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PETALING JAYA: The public has seven days left to review the detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (DEIA) report on the proposed 35.5km East Klang Valley Expressway (EKVE).
EKVE, which is the eastern and final uncompleted route of the Kuala Lumpur Outer Ring Road, would link the Kajang Silk Expressway and the Karak Expressway.
The EKVE would provide a by-pass route and enable motorists from the southern part of the Klang Valley such as from Cheras, Bangi and Subang to travel to Selayang and Gombak and vice versa without having to go through the city centre.
It would also serve as a bypass route around Kuala Lumpur for inter-regional traffic from the Karak Highway, according to the executive summary of the DEIA.
There would be six interchanges – Sungai Long, Bukit Mahkota Cheras, Hulu Langat, Am-pang, Ukay Perdana and IIUM (International Islamic University Malaysia).
The report said 214.7ha of forest reserves would be affected along the corridor of the project, namely the Hulu Gombak, Ampang and Hulu Langat Forest Reserve.
The report noted that wildlife movement and roaming habitat could be affected and outlined measures to minimise the impact.
The report, prepared by EKVE Sdn Bhd’s consultant, can be viewed at the National Library, the Department of Environment’s (DOE) office in Putrajaya, state offices and the Ampang Jaya, Kajang and Selayang municipal councils.
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KUALA LUMPUR: SHL Consolidated Bhd plans to launch more residential units in its flagship development at Bandar Sungai Long in Kajang by the end of this year, finance director Jack Wong Tiek Fong told reporters after the company AGM yesterday.
The project, consisting of terraced houses and affordable homes, will span across 35 acres (14ha) in Sungai Long with a gross development value of RM180 million to RM200 million, according to Wong.
There will be 320 terraced houses with sizes ranging from 1,900 sq ft to 2,000 sq ft each, while the affordable homes comprise 130 units of 815 sq ft each in two five-storey blocks.
Wong expects take-up rates to be very good as SHL has received hundreds of registered potential buyers for the units.
SHL has about 550 acres of combined landbank in Cheras, Semenyih, Rawang, Batang Kali and Kuala Pilah, said Wong. The landbank will be used for future residential and industrial developments, he added, citing that it is sufficient to sustain the company for eight to nine years of development.
SHL has also been seeking strategic locations to acquire more land.
“Our first priority is to acquire land around our flagship projects in Bandar Sungai Long, Kajang and Alam Budiman in Shah Alam,” said Wong, adding that the Klang Valley is the priority but the company is also looking at Penang.
He did not disclose the specific locations as they are still under negotiations. However, Wong expects them to be completed within six months.
As at June 30, SHL had a healthy balance sheet with cash reserves of RM187 million against borrowings of RM990,000. With a net cash position of RM186 million, this represents cash per share of 76 sen.
For its FY11 ended March 31, SHL posted a lower revenue of RM190.17 million compared with RM249.55 million in FY10. Net profit increased marginally to RM27.37 million from RM26.48 million a year ago.
Although SHL saw a lower revenue in FY11, Wong said its profitability was maintained due to higher margin products.
In May 2010, Goodstock Land Sdn Bhd (GSL), which is involved in property investment, became a subsidiary of SHL. Wong expects GSL to contribute an annual revenue of RM2.4 million and profit before tax of RM1.8 million.
Shares of SHL last traded at RM1.37. They had hit a 52-week high of RM1.66 and a low of RM1.07.
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Kajang, known for its signature satay dish, is, for all intents and purposes, a laidback town. Its hub is a maze of narrow roads lined with pre-war and more modern shops anchored by Plaza Metro Kajang, which was developed by local stalwart MKH, formerly known as Metro Kajang Holdings Bhd. The only other notable shopping destinations in the town are Metro Point, also by Metro Kajang, and the Billion department store housed in some shoplots.
The outlying areas of the town could easily pass for housing estates in Petaling Jaya or Subang Jaya.
Kajang residents, however, seem like a contented lot probably because the cost of living here is lower than in Kuala Lumpur. In fact, says resident Ms Wong, it is still possible to get a terraced home in the Kajang secondary market for around RM300,000.
“I’m used to it [her daily commute to work in KL],” she tells City & Country. “I might consider moving out a few years later but I have no complaints now.”
