is quite affordable especially within Iskandar Malaysia.

She stressed that 8scape Residences @ Sutera is aimed at young professionals either single or have families that were looking for their first perfect home.

Valerie added that there are also various facilities provided for future residents including an infinity pool, 50-meter lap pool, clubhouse, yoga room, gymnasium, and a sky garden.

“About 70% of the Banyan units have already been booked by our customers who are mostly locals,” she said adding that KIP Group would also be working closely with Samsung to develop the project.

She added that Samsung is one of the top electronic brands in the world and the collaboration would certainly help making 8scape Residences @ Sutera one of the most sought after apartments in Iskandar Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Samsung Malaysia Electronics (SME) Sdn Bhd’s vice president (Enterprise, Business) Wong Wey Hwa said the electronic giant is discussing with KIP Group of Companies to provide the state of the art smart home technology in its units.

“KIP Group of Companies are one of the first group that Samsung wants to work closely to bring this technology into our country and homes.

“With a click of a button, residents are able to control their electronic appliances such as washing machines, televisions, or air conditioning system and even their security such as alarms through their smart phones,” he said.

For more information contact KIP Group of Companies Johor Baru branch at 07-2341533.

(The Star) Designer Village Appointed Fun Run title sponsor

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Designer Village has been appointed as the title sponsor of the Fun Run event at the Asics Penang Bridge International Marathon 2014.

Penang State Tourism Committee chairman Danny Law said the 7km Fun Run would encourage people who did not usually participate in competitive running to get involved just for the fun of it.

Speaking at the appointment ceremony, he also hoped that the premium outlets at Designer Village in Batu Kawan would help create “mall tourism” opportunities to encourage visitors to go to Penang more frequently.

Ronald Ling, the director of Sarawak-based developer PE Land (Penang) Sdn Bhd, said Designer Village would feature 150 stores when it open for Christmas 2016, including 12 anchors housed in unique jewel-box design buildings.

He said Designer Village would serve Malaysia’s northern region which had a domestic catchment of 5.5 million people and an international catchment of another 4.7 million people.

To provide a comfortable experience in Malaysia’s weather, Ling said the project was designed with extensive shady landscaping, water features, covered air-cooled walkways and seating areas.

Designer Village would also feature eateries with international and Penang’s famed hawker cuisine, he added.

(The Star) Slow sales not stopping Sibu house price increase

KUCHING: The prices of new residential homes being built in Sibu have continued to climb despite a slowdown in sales.

Prices of newly-launched standard built double-storey intermediate terraced houses within 10km radius from the town centre have surged to over RM400,000 each, according to CH Williams Talhar Wong & Yeo Sdn Bhd (WTWY).

“Generally, developers remain optimistic despite slower sales rate than previous years,” said the property consultant in a review report on Sarawak Property market for first half 2014.

WTWY said high-rise units in condominiums/apartments which were generally regarded as an unpopular residential sub-sector by the locals there had, moreover, seen an increase in incoming supply.

Newly-launched or under construction strata titled apartments include Waterfront Residence, Lee Garden and Salim Height Apartment which are located at Sibu Town extension, Jalan Pedada and Jalan Salim respectively.

The Waterfront Residence will have 100 condominium units and four penthouses when ready.

On commercial shophouses, the consultant said the newly-launched shophouse project in Sibu Jaya Township had recorded a fairly fast take-up rate, adding that shophouse prices had remained stable.

“The most significant shophouse development – Sibu Commercial Town Square – is progressing well. Selling prices of the remaining unsold units in this project continue to rise.”

WTWY said the newly-completed projects in the town’s prime locations included 25 units of three-storey shophouses along Jalan Tun Abang Haji Openg and 33 units of four-storey shophouses at Sibu Town Extension. ”The rental yield is forecast to remain stable.”

It said demand for shophouses in secondary locations had shown no significant improvement.

On office building sector, WTWY said two blocks of six-storey purpose-built office buildings together with an adjoining 14 units of three-storey shophouses along Jalan Pedada under development by Liberty Properties Sdn Bhd would add more than 30,000 sq ft of office spaces to the market.

Other projects include Wisma RH and Sibu Islamic Complex which are built for owners’ occupation.

The town along the mighty Rejang River saw the recent opening for business of Medan Hotel, the first outside the town centre. The seven-storey hotel in Medan Jaya Commercial Centre offers 138 guest rooms.

