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City & Country: BRDB launches high-end enclave in Seri Kembangan

Senja is very much an extension of BRDB’s lifestyle products we offer our purchasers. It is a stratified landed development that offers the philosophy of La Dolce Vita or living the good life.”— Chong

A NEW high-end residential development will be taking shape in Seri Kembangan. Senja, the latest launch by Bandar Raya Developments Bhd (BRDB), will feature landed stratified properties on a leasehold tract of 47 acres.

The RM850 million development marks a departure from the developer’s high-rise projects such as One Menerung in Bangsar and Troika in KLCC.

“Senja is very much an extension of BRDB’s lifestyle products we offer our purchasers,” says chief marketing officer KC Chong. “It is a stratified landed development that offers the philosophy of La Dolce Vita or living the good life.”

The gated community is sited within Bluwater Estate, a 247-acre green township.

This unique “estate within an estate” layout will require residents and visitors to pass through the guarded Bluwater Estate entrance as well as Senja’s security checkpoint. There are separate exits for the two developments for added security.

Upon completion, Senja — which means Twilight in Malay — will have 278 units comprising 89 terraced houses, 76 semi-detached houses, 97 zero-lot villas and 16 bungalows. The homes will be launched in four phases, starting with Phase 1 on Oct 5.

The first phase will have a gross development value (GDV) of RM300 million and feature 114 homes — 62 terraced houses (built-up 3,250 sq ft), 24 semidees (built-up 4,380 sq ft), 26 villas (built-up 4,679 sq ft) and two bungalows (built-up 5,620 sq ft). The selling prices for the terraced houses start from RM1.9 million, semi-dees from RM3 million, villas from RM3.3 million and bungalows from RM4.4 million.

Lifts will be installed in the bungalows but not in the other homes although lift cores have been included in case homeowners want to install a lift at a later date. However, BRDB will install lifts for a fee if buyers make a request before construction begins.

Senja residents will enjoy a clubhouse that offers views of the lush greenery

The launch of Phase 2 will depend on how well Phase 1 does, says Chong.

Senja, he adds, will cater to high net worth individuals and those in the Klang Valley buying for self-occupancy. As such, he doesn’t foresee that demand for Senja homes will be affected by the expected increase in Real Gains Property Tax and stamp duty in the coming budget.

Senja estate will feature a three-acre manmade linear lake with extensive landscaping. In fact, 18.39 acres will be set aside for landscaping at a cost of RM10 million. Creating gathering spaces within Senja was an important criterion.

“There are seven mini parks scattered all over, so every part of the community has a resting or gathering place,” Chong explains. “There are places to relax and also places for children. There are walkways and paths, cycle and jogging tracks.”

There will also be a clubhouse designed to look like a “hotel extension”, according to Chong, wrapped with glass so residents can look out on nature.

The project can be accessed via seven highways: Damansara-Puchong Expressway, Kesas Highway, Middle Ring Road 2, North-South Highway, North-South Central Link, Besraya Highway and Kajang Dispersal Link Expressway.

The Australian International School Malaysia is located directly opposite, while Alice Smith International School is within the vicinity. The Mines shopping mall, meanwhile, will provide retail therapy and convenient grocery shopping for residents of Senja.

Market support
The question that comes to mind is whether the market is ready for such high-end luxury homes in Seri Kembangan.

According to Metrohomes Sdn Bhd director See Kok Loong, “the demand for high-end development is there because of upgraders from existing residential properties such as Gita Bayu and Jade Hills in Kajang.

“There is definitely a market for such products because Seri Kembangan and surrounding areas such as Balakong, Puchong and Cyberjaya are home to many small-medium industries and small-medium enterprises, and business owners are looking for better homes and environment for their growing families.”

Meanwhile, PA International Property Consultants (KL) Sdn Bhd managing director Jerome Hong sees the area continuing to expand.

“The growth of Seri Kembangan as a rapidly growing property hotspot in recent years has been phenomenal, with growth moving south-west to eventually link with Puchong,” he says. Some of the newer residential estates here are Taman Universiti Indah, Putra Permai and Taman Equine.

“These newer areas have benefitted from the spillover due to the growth of Cyberjaya and Puchong. Indeed, the fast pace of growth has led some to dub Seri Kembangan as part of the Golden Triangle of the Southern Corridor of Klang Valley.”

The increasing population has resulted in the emergence of several commercial developments in the southwest region of Seri Kembangan. Some of these are AEON Taman Equine Shopping Centre, 3 Elements, and Gateway Square.

“The future of Seri Kembangan looks bright. There is nothing to suggest that the pace of growth is slowing down anytime soon despite the general slowdown in the property cycle,” says Hong.

Top: An artist’s impression of some houses overlooking manmade lake in the Senja estate.

Left: Open spaces are an important aspect in Senja’s overall design

Hong acknowledges that traffic congestion in the area during peak hours is something of an annoyance. However, this could ease with the completion of the RM90 million 16.5km elevated highway linking Seri Kembangan to the Maju Expressway (MEX) in 2015. This highway will benefit around 100,000 residents in more than 50,000 homes in Seri Kembangan, Bandar Putra Permai and Puchong.

“Furthermore, the proposed link from Jalan Putra Permai to the South Klang Valley Expressway (SKVE), cutting through Universiti Putra Malaysia as well as the 17km Serdang-Kinrara-Putrajaya Expressway (SKIP) with seven interchanges, will further alleviate traffic congestion when they are completed in 2015 or 2016,” he notes.

iProp Realty managing director Victor Lim, however, has a different opinion. At the moment, he says, there is not a big market for high-end products in Seri Kembangan.

And though Sri Kembangan has grown, the area still does not have a “high-end feel” and is perceived to have poor security, based on feedback from clients. On traffic congestion in the area, Lim says the area around Bluwater Estate is not as badly affected.

In response to this, BRDB’s Chong says the urban sprawl has expanded to the area and will continue to grow. Also there are already several prime products in Seri Kembangan such as Gita Bayu and Country Heights.

As for the perception of bad security, Chong says it’s just that. “This is unfounded as there have not been any tangible reports of crime in the area.”

“We are not the first to offer good luxury residential homes there, and we differentiate ourselves in terms of design by incorporating a lot of lifestyle elements. The environment is also exceptional. As far as Senja is concerned, we offer a superior living environment.”

Updates
Last December, BRDB launched Serai, a high-end condominium project in Bangsar. The RM878 million development is spread across six freehold acres, three acres of which have been set aside for open spaces. Serai offers 121 units with built-ups between 4,025 sq ft and 6,913 sq ft in one 21-storey tower. Priced at RM1,500 psf, the current take-up rate is over 90%.

Over the next two years, BRDB will be launching several projects. One is Emerald Bay — a RM3 billion waterfront villa and condominium project on 111 freehold acres in Johor’s Puteri Harbour.

Also to be launched is a project in Teluk Tempoyak in Penang, a joint venture with Multi-Purpose Holdings Bhd. Comprising condominiums and landed homes on 46 acres of freehold land, the project will have a GDV of RM890 million.

Another is a RM1.9 billion project in Rawang, which has yet to be named. According to Chong, it will feature landed homes and a pocket-size commercial section on a 265-acre freehold tract.

Chong adds that BRDB is exploring business opportunities overseas. The developer has a joint venture with an Australian company, on the outskirts of Sydney, in the planning stages.

 

This article first appeared in The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on September 30, 2013.

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