It takes the real estate agent, who has called Kajang home the past 30 years, 45 minutes to an hour — via either Jalan Cheras and Jalan Loke Yew or the Sungai Besi Highway — to get to her office in Mont’Kiara, Kuala Lumpur, from her home in Sungai Jelok.
The opening of the Kajang SILK Highway in mid-2004 has also been a boon for the town, boosting its development, she says.
Some of the more significant developments include a Tesco hypermarket in Sime Darby Property’s 600-acre Saujana Impian township, Wong adds.
Saujana Impian is also the location of one of the three mass rapid transit (MRT) stations that will come up in the area. The Bandar Kajang station is expected to come up near the Kajang Stadium and some shops while the last station is supposed to come up near the KTM station in Jalan Reko where there are pockets of commercial activity.
What is interesting is that, even before the MRT project was announced, Kajang, which lies about 22km from the Kuala Lumpur city centre via the Cheras-Kajang Expressway, was already seeing a number of new property launches. This began after the Kajang SILK Highway opened in 2004.
The notable ones are Taman Prima Saujana, Taman Kajang Perdana, Jade Hills and Twin Palms, says James Wong, the managing director of VPC Alliance (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd.
These upscale projects are growing in number, offering larger homes in gated and guarded communities as the general demand for homes remains robust.
For example, the first phase of Mutiara Goodyear Development Bhd’s gated and guarded Nadayu 92, launched in the middle of last year, was sold out within a day. The landed homes were priced at RM433,000 to RM1.02 million.
The project is now into its second phase, which is over 80% sold.
Metro Kajang’s Sentosa Heights — comprising 46 semi-detached homes, 12 bungalows and four bungalow plots — near the town centre achieved a take-up rate of 70% prior to its launch in April.
Meanwhile, the first three phases of Naza TTDI Sdn Bhd’s TTDI Grove — a 113-acre guarded project along Persiaran Kajang-Semenyih — have recorded 90% sales. The homes were launched over three weekends in March this year and were priced from RM290,000 to RM450,000.
Connectivity and affordability the key
Metro Homes Sdn Bhd’s director See Kok Loong tells City & Country that he noted a spike in property prices 18 months ago as the market recovered from the 2008 global financial crisis.
For instance, the prices of semidees in the Twin Palms Sg Long township developed by Singapore outfit Lum Chang Group had appreciated by 12.4% from RM889,000 in May 2008 to RM1 million in October 2010 while the prices of terraced houses in the same development were 14.5% higher at RM665,000 in September last year from RM580,000 in May 2008.
The value of vacant residential land in Saujana Impian had also risen from over RM50 psf in 2008 to over RM60 last year, representing an increase of 10% to 15%, See points out.
He believes the residents of Cheras, Putrajaya and Cyberjaya are buying some of these homes because the cost of properties in Cheras and Cyberjaya has risen significantly while most of the homes in Putrajaya are occupied by civil servants.
These groups and upgraders from Kajang itself are likely the core buyers of the homes, he says.
Developers are responding well to the demand for gated and guarded projects as these developments help them maximise the value of their land.
“High-end landed properties present a lower risk of investment because the smaller number of units per development makes it easier to control costs,” See explains.
He credits developers such as Country Heights Holdings Bhd, Gamuda Bhd and Mutiara Goodyear with bringing high-end homes in gated and guarded communities to Kajang. Country Heights Kajang and Jade Hills were developed by the first two respectively.
Other major developers in Kajang are Sin Hiap Lee Consolidated Bhd (Bandar Sungai Long), UDA, Lion Group (Bandar Makhota Cheras that falls under the Kajang municipality), Country Heights and I&P Group Sdn Bhd (Alam Sari township), says VPC’s Wong.
Developers that have ventured aggressively into Kajang of late are a mix of well-known listed entities and smaller unlisted players such as Ara Asa Sdn Bhd (Ridgeview Residences), Naza TTDI and OSK Property (Sri Banyan within Country Heights Kajang), Kueen Lai Villa Sdn Bhd (Tiara Residence and Tiara Parkhomes) and Tanming Bhd (Taman Taming Mutiara).