On the property market in northern Sarawak of Miri and Bintulu, WTWY said the two vibrant towns recorded a drop in new launches for housing projects admist increase in selling prices of houses.

“Most of the new residential launches are priced above RM450,000 for double-storey terraced houses and more than RM300,000 for single-storey terraced houses. Houses with prices of RM250,000 and below are the most popular and attracting strong demand.”

In oil-rich Miri, the report said potential buyers of shophouse developments were keeping a wait-and-see attitude, with most of them still keen to invest in such property located in prime and strategic areas.

“Score (Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy) projects still give much advantage to Bintulu town as there are still continuous influx of migrants who are involved in multi-million ringgit oil and gas projects in Kidurong and renewable resources or high energy plants in Samalaju Industrial Park.

“The hospitality, retail and leisure sector, such as hotels, budget inns, restaurants, food outlets and supermarkets in Bintulu continue to have encouraging business,” said WTWY.

(The Star) State seeks efficient infrastructure to boost economy

KUCHING: Sarawak is seeking substantial funds from the Federal Government for rural basic infrastructure under the upcoming 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP).

State Planning Unit director Datuk Ismawi Ismuni said roads, electricity and treated water were among the basic amenities required for rural development.

“The hinterland of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (Score) has the potential to transform the state’s rural areas. But this is on the condition that the Federal Government gives us funds to build more roads.

“The river cannot be the only mode of transportation. We need efficient road transportation in order to improve the economy,” he said during a development briefing for the media on Tuesday.

Ismawi said Sarawak currently had 4,436km of urban roads and 13,150km of rural roads. The state needs another 2,286km of urban roads and 4,128km of rural roads in order to catch up by 2020.

He also said 88% or 468,331 households currently had electricity while 77% or 442,000 households had treated water supply.

To reach 100% coverage, another 63,863 households need to be connected to the grid and 132,000 to treated water.

“We want to make sure that under the 11MP, all households will be supplied with electricity – and this means from the grid, not depending on generators,” Ismawi said.

He added that the state government was serious about addressing these issues.

“More development funding is required from the Federal Government to carry out the state’s socio-economic transformation programme starting in the 11MP,” he said.

On Score’s progress, he said 19 projects worth a combined RM32.9bil had been approved.

These comprise 15 projects in Samalaju worth RM27.64bil, two in Tanjung Manis worth RM2.11bil and one each in Mukah and Kidurong worth RM600mil and RM2.55bil respectively.

The projects are expected to create 13,052 jobs in Samalaju, 1,692 in Tanjung Manis, 800 in Mukah and 500 in Kidurong.

(The Star) Soaring to new heights

Butterfly Farm aims to become world’s largest tropical shelter in four years’ time

The Penang Butterfly Farm will become the world’s biggest tropical sanctuary for butterflies, dragonflies and fireflies upon completion of its RM53mil redevelopment project in Teluk Bahang.

Its managing director Joseph Goh said the farm will expand its current facility from 2,694 sq m to 8,494 sq m in the first phase and eventually to 12,077 sq m in the second phase.

“Construction work for Phase 1 costing RM38mil will begin next month and is scheduled for completion in early 2016. Phase 2, which will commence in 2018, is expected to cost another RM15mil and completed in the same year.”

He said the current facility would be closed from June 15 next year to make way for the construction and would be reopened in early 2016.

“As a tribute to the people of Penang, we hope to create this natural sanctuary with Penangites. The project will be uniquely themed for the purpose of education and tourism.

“Through our various programmes and activities, it will help to raise awareness and realisation of the intricate relation between humans and environment,” he said in his speech during the recentgroundbreaking ceremony.

Main attractions under Phase 1 will include a butterfly and dragonfly sanctuary and an indoor invertebrate discovery centre. The exhibitions will be housed in a spanking new two-storey (ground floor and first floor) facility complete with food and beverage facility, and other amenities.

The Phase 2 of the construction will see the expansion of invertebrate discovery centre to another two floors – second and third floor while the final floor – the fourth floor – will be a rooftop conference garden.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng urged Goh to complete its two-phase redevelopment project by 2016.

“My suggestion is, Penang Butterfly Farm should not wait. Complete the redevelopment soonest. If you wait too long, others will catch up with you.”

