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City&Country: Cover Story-- Titijaya optimistic

The property market may be experiencing a slight slowdown, but that has not deterred developers such as the Titijaya Group of Companies from launching a number of new products this year. In fact, this year will see the developer achieving some milestones in terms of its property portfolio.

Founded in the 1980s by Tan Sri S P Lim, Titijaya has completed more than RM1 billion worth of properties, mainly medium to medium-high-end projects, in the Klang Valley. This year, it plans to embark on properties with a gross development value (GDV) of RM1.63 billion in the Klang Valley. This includes mixed-use developments [email protected] South and [email protected] Alam, as well as its first high-end residential development in the mature Kemensah area in Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, its director Charmaine Lim tells City & Country.

[email protected] South is the developer’s first Green Building Index-certified project, and it plans to continue developing more green buildings, says Lim.

“We want to educate and create awareness among our purchasers on the benefits of green buildings on a long-term basis, especially cost savings in electricity, as well as a healthier and more comfortable living environment through better ventilation,” she says. “We will also look into our product’s function ability — the layout and design, better ventilation and less usage of air-conditioners.”

The developer is not letting up on its launches this year despite the slight slowdown in the property market, and is keeping abreast of the current market demands and trends. It has a positive outlook on the local property market for the rest of the year.

“Yes, there may be a slight slowdown in the property market but overall, we are still very positive. We do not expect property prices to go down this year. For one, construction costs are increasing around the world. In fact, we see an uptrend in the sub-sale market as well. We expect the property market to stabilise and the focus to be on the affordable market targeting young homebuyers.

“It’s a wider market as the younger generation want to own their property instead of renting. They want to own property in good times or in bad times. A few years ago, the demand was for bigger units, but this year, we will focus more on smaller units for their size and affordability,” Lim says.

Nevertheless, Titijaya is looking to launch its first high-end development in the Kemensah area in Kuala Lumpur by the end of the year. The 13-acre tract for the project was acquired two years ago.
According to Lim, the market there is different due to the location, and that the project, which has an indicative GDV of RM228 million, is targeted at owner-occupiers.

“There will be a total of 52 semidees with built-ups of 4,500 to 5,000 sq ft and 52 courtyard villas with built-ups between 3,600 and 4,000 sq ft. They are priced from RM1.8 million and located within a gated and guarded development filled with lots of greenery. There will also be a private clubhouse for residents,” she says.

“We are offering landed properties at a competitive price compared with the properties in the vicinity. The units are mainly aimed at owner-occupiers, but they are also for those looking to upgrade or move into a gated and guarded development. On the other hand, when we launch mixed-use developments near town centres, the units will be smaller and thus more affordable.”

This is true at [email protected] South, which is in Taman Equine in Seri Kembangan, Selangor. Located 10 to 15 minutes from the Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong (LDP) expressway, the development is close to IOI Mall in Puchong, while Old Klang Road is only 20 minutes away.

“There is also the newly proposed Serdang-Kinrara-Putrajaya, or Skip, Highway that is coming up. This will increase accessibility to the project,” Lim says, adding that the six-acre leasehold tract was acquired last year.

3elements has a retail component, SoFos and serviced apartments, with a GDV of RM400 million. The first phase comprises sixteen 4-storey and 6-storey strata shops, which were launched at end-December 2011. They have all been taken up. Sold en bloc, the built-ups ranged from 4,862 to 9,483 sq ft, while prices ranged from RM2.1 million to RM4.1 million.

The second phase comprises two 25-storey blocks of small office flexible office (SoFo) units, with 400 single and duplex units in each block. The single units are from levels 10 to 18, while the duplex units are from levels 19 to 25.

“We have just released the first block (Andira) for sale, but the second phase is expected to launch some time in mid-March. The SoFo units have built-ups of 504 to 1,035 sq ft, and are priced from RM255,000 to RM950,000. Facilities include a swimming pool, gymnasium and business centre,” says Lim, adding that the response thus far has been very encouraging.