It helps that there is abundant vacant land in Kajang and that several highways have opened up in the last four years, such as the Kajang SILK Highway and Persiaran Kajang-Semenyih (which is linked to the Kajang-Seremban Highway), says See.
Other major links to the area are Lebuhraya Utara Selatan, Lebuhraya Cheras-Kajang and Lebuhraya Klang Selatan, he adds.
Agreeing that improved connectivity has benefited Kajang tremendously, Wong says the Kajang SILK Highway offers easy access to Puchong, Bangi, the neighbouring Semenyih and Cheras.
He says property hot spots can be found all over the municipality, which he defines as the huge 787.6 sq km district encompassing Kajang town, Cheras, Semenyih, Berenang, Hulu Langat and Hulu Semenyih.
“With improved accessibility due to the Kajang SILK Highway and the Kajang bypass and the availability of parcels of development land, high-end residential developments have mushroomed all over Kajang, for example Twin Palms at Sg Long, Taman Sri Banyan, Jade Hills and Prima Saujana.
“The population of Kajang is growing very fast — at about 7% per annum — partly due to migration from Kuala Lumpur because property prices are relatively cheaper here. The fact that Kajang is only half an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur is encouraging homebuyers to own landed residential property here. They probably cannot afford similar properties in KL,” he observes.
Wong observes that Kajang can also be considered an education hub as it is home to Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia, the Nottingham University campus, the German Malaysia Institute and the Australia International School. Thus, the parents of students are interested in buying homes here, he explains.
i-Realty Sdn Bhd’s senior negotiator Raymond Ng, whose family is involved in property development in Kajang, says demand is growing in Kajang for luxurious properties with security features.
“Safety is a concern because Kajang’s crime rate was once high. This might explain the appeal of gated and guarded homes,” he adds.
According to MKH’s group managing director Datuk Eddy Chen, demand is good in the Kajang property market. He says as major players expand their presence here and competition intensifies, the winners are the homebuyers because the offerings get better and the prices more reasonable.
He notes a 20% to 30% increase in property prices in recent years, underpinned by higher construction costs, demand for more sophisticated properties as well as more technical provisions and infrastructure required by the authorities. The result is low-density developments, he observes.
“With more demanding and increasingly sophisticated buyers in the current market environment, developers are launching premium projects with the standard features being gated and guarded homes, well-designed landscaping, innovative and contemporary façades and larger built-ups.
“Also, although location is still the main criterion in the selection of products, homebuyers these days do not mind travelling further as long as there is good transport infrastructure,” says Chen.
All this makes it difficult to compare the prices of new homes with those of homes built more than five years ago, he adds.
“Very often, the response depends on concept, security and, these days, returns on investment. Buyers do not seem to mind paying more if their criteria are fulfilled. Hence, we observe buyers coming from various locations in the Klang Valley, some even from other states.”
Chen says it helps that there are more highways leading to Kajang with the addition of, for example, South Klang Valley Expressway and Lebuhraya Kajang Seremban.
On Kajang’s prospects, Chen says he expects the town’s population to grow, helped by migration from other areas and better accessibility.
“The perception that Kajang is ‘far’ no longer exists because it is now a superb location with good connections. For example, it takes a mere 30 minutes to drive to KL, 20 minutes to Putrajaya and 30 minutes to Damansara via the SKVE.”
The MRT — expected to come up in 2017 — will help boost the value of Kajang properties by creating a wealth of job and business opportunities, Chen adds.
The bulk of Metro Kajang’s landbank lies in Kajang and Semenyih, naturally rendering these locations the group’s main markets. The group also aims to acquire more land in these areas, having set aside RM100 million for the purpose.
According to Mutiara Goodyear’s executive chairman Hamidon Abdullah, the group ventured into Kajang because the town gave it the “best opportunity” to set new standards in medium-cost gated and guarded developments.
“Our attempt here is to redefine link houses in a resort-like environment that is integrated, cohesive, safe and hygienic,” he tells City & Country.
He notes that the group is already planning to launch another development in Kajang with a similar concept in the second half of next year.
The yet-to-be-named, 15-acre freehold mixed-use development will come up next to Nadayu 92.
Mohd Johan Shadzli Mohd Daud, Naza TTDI’s senior general manager of marketing and sales, tells City & Country that the group decided to enter Kajang because it is a growth area with mature infrastructure and connectivity.
