City & Country: Perfect Eagle takes off

Perfect Eagle Development Sdn Bhd may not immediately ring a bell but it is a name to watch. The eight-year-old property developer is unlocking the value of its landbank, comprising more than 650 acres in Ampang, Shah Alam, Puchong and Melaka.

Regular users of the Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2) in Kuala Lumpur would pass the Tesco hypermarket near the highway on the Kuala Lumpur side of Ampang. The land it occupies is part of a 58-acre tract that was once a squatter settlement but is now a township known as Dataran Pandan Prima Ampang.

The township, with a gross development value (GDV) of RM170 million, is among the newer developments in this part of Ampang and was Perfect Eagle’s first project back in 2003.
Part of Dataran Pandan Prima Ampang. Photo by Abdul Ghani Ismail
Perfect Eagle’s founders, however, are no strangers to the Chinese community. The husband-and-wife team of Tan Sri Koo Yuen Kim and Puan Sri Alice Su also heads Perfect Resource (M) Sdn Bhd and Perfect (China) Co Ltd.

Funded by Perfect Resources, Perfect (China) Co was incorporated in 1994 to market consumer products such as health food, personal care, skin and beauty care as well as household products, with its main focus in Zhongshan and Yongzhou in China.

The multilevel marketing company has expanded since then and set up offices in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore. The China operation recently opened a factory in Yangchou in Jiangsu province.

Property development
Su, 42,  is the co-founder and chief executive of Perfect Eagle. In her maiden interview with the media, she tells City & Country she and her husband decided to invest profits from their multilevel marketing business in land to build wealth for “the next generation so they have something to hold”.

The idea of going into property development arose when Tesco Stores (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd approached them with a proposal to acquire the land now occupied by the hypermarket in Dataran Pandan Prima Ampang back in 2003.

Su says Phase 2 of Aquila, offering 145 units of terraced houses, in the 28-acre Alam Sutera will be launched by the middle of next year“When they approached us, we thought if the hypermarket is interested in it, we should tap on the opportunity to develop the remaining land as well,” recalls Su.

As it was new to property development, the company engaged professional expertise. “Property development is very new to us as we don’t have the experience. A project with a GDV of RM170 million is not small so we engaged some professionals to assist us in running the show.

“We were very excited from the very first day we started ... we wanted to know how the product would  turn out. Some people said the pricing was too low but as a developer, we have already made our profit. We want our investors and buyers to profit too so that later, they will come back to us,” Su says.

About 13 acres were sold to Tesco Stores at RM100 psf in 2003. The developer had paid only RM25 psf for the tract earlier that year that it acquired from a privately-owned company.

Now, only two acres in the township remain undeveloped. The township comprises 2-storey shopoffices, 2-storey semidee cluster homes, 2-storey terraced homes, a petrol station and the Tesco hypermarket.


Two projects are planned for the remaining two acres. One is a serviced residence called Amber Residency with 126 units sized from 950 sq ft to 1,800 sq ft. This project is currently in the planning stage.

As for the second, the initial plan for the land, with frontage to the highway, was for a second petrol station. However, the developer is now looking at a 21-storey office block, named Eagle Tower, to house the headquarters of Perfect Eagle Development. The development plan has been approved and the building plan is being fine-tuned.
An artist's impression of Eagle Tower in Ampang
Su says the developer is looking at Green Building Index (GBI) certification for both projects.

Like most things in life, success did not come immediately. The early days were challenging, Su says. “After we sold the land to Tesco Stores, we needed to put up the infrastructure like roads, sewage system and water supply in 10 months as Tesco Stores would complete the construction of its store in eight months. At the same time, the construction of 17 units of 2- to 5-storey shopoffice units was going on, followed by the residential component six months later.

“I’m very proud of Dataran Pandan Prima Ampang because the purchasers are very happy. They are waiting for the two upcoming projects because they know that before the building is completed, the value would appreciate more than 50% (from the selling price). We sold the shopoffices for RM600,000 back then, and they were already selling at RM1.1 million even before completion,” she adds.

The beginning

Before going into multilevel marketing with her husband, Su was doing sales and accounts in a construction firm.

“After I finished my STPM, I came down to Kuala Lumpur from Ipoh to look for a job. However, many companies require you to have working experience. When you don’t have experience, what can you do? You do sales, so I went into the insurance line ... I took the exam and I become an insurance agent and met my husband, who was also in the insurance line,” she adds.

The couple joined a multilevel marketing company before Su took up a part-time accounting job in a construction firm, while also caring for their first child. It was then that she had her first taste of property development — overseeing the construction of their bungalow in the Tropicana Golf & Country Resort.