Lim says the final phase will comprise serviced apartments and a street mall. The street mall, which features concept shops (boulevard), includes an 85,000 sq ft anchor tenant space that is for lease. The developer is looking to launch the final block of serviced apartments, with 342 units, and built-ups of more than 1,000 sq ft at the end of the year.

“Within a 500m radius, one can find amenities such as AEON Jusco, Giant hypermarket, KFC, Pasar Borong Selangor and various other residential and commercial amenities. Our target buyers are the younger group who are interested in buying their first homes.

“There is demand for smaller units, especially from those looking to own their own property that is affordable and in a good, accessible location. Our project is close to Puchong and Putrajaya, with good accessibility,” says Lim.

Building SoHo/SoFo units is not a new thing for the developer. In fact, it is known for its Subang SoHo project in SS19, Subang, which was 100% sold in 2009 for about RM260,000 each. Subang SoHo was recently completed and awaiting the handover of keys.

“That was when we realised there was demand for smaller units and decided to offer SoFo units at 3elements as well. It was very well-received and sold at a very affordable price,” says Lim. SoHo developments in the vicinity are currently going for about RM400,000 a unit.

[email protected] Alam
Meanwhile, the developer plans to launch its next mixed-use development called Trio in Shah Alam’s Section U2, with an indicative GDV of RM1 billion, in 3Q2012. The 19-acre freehold tract is considered attractive, says Lim, as there are not many freehold tracts there. Trio comprises shopoffices, retail units, a hotel and SoFos, which will be launched in three phases. The shopoffices, about 54 blocks housing 216 strata units, will be released for sale first and priced at about RM2.8 million.

Trio’s second phase comprises 426 SoVo/SoHo units in two 14-storey blocks, while the third phase will consist of an 11-storey hotel with 275 rooms, an 11-storey block of office suites and an 8-storey office block. No further details were available as the developer is “currently in discussion with a boutique hotel operator, but is still at the preliminary stage”, says Lim.

Ongoing projects
On the group’s current projects, Lim says its Subang Parkhomes development in SS19, Subang Jaya, is slated for completion in 2015. Launched in 2009, the project has four 5-storey low-rise blocks, with a total of 298 units, and three 9-storey condominium blocks housing a total of 180 units on an almost 10-acre tract. Units range from 1,200 to 2,500 sq ft.

“Block G is our final block, a low-rise block with a total of 90 units. We have yet to launch block G and the price is not finalised yet. We just launched Block F at end-February,” says Lim, adding that block F, with 86 units, has a GDV of RM77 million.

The units, with built-ups of 1,310 to 1,504 sq ft, are priced at around RM880,800, and come with free air-conditioners and kitchen cabinets. A developer interest bearing scheme is also offered during the construction period.

Meanwhile, the Galleria Lifestyle Streetmall in Klang Sentral, Klang, will be completed by 2013. The 72 units of strata shopoffices, with built-ups of 4,190 to 8,348 sq ft are being sold on an en-bloc basis starting from RM1.55 million. So far 65% of the units have been sold since its launch six or seven months ago.

Titijaya is also developing an industrial project called Zone Innovation Park on a 100-acre freehold tract in Kapar, Klang. The developer sells tracts of about half an acre or according to the needs of its clients. The industrial park, which opened for sale in mid-2011, has a total of 101 lots priced from RM2.13 million. Another of its industrial developments is the RM132 million Seri Alam in the Klang Industrial Park.

Titijaya completed its first office tower development called First Subang in SS15, Subang Jaya, in mid-2011. The developer has relocated its office to the 16-level First Subang project, which includes a 150,000 gross sq ft mall owned by the developer.

Launched in 2008 at RM380 psf, the offices were recently transacted on the secondary market for about RM650 to RM680 psf. There are two blocks — a Southern tower with flexible layout and built-ups of more than 1,000 sq ft up to 15,000 sq ft for the whole floor, and a Northern tower with smaller units, built-ups of which start from 538 sq ft.

On its future projects, Lim says the developer is currently looking for more landbank and talking with potential landowners.


 

This article appeared in City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 901, Mar 12-18, 2012

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