“Its accessibility to KL makes it easy for residents to travel to and from the city centre. The area that we are developing is strategically located close to mature townships. Our township is also freehold and will be a great addition to this thriving area.”
Metro Homes’ See, however, is not optimistic about Kajang’s near-term prospects because he feels property prices are headed towards unsustainable levels.
“For instance, you have new superlink homes priced at RM1.2 million and new terraced homes almost hitting RM500,000. The older homes cost less than RM300,000. Prices shouldn’t be going up like that, yet they are.”
See also feels there is limited upside for Kajang’s secondary market as the homes do not have the large built-ups and security features of the new homes.
VPC’s Wong, on the other hand, feels that the outlook for Kajang over the next three years is bright because the terminal for the MRT Blue Line is expected to come up in the area in 2013. There are also plans to built a link between this MRT station and the KTM station in Jalan Reko.
“The prices of Kajang homes are sustainable because if you compare them with prices in prime areas such as Kuala Lumpur, they are more affordable,” Wong adds.
Source: City & Country
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A highway linking Kinrara, Serdang and Putrajaya with seven interchanges, is in the pipeline.
The 17km Serdang-Kinrara-Putrajaya Expressway (Skip) will have three main toll plazas and two on the ramps.
The highway, which starts near the Giant Hypermarket in BK 5a in Puchong, will pass by the Ayer Hitam Forest Reserve and head towards Taman Lestari Perdana. From this point, the highway will be split into two directions.
The first will go through Taman Putra Permai and eventually connect the South Klang Valley Expressway.
The second will connect Taman Universiti Indah and Sri Sedang and then link to the Besraya Highway.
Its concessionaire and the Malaysian Highway Authority briefed the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) last week.
MPSJ councillor Ng Sze Han said the council welcomed the project that would reduce traffic jam in Jalan Besar, Serdang, and part of Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP) in front of the IOI Mall in Puchong.
“Motorists from the Sunway toll plaza on the LDP can get into Skip near the Giant Hypermarket in Puchong, to head towards Putrajaya and Cyberjaya.
“According to the traffic impact assessment, the highway will ease the congestion on the LDP in front of IOI Mall,” he said.
Also in the pipeline is the Kinrara Damansara Expressway, linking Kinrara and Pusat Bandar Damansara, which will further reduce congestion on the LDP.
He added that the Skip concessionaire presented three alignment options and the council would most likely choose the one which would least affect private properties, schools and religious sites.
“We have also voiced our concern regarding the stretch of Skip near the Ayer Hitam Forest Reserve.
“We requested them to minimise the impact on the ecology by going along the forest border,” he said.
Details on the concession period and toll fare are not available yet.
“The construction of the highway will start at the end of next year and is expected to be completed in 2016,” Ng said.
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AZRB reaches financial close on RM1.5b KLORR – The Edge Malaysia
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Dijaya Corporation Bhd, the master developer of the Tropicana Golf and Country Resort development in Petaling Jaya, is looking to launch two new freehold townships in the southern part of Klang Valley this year — one in Cheras and another in Balakong.
Targeted at the middle to upper income group, these two projects will have a combined gross development value (GDV) of more than RM500 million, says its managing director Datuk Tong Kien Ong.The developer has in recent years focused on its developments in Petaling Jaya. Its flagship Tropicana Golf and Country Resort is almost fully completed, with only about 20 acres of the 625-acre site left undeveloped.
The award-winning mixed resort residential development comprises 497 bungalows and over 3,800 residential units, a business park and smart schools, together with a 27-hole golf course and a 380,000-sq-ft clubhouse. The sales value stands at US$374 million (RM1.14 billion).
Dijaya made its foray into the southern region of Peninsular Malaysia last August when it formed a joint venture (JV) with Global Corporate Development Sdn Bhd to acquire two parcels of prime land totalling 37 acres in Danga Bay in Iskandar Malaysia, Johor, for RM308 million. The JV is to develop properties expected to generate a GDV of about RM3.8 billion. The master plan is still on the drawing board, says Tong.
Tropicana Sg Long
Back in the Klang Valley, a township project in Taman Rakan in Cheras is scheduled for launch next quarter. Known as Tropicana Sg Long, the first launch will feature semi-detached homes and zero-lot bungalows. The project is currently pending building plan approval.
