Bold look for PJ Trade Centre

When you drive along the SPRINT Penchala Link from Mont’Kiara towards Damansara Perdana or along Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong towards Sungai Buloh, you may notice a cluster of tall and imposing buildings on a hillock near the entrance to Damansara Perdana.

The almost completed building is called PJ Trade Centre, an impressive Grade A office development. It marks the debut of developer Tujuan Gemilang Sdn Bhd (TGSB), led by its executive chairman Ahmad Khalif Mustapha Kamal — son of industry veteran Tan Sri Mustapha Kamal — and its executive director Peter Chan.

The exterior of the four blocks may appear dull and grey from afar, but when City & Country got up close to the property recently, we found it has a striking look. The external façade is exposed concrete, which explains the raw, unfinished effect. A plaza at the entrance to Block B — with its open air landscaped area sporting trees such as angsana, pahlawan and tualang — is distinctly different from the conventional office blocks commonly found in Petaling Jaya.

The façade consists mainly of ventilation blocks, which lets in plenty of natural light. It was indeed breezy up in the penthouse (level 20) of Tower B during the afternoon site visit.
Chan and Ahmad Khalif: We will continue to challenge ourselves. We believe it is risky to be the same as everybody else.
PJ Trade Centre has a strong Malaysian identity, with its use of local materials to reflect local culture. “PJ Trade Centre is  targeted at progressive and innovative companies that want an office building with a unique character. About 90% of materials used are sourced locally,” says Ahmad Khalif.

Both Ahmad Khalif and Chan first appeared in City & Country in December 2005 when they spoke of their determination to introduce a bold, contemporary commercial building design in PJ. Three years later, the duo describes their journey thus far as fruitful. “Back then, he (Ahmad Khalif) was a bachelor. Now, he is married with two children and PJ Trade Centre is almost complete. So, yes, it has been fruitful,” says Chan. He adds that there were some challenges along the way, such as the high cost of building materials encountered at one stage and the slow take-up for office space in 2007.

The development is almost completely sold out today. Sitting on a 4.5-acre leasehold site within Damansara Perdana, the development consists of four towers (A, B, C and D) of 20 to 21 storeys. Towers A, C and D have been sold en bloc. All towers have a net lettable area of about 200,000 sq ft each. Towers B, C and D are 20 storeys each, while Tower A is 21 storeys. Tower A, which will be ready in May, will be handed over to the landowner MKN Holdings Sdn Bhd in September. It will be named Menara Mustapha Kamal and there are plans to relocate Emkay Group’s headquarters there, while the remaining units will be rented out. The Inland Revenue Board purchased Tower C, while Perak-based manufacturer and developer Taiko Group bought Tower D in 2007 in line with plans to consolidate its Klang Valley operations. The developer declined to disclose the price of Tower D but indicated it to be about RM400 psf.

Last year, manufacturer and footwear retailer Bata purchased four levels of Tower B or 10 units, including the penthouse, which comes with a lovely sky garden. Only towers A and B have a sky garden each. The European company, currently operating from its office-cum-factory in Klang, plans to move in June this year.

There are 65 units in Tower B, with only eight units left. They range in size from 2,143 to 10,995 sq ft, and are tagged at an average selling price of RM500 psf. The developer is retaining the first two floors covering 14,000 sq ft to be leased to retail and food and beverage outlets. Says Chan, “Back in 2005, the office units were priced at about RM330 psf.”

The four blocks are almost completed and, according to Ahmad Khalif, come end-2009, the almost one million sq ft of commercial space will be one of the biggest in north Petaling Jaya. The developer also plans to provide a shuttle bus service from Kelana Jaya LRT station to PJ Trade Centre some time between June and September this year.

Point 92
TGSB is definitely not resting on its laurels after PJ Trade Centre. Ahmad Khalif and Chan are focusing on their second Grade A office project — Point 92. The name is apt, as the leasehold plot is exactly 0.92 acre in size. It is located beside PJ Trade Centre (see location map).

In a briefing by architect Huat Lim of ZLG Sdn Bhd during the site visit to PJ Trade Centre, Point 92 looks set to be another landmark in the area.

The exterior façade will feature panels of glass in white, frosted finish and clear glazing, arranged randomly with an elevated garden. Lim says an office building should not look like an office, and it should not have an expiry date. He adds that the focus for Point 92 is on sustainability.

“Point 92 may be different from PJ Trade Centre. But the basic philosophy remains the same — to create a working environment to enhance productivity and creativity,” says Chan.

Point 92 comprises 19 levels — 11 levels are for offices, seven for car parks and one for the lobby, with a total net area of 159,000 sq ft. Similar to PJ Trade Centre, it is just off the main entrance to Damansara Perdana and accessible via SPRINT Expressway, Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong and North Klang Valley Expressway. The landowner of Point 92 is Puncak Kukuh Sdn Bhd.

Chan says TGSB is looking to rent or sell Point 92, which has a gross development value of RM95 million. Construction is expected to begin in 2H2009. “The selling price is RM600 psf and we aim to sell it en bloc to a multinational or a government-linked company. We target to sell it by 2H2009,” he adds.

Point 92 is scheduled for completion in December 2011. With its focus now on Point 92, Chan says TGSB will continue to look out for land and come up with unique and different products. “We will continue to challenge ourselves. We believe it is risky to be the same as everybody else,” he adds.

This article appeared in City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 749, April 6-12,2009


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