“I monitored the construction of my 2½-storey bungalow (with a built-up 6,000 sq ft) on a 10,000 sq ft piece of land from scratch. It was very interesting and we learned about construction from there. Construction is all about the details. If you overlook that, it will get you into big problems. You need to answer to the authorities while the purchasers may not want to come back to you again,” she notes.
An artist's impression of Amber Residency in Ampang
Perfect Eagle Development got off the ground with only a handful of employees; consultation and engineering needs were outsourced. Back then, the couple depended on architects, engineers, consultants and quantity surveyors for advice throughout the process.

“We went through a lot of brainstorming ... the consultants even asked us to attend technical seminars,” says Su.

After eight years, the work force has grown to 35 to 40 employees. While Su takes charge of the property development activities, Koo focuses on the multilevel marketing business in China.

Why the name Perfect Eagle? “We want to be perfect but at the same time we also understand that we can’t score 100% in everything,” says Su.

“Wherever we are, we must go for the best. I’m very particular [in what she wants] and kind of a perfectionist. I want number one quality workmanship and my requirements are very high. If you don’t have high standards, life will be plain and ordinary and I can’t stand that. The eagle is a strong bird that flies very high. Once it has set eyes on its target, it won’t let go. We want to be like the eagle,” the mother of two adds.

O2 City
Besides the two upcoming projects in Dataran Pandan Prima Ampang, the developer is also planning a green city called O2 City in Puchong, located diagonally opposite the D’Alpinia development by Hap Seng Land Sdn Bhd.

Q2 City is a low-rise stratified gated and guarded project with commercial and residential components. The developer is also aiming for green certification for the 64-acre leasehold project. The plans are expected to be submitted soon to the authorities.

“O2 City means twice the oxygen and minimising carbon dioxide. It needs a lot of planning, and we want to aim for green certifications,” says Su of the project which will be developed over 10 to 12 years.An artist's impression of O2 City in Puchong

The plan includes an eco-friendly 10,000-sq-ft sales gallery that will ultimately be converted into a function hall for lease. The 252m monsoon drain on the site will be covered with arches as  part of the landscaping.

For Su, being green is not only about planting trees but also adopting green techniques like rainwater harvesting, energy saving, building direction, solar panels, low-emissive glass, crystal window films as well as recycling and reusing.

“Our household rubbish can be turned into fertiliser for plants, then we will have natural fertiliser rather than chemical fertiliser.

In O2 city, we intend to design a machine that allows the residents to decompose, without any odour, garbage into fertiliser.

Then they can just take the fertiliser for their plants... we want everybody to do it. We also want to put everything — living, work, play and study — in one place. That is my dream... ,” says Su who emphasises that going green is not about trends.

Jasin, Melaka
Perfect Eagle’s biggest piece of land by far is in Jasin, where it owns a 600-acre leasehold tract, on which it is planning to develop a township. To popularise the address, the developer plans to give away 50 acres for international schools to set up their campuses — for free. Says Su, “We are going to create job opportunities in that township. We will have hotels, resort homes, serviced apartments, bungalows, terraced houses and commercial components. This township can be a second home for foreigners, especially those from China.”

The launch however, will not be for another eight years. In the meantime, the developer is acquiring smaller parcels around the site to improve its access. “For those parcels that we can’t buy, we will talk to the authorities, especially on relocation of the squatters,” says Su.

On the land are two lakes totalling 100 acres which the developer plans to turn into an extreme water sports park. There will also be a 9- to 18-hole golf course.

Green will also be the buzzword here with the township focusing on eco-plantation, eco-tourism and eco-education. “I think many city children don’t even know what a chicken looks like. In Jasin, we will have breeding area for chickens and ducks.

Then we have two very deep and nice lakes. It will be a resort-themed project and it will be one of the main attractions for Malaysian tourism later,” Su says.

Other projects
Meanwhile, in Kuala Lumpur, the developer is keen to build green highrise condominiums. The company recently launched phase 1 of Aquila — the landed home component of in its 28-acre Alam Sutera — in Puncak Alam, Shah Alam. Offering a total of 121 terraced houses priced from RM268,584, the first phase saw a take-up rate of 30%.

Phase 2 of Aquila, which is scheduled to be unveiled by the middle of next year, will have 145 units of terraced home. The GDV of the Aquila project is RM80 million.

The township, located diagonally opposite Universiti Teknologi MARA, will also have an apartment component with units sized from 750 sq ft to 850 sq ft. The project is scheduled to be launched next year and the building plan has been submitted to the authorities.

“We are not in a hurry to launch. We will launch projects slowly and steadily,” she adds.



This article appeared in City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 820, Aug 23-29, 2010.

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