Located adjacent to Bandar Sungai Long, the guarded project will comprise three-generational homes including 3-storey semidees, 3-storey zero-lots, 3-storey superlink homes and apartments on a 26.8-acre site. It will be developed over two phases in four years.
Dijaya had entered into two sale and purchase agreements with several individuals to acquire the previously freehold agricultural land in February 2008 for RM18.67 million. The land has been converted for residential purposes.
“The semidees, zero-lots, bungalows and superlink homes are middle-upper-end developments. We do have an apartment component of 180 units but that will be in the later phases. The whole project will have a GDV of RM180 million to RM200 million,” Tong tells City & Country.
When completed, the project is expected to have seven bungalows with built-ups of between 5,000 and 6,000 sq ft; 66 semidees (land area 3,200 sq ft; built-up 3,500 sq ft); 22 zero-lot homes (land area 3,600 sq ft; built-up 4,100 sq ft) and 85 terraced houses (land area: 1,650 sq ft and 1,920 sq ft).
Tong says the bungalows are indicatively priced at RM360 to RM370 psf, semidees and zero-lots from RM320 to RM330 psf, and terraced homes from RM280 to RM290 psf.
The project is accessible via various highways like the SILK Highway, North-South Expressway, Sungai Besi Highway, KL-Seremban Highway, SKVE, East-West Link Expressway and Middle Ring Road 2.
The landscaping will be exceptional to add value and make the project stand out, he says. Landscape consultants and architects have been roped in for the master plan.
“Besides quality, we intend to focus on the landscaping and ambience in all our developments. The selling point is greenery and nature, unlike those days when you just built houses. Purchasers are more demanding nowadays and we have to create more than just a house,” Tong explains.
“We now focus on landscaping in all our projects. We will get mature trees and plants with trunks of about 4cm to 6cm, and not scrawny trees, so that buyers can have lush surroundings in one to two years. After all, we are selling the property now and not 10 years down the road, so the effect has to be seen now,” he adds.
Dijaya has come up with themes for the landscaping in Tropicana Sg Long, which will feature a man-made lake. There will be a rendezvous corner, a recreation park, two linear gardens and a cosy park.
Less than a 10-minute drive from Tropicana Sg Long and diagonally opposite Jade Hills by Gamuda Bhd is Dijaya’s other mixed residential project in Balakong, tentatively named Tropicana Bayou. The first phase of this mixed development is slated for launch by the second half of this year. The 66-acre freehold site was acquired at end-2007 for RM47.46 million.
The first phase, covering 12 acres, will consist of 90 units of 3-storey residential units. The whole project will be developed in three to four phases over seven to eight years. Some 4.1 acres have been allocated for a linear park, a linear garden and a central park.
Dijaya plans to combine the concepts of Bukit Gita Bayu in Balakong and Desa ParkCity in Kuala Lumpur in this RM325 million project, with the emphasis on landscaping and security features in a gated and guarded community.
“We are going to keep some existing trees, maintain them and put in nice landscaping. We want to create our own niche here and it is going to be a middle to middle-upper cost development. We are about to finalise the product mix,” Tong says.
Bukit Gita Bayu, also known as Windsong Heights, is an award-winning gated residential community development in Seri Kembangan. Sited on a 118-acre tract, this development comprises a residential mix of bungalows and low-rise apartments, as well as a clubhouse. It is landscaped with lush greenery and won the Selangor District’s Best Landscaping (Hotel/ Resort/ Tourism Complex Category) 2003 awarded by the Housing and Local Government Ministry.
Desa ParkCity is another award-winning township. This 473-acre freehold high-end master-planned township development is the first landed strata development in the country.
Dijaya Corp has lined up four other launches this year worth a total gross development cost of RM747 million, including Link Villas and Golf Villas in Tropicana Indah, Selangor (16 units of 3-storey linked home and 12 units of 3-storey semidees), Tropicana @ Danga Bay (800 condominium units in two blocks) on the site acquired last year and Tropicana Avenue in Tropicana Golf and Country Resort in Petaling Jaya (446 units of commercial property in three blocks).
This article appeared in City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 844, Feb 7-13, 2011