City & Country: The Zest makes an impression

Puchong has seen robust developments over the years. Among the developers active in the area is niche developer  Trinity Towers Sdn Bhd.

After its debut with two projects in Puchong, Trinity Towers has recently put  out its first mixed-development project called  The Zest in Kinrara, Puchong.

Its managing director Datuk Neoh Soo Kea says The Zest’s location and accessibility give it an edge over other similar developments. “The site is only 150m away from a proposed Kinrara LRT station, while the surrounding area is a mature residential area, with terraced houses and bungalows,” he tells City & Country. 

Neoh says a ramp will be built to connect The Zest, located on a 5.6-acre site in Kinrara 9, with the Bukit Jalil Highway to provide greater accessibility. The approved ramp may cost RM6 million or more, depending on the construction cost. “Even a township developer might not do that... we are perhaps the first to do so (build a direct ramp) for a 5.6-acre development,” he says.

Neoh: The Zest's location and accessibility give it an edge over other similar developmentsThe freehold development, with a gross development value (GDV) of RM250 million, is also accessible via the Kesas Highway, LDP Highway, KL-Seremban Highway and Sg Besi Highway. It opened for sale in March this year and is expected to be officially launched this month.

Impressive sales
Neoh is evidently pleased that The Zest has chalked up an impressive RM130 million in sales in just two months. This was achieved without any special packages or freebies, he says. “We only waived the legal fee and allowed purchasers to pay the 10% deposit by credit card without interest. Purchasers are very smart now and they know they are paying for whatever you put in the package,” he adds.

The Zest is Trinity Towers’ third project after The Heron Residency and 19 Residency, which have a GDV of RM52 million and RM25 million respectively. The Zest is due for completion by end-2011 or early 2012.

The Heron Residency, a leasehold service-condominium development located in Bandar Bukit Puchong 1, has 290 units of 525 to 1,260 sq ft. It was completed in January last year.

19 Residency, developed on a two-acre leasehold tract, is a gated and guarded residential project that comprises 24 3-storey garden villas of either 3,693 or 3,752 sq ft. It is due for completion by this year-end.

Neoh claims that it is the second developer in Puchong, after IOI Group, to have built its projects without bank financing. The Heron Residency and 19 Residency were built using internal funds.

The Zest comprises two components - residential and commercial. At the residential component, there are three blocks of 20-storey serviced apartments with a 24-unit retail podium. Each apartment block has 240 apartment units. It will also have five storeys of basement parking, with about 1,600 bays.

The commercial component, separated from the residential component by a residents’ clubhouse and three swimming pools, consists of two blocks of shopoffices, housing ten 3-storey shopoffice units, nine 4-storey shopoffice units and one 5-storey anchor tower. The commercial area provides an additional 300 parking bays.

Each apartment, with a built-up of 1,100 to 1,200 sq ft, comes with two covered parking lots. The starting price is RM248,888, and the maintenance fee is 15 sen psf. The size of each retail office is between 578 and 1,605 sq ft. These offices share a common lift and cost between RM263,000 and RM765,000.

The developer launched the shopoffices, retail units and two residential blocks — Block B and Block C — in March. At press time, about 95% of Block B, 100% of Block C and 60% of the retail offices had been sold. The developer is targeting young professionals and couples aged between 35 and 40 years old for the residences.

For the commercial development, only the three bigger 3-storey shopoffices are available; the rest have all been sold. The 24ft by 79ft, 3-storey shopoffices are priced at RM1.9 million and above each, while the 24ft by 79ft, 4-storey shopoffices with lifts sell for RM2.5 million onwards.

“The response has been very good and we should be able to achieve RM250 million in sales this year, from both The Zest and the 30% units left of 19 Residency. We expect 19 Residency to contribute about RM10 million.

“There are no financial issues and we are confident we can sell all the units at The Zest this year. Genting Group visited us, and some staff from well-known high-end developers are buying from us too,” says Neoh.
Block A opened for sale in early June due to the “overwhelming response” to the earlier blocks, he adds. At press time, half of Block A has been sold.
Going green
Trinity Towers general manager Kuh Kin Kuang says The Zest is a modern self-contained development, with food and beverage as well as retail outlets. All apartment units will be equipped with waste disposal machines.

“We are taking our first step towards green technology. We will install a waste disposal machine in every unit to enable residents to grind food waste. Hence, they won’t have so much wet waste to dispose off in their normal garbage. This system is very common overseas but is very new in Malaysia,” he says.

Neoh says the waste disposal machine costs about RM1,300 to RM1,800 each, depending on the brand. The waste from the machine will be chanelled as wastewater to Indah Water Konsortium Sdn Bhd (IWK) treatment plants, where wastewater will be treated and more solid waste will be processed into fertiliser. He adds that the company plans to use more green technology in its future developments.

Neoh says the company is also helping purchasers of The Zest to lease out the units.

“In this environment, The Heron Residency can still get a 10% yield and enjoy 35% to 40% capital appreciation. Nevertheless, we are a bit conservative on The Zest and we are targeting an 8% yield, and capital appreciation of 30% to 35%,” he adds.

Noisy Tenants
In another development, the developer has come under fire for leasing out units at The Heron Residency to university students. Neoh admits that residents have been complaining about noisy student tenants.

“But put it this way,” he says, “management has control over the property. So far, no crime has been reported in our condominium. The nuisance caused has also been very minimal.”

Neoh adds that the developer evicted 10 students about six months ago as they were making a nuisance at the swimming pool and had ignored three warnings issued by the management.

“Under the DMC (deed of mutual covenant), the developer or joint-management committee has the right to chase tenants out if they create a nuisance. The company and I can’t be perfect. We can’t guarantee all tenants are good; there will definitely be one or two black sheep,” he says.

Moving forward, Neoh says that Trinity Towers is diversifying into commercial and industrial development next, and is on the lookout to buy land parcels or initiate joint ventures to grow the company.

 “We have committed to three pieces of land in Ampang, Taman Desa and Bukit Jalil, which have a total GDV of RM1.2 billion. We hope to complete the acquisitions this year and develop two of them next year,” he adds.

This article appeared in City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 762, July 6-12, 2009



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