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City&Country: Hap Seng Land offering luxe apartments in KLCC

Hap Seng Land Sdn Bhd, the property arm of Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd, has unveiled its maiden luxury serviced apartments in Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Triangle. The Horizon Residences — Hap Seng Land’s first high-end residential project in the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) — is likely to be soft-launched at the end of this month or early July.  The showroom will be ready by mid-July.

The timing, though, is curious, given the slow take-up of luxury high-rises in KLCC since the 2008/09 global financial crisis, but Hap Seng Consolidated managing director Datuk Edward Lee seems unperturbed by the prevailing weak sentiment.

“Time is on our side, actually,” he tells City & Country. “The local property market has really grown in the past few years [since the site for The Horizon Residences was acquired in 2007] and the height restriction that would have limited our building to 20 storeys due to it being in the flight path of aeroplanes from the Sungai Besi airport is no longer in force.”

The serviced apartments will come up on a 1.26-acre freehold tract next to the Royal Selangor Golf Club in Jalan Tun Razak. This puts the project on the border of the city’s central business district and the nearby embassy enclave.

While the features of The Horizon Residences are comparable to those of existing high-end condominiums in town, Lee believes the project sets itself apart with the views it offers of the Royal Selangor Golf Club and the Petronas Twin Towers, thanks to its location.

“You can be certain that your views will not be blocked by any other high-rise. The plot is surrounded by the golf course while immediately next door is Jalan U-Thant, where the height of buildings is capped at six storeys. There are also lots of old oak trees there, which are not easy to find these days. “We are actually quite proud of the views. We even strapped cameras to balloons to take pictures of the views from each level,” he enthuses.

Two 27-storey towers will house the 335 serviced apartments. There will be two levels of basement parking, followed by four levels of podium parking. The residences start from the fifth floor onwards. “There will not be any commercial components in this project because we want a ‘resort within the city’ atmosphere. There would also be security issues if we allowed shops to operate in the compound,” Lee explains.

The smallest units are studios with a built-up of 538 sq ft while the largest units, apart from the penthouses, are the 3+1 bedroom, 2,476 sq ft apartments. The apartments will come with high-end finishes and be partially furnished. “Just bring some furniture and your clothes,” Lee quips.

About 60% of the units are designed to have views of the city and the golf course, 20% will overlook the golf course while the rest will have city views. In terms of size, 60% of the apartments fall into the 918 sq ft and smaller category while the rest — except for two penthouses and the 3+1 bedroom units — have built-ups of 1,088 to 1,425 sq ft, says Lee.

Prices are from RM900 to RM1,600 psf due to the different heights of the units and the views they offer, putting the estimated gross development value (GDV) of the project at RM355 million. The prices include one parking bay for the smaller units and up to three bays for the larger ones. Four parking bays will be allocated for each penthouse.

In total, there will be over 500 parking bays, of which 20% will be earmarked for visitors. The rest will be sold at RM60,000 each.

The Horizon Residences is aiming for Green Building Index (GBI) certification. Hence, each unit will have low-heat and sound-proof glass for its windows while rainwater will be harvested to water creepers that will grow around the carpark podium, mirroring the aesthetic of Menara Hap Seng in Jalan P Ramlee, where the group is headquartered.

Over 800 people have registered for the project since late last year. They are mostly senior executives and managers or their equivalent, Lee says. Among them are Malaysians seeking their fortunes abroad as well as investors from China, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea.

Other projects
Besides The Horizon Residences, Hap Seng Land plans to launch new phases this year in its 76-acre D’Alpinia leasehold township in Puchong, namely its D’Alpinia Business Park and Andana Villa and Condo. D’Alpinia Business Park has a GDV of RM110 million and comprises twenty-eight 3-storey shopoffices and sixteen 4-storey shopoffices with lifts. Their built-ups start at 5,040 sq ft while the lot sizes are 24ft by 75ft.

Meanwhile, the RM97 million Andana Villa and Condo will feature 116 hign-end condos and 30 luxury villas. The built-up of the condos starts at 1,650 sq ft while that of the villas starts at 2,300 sq ft. This is in addition to ongoing townships in Sabah where Hap Seng Consolidated was founded. The developer also has two developments on the drawing board — a township in Sepang, Selangor, and serviced apartments in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.

It is planning a 250-acre mass-housing development in Sepang near Pantai Sepang Putra as well. The project is close to an older township by Vintage Heights Sdn Bhd, a consortium formed by GuocoLand (Malaysia) Bhd, Crescent Capital Sdn Bhd, Hap Seng Consolidated, Cheltenham Investments Pte Ltd and Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Selangor (PKNS). The group also recently entered into a sale and purchase agreement on a parcel of just under an acre in Jalan Tanduk, Bangsar, behind where Unilever’s factory was located.

“Being Bangsar, the project naturally has to be high-end,” says Lee. The serviced apartments are in the planning stage, so no further details are available at the moment. In terms of investment properties, the developer is talking to potential tenants that are looking at taking up 50% to 75% of the office space at Menara Hap Seng 2, which is coming up right next to Menara Hap Seng. The building will be 30 storeys high and comprise six levels of basement parking, two levels of retail, another six levels of parking followed by 20 floors of offices. The net lettable area of Menara Hap Seng 2 is around 320,000 sq ft. Construction is expected to be completed by 2013.

Next up is Menara Hap Seng 3, which will come up on the site of the group’s current Mercedes-Benz showroom in front of Menara Hap Seng. This project is still in the planning stage, but the building is expected to follow the same retail-office formula as the first two properties, although it will look thinner. “Menara Hap Seng 3 is forced to be ‘slim’ because of the land size, which is around three-quarters of an acre,” Lee explains.

The trio will be connected in two ways: via a bridge and their car parks that will be built and renovated to seamlessly connect, allowing more exits and entries than the current Menara Hap Seng. Lee says the group constantly evaluates potential acquisitions to boost its portfolio of investment properties and landbank of over 2,500 acres in Malaysia.

“We’re always talking to people,” he adds.


 

This article appeared in City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 916, June 25-July 1, 2012

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