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Bringing back the good old days

There was a time when neighbours knew each other by name, greetings rang out over the fence in the mornings, and evenings were spent chatting on the front yard. Unfortunately, for most city folks, those times are now nothing more than a memory. However, a residential project, Anjung Sari, by Sazean Development Sdn Bhd wants to bring back the good, old days.

“The concept of Anjung Sari encourages living in a close-knit community,” says Zed Zulkifli, executive director of Sazean Development, the property arm of the Sazean group of companies formed in 2006. The gated and guarded residential project in Bandar Setia Alam, Shah Alam, is the company’s flagship via a privatisation agreement with Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Selangor (PKNS). PKNS bought the land from S P Setia Bhd in 2007.

Being the new kid on the block, Sazean Development has the task of not only establishing, but also differentiating itself in a competitive market. “Sometimes, there is no point trying to compete. We focused more on understanding the market, the buyers, their needs and developing a product that can appeal to people,” Zed tells City and Country.

Some attractive features are the cul-de-sacs that aim to reduce traffic by encouraging residents to walk, and the 28,000 sq ft clubhouse. The clubhouse offers facilities that include a swimming pool, badminton courts, a day-care centre, a café, a mini-market, a spa and a gymnasium, among others. A buggy service is available for those who do not wish to walk and, in keeping with the theme of community living, all houses are fenceless.

Anjung Sari, on a 50-acre site in U13, Shah Alam, consists of 374 units of 3-storey super-link houses, 73 bungalows and 10 semidees.

Phase 1A, made up of 116 units of 3-storey super-link houses, was opened for booking in mid-2009 with all units booked within three months. Thus far, 50% of the sales and purchase agreement have been signed.

“We have kept the price relatively low and managed to sell some of the units in Phase 1A through roadshows and by word of mouth,” says Zed.

Zed sees a lot of potential in Setia Alam: located away from the city, it gives more space for creative designs. “You can do so much more here rather than limiting yourself to fancy apartments,” he adds.

The artist’s impressions of Anjung Sari and its properties within reveal influences of English architecture. Mohd Rohan Abdul Manap, general manager of Sazean Development, calls the design an evergreen architecture.

“We feel that a house should look like a home, like it was years ago. All the developments around the area are modern and right in the middle is Anjung Sari, with a different look and feel,” he says.

Zed, a graduate of the Thames Valley University, London, is appreciative of the English architectural influences. “We adopted this moorish, neo-classical design. It’s different and the feedback we received has been good.”

According to Zed, the spacious houses appeal mostly to expanding families, which make up a large percentage of buyers for Phase 1A and are mainly home-occupiers.

The 3-storey super-link houses are sized from 2,932 to 3,178 sq ft. The houses in Phase 1A were tagged at between RM448,888 and RM750,000, while Phase 1B, consisting of similar 3-storey super-link houses priced from RM548,888 to RM850,000, will be opened for booking in December 2009. Anjung Sari has a gross development value of RM355 million.
The 50-acre Anjung Sari has a gross development value of RM355 million.Photo by Abdul Ghani Ismail
Sazean Business Park
In the works is an intergrated commercial development, Sazean Business Park, which is situated in the administrative hub of South Klang. The 24.94-acre project comprises office blocks, a private international college, a private hospital, government administrative buildings and a shopping mall, which will be the main component.

The freehold agricultural-turned-commercial land, which was acquired from Island and Peninsular Bhd in April 2007, is sandwiched between the Pandamaran road and the Kedah/Westport highway. It is surrounded by residential developments, thus ensuring a substantial catchment population.

The company is currently concentrating on planning the various components of the project.“We know what are the components we want and the market. This will be a joint venture as it is a big-scale project; we need a big name to partner with us,” says Zed.

Sazean Business Park was included in the roadshow to test the market. “This is a new area and we wanted to see how people would react to the development. The feedback we received indicates that the residents needed such a development. It will be a place that caters to all their needs — be it dining, entertainment, or work. It’s a good location with good connectivity. I see the development as the new town centre of South Klang,” says Zed.

The developer is talking to various potential partners and it hopes to launch the project soon.

Keeping it low key

Low key is how Zed describes the company. Sazean has been concentrating on planning since it began operation. “We are building the business slowly. We want to focus on planning, engineering, construction and architecture. We also spent a lot of time studying the market and the buyers; we are learning along the way. We are not shunning publicity. Though we are new, we want to wait and ultimately, let our product speaks for itself,” says Zed.

Even though the company is less than three years old, it has built up a capable team, says Zed. “If you put all the heads together, we have a good, experienced team. This is a passionate group of people who have stayed with us since we started.

And through them, I have learnt that you need to appreciate opinions. It makes a lot of difference when you sit in a room with architects, engineers, and marketing and sales personnel… and listen to what they have to say. We all have the same objective but we see it through different eyes,” Zed shares.

As for the coming year, Sazean is exploring developments in other states and is looking at several pieces of land. Zed doesn’t believe in making hasty decisions. “Slow and steady wins the race. We are taking our time to identify the right land for development. Every area is different; it comes with its own needs, essence and personality. We need to look at the pattern, understand the residents, and create a concept that will not only appeal to them but also provide something for the area, like what we are doing with the business park in South Klang. We do not want to rush into anything…,” says Zed.

“We will officially launch Anjung Sari soon. From there, we are going full steam ahead with other projects… we are very excited,” adds Zed.




This article appeared in City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 783, Nov 30-Dec 6, 2009.

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