He added that they have also proposed a four-lane 12km road linking Tanjung Bungah with Teluk Bahang to draw more visitors to the farm.

“Upon completion, the farm will become an iconic and a must see attraction, together with the Escape Theme Park nearby,” he said.

Lim also launched two books titled ‘Insects’ and ‘ Where is the Insect?’ by Kazuo Unno, a professional nature photographer from Japan, after the groundbreaking ceremony.

The Penang Butterfly Farm is open daily from 9 am to 6 pm with the last entry at 5pm.

(The Star) Accolade for condo project

Ideal Group wins Southeast Asia Property Award for best mid-range development

The Group will soon venture into developing the northeast district. 

The Fiera Vista in Bayan Lepas, Penang, a project by Ideal Property Group, clinched the Southeast Asia Property Award 2014 for Best Mid-Range Condo Development.

Founder and executive chairman of Ideal Property Group, Datuk Alex Ooi said the award showed that Ideal Property Group had once again proven its expertise and capabilities in developing innovative projects enhanced with modernistic designs and healthy green features under a great lifestyle concept.

“Ideal Property Group has over the years grown from strength to strength with new projects mushrooming around the southwest district of Penang particularly with its newly launched state-of-the-art resort and theme park-styled condominiums.

“The Group will soon venture into developing the northeast district,” he said in a press release.

The sold-out Fiera Vista project was priced between RM500,000 and RM700,000 when it was first launched about 30 months ago.

It has four 16-storey high residential towers that house a total of 470 units.

Ooi said Fiera Vista did not have problems in attracting buyers because it was based on a healthy lifestyle concept.

“The condominium is equipped with various types of sports amenities such as badminton court, basketball court, rock climbing, tai chi area, gymnasium and swimming pool.

“On top of that, there are also amenities for leisure such as children’s playground, wading pool, reading room, elderly room, barbecue corner, sauna, community hall, reflexology path and games room.

“In terms of location, Fiera Vista is strategically located in Jalan Tun Dr Awang that is easily accessible from the Penang International Airport and other major link roads such as the Coastal Expressway, Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway and the second Penang bridge,” Ooi said.

Present to receive the award in Kuala Lumpur in August was Ideal Property executive director Datin Joanne Phor and the designing team of Fiera Vista.

(The Star) Better roads for Subang Jaya folk

Excess funds to be utilised to cover potholes

With the extra funds of RM650,000, the council will be able to carry out the works more efficiently at all 24 zones within its jurisdiction.

The Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) will launch a two-week campaign referred to as Ops Tampal beginning Nov 1 to ensure the bustling township of Subang Jaya is free from potholes.

MPSJ deputy president Abdullah Marjunid said the council had excess funds yet to be utilised, and the campaign was mooted in line with the council’s aim to provide ratepayers with the best service.

“Throughout the year we have been going around patching up potholes.

“The state government has also directed us to focus more seriously on solving problems with potholes,” said Abdullah after the council’s October full board meeting.

He said with the extra funds of RM650,000, the council was able to carry out the works more efficiently at all 24 zones within its jurisdiction.

He added that the MPSJ had also reminded utility companies such as Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor and Tenaga Nasional Berhad to ensure roads that they dug up for underground cable works were properly resurfaced after jobs had been completed.

The meeting chaired by councillor Sufari Tinnin, also highlighted the worrying number of dengue cases in 10 hotspots in Subang Jaya.

Sufari said up to Oct 18, the council recorded 6,431 dengue cases in the MPSJ area, and SS17/1 was the highest with 58 cases. It was followed by Taman Puchong Utama 12 and SS14/6 with 46 and 18 cases, respectively.

Other hotspots noted were PJS 9, Kota Perdana KP 4, Bandar Kinrara 1, USJ 2/5, Taman Saujana Puchong SP7, Batu 13, Kampung Kuala Sungai Baru and USJ 18.

At the meeting, councillor George Yap queried if the MPSJ Draft Local Plan 2020 (Amendment 2) roadshow could be extended by another month to allow residents more time to respond and give their feedback.

Yap also suggested that the council hold roadshows at popular shopping centres during the weekends to make it more convenient for ratepayers to view the plans.

Majority of the councillors agreed with the suggestion and MPSJ Town Planning director Ismail Muhamad said he would look into holding the roadshow in IOI Mall, Puchong, as well as extending the public display by four weeks from Nov 11.