City&Country: Marvelane makes debut in Klang

Klang is famous for bak kut teh, fresh seafood and Little India. Of late, the town has also become a property development hot spot, attracting the attention of several players. Capitalising on this new wave of interest, a newcomer to the industry, Marvelane Sdn Bhd, is looking to make a strong debut in the royal town.

Its maiden project is Marvelane Square, a RM77 million commercial development on 7.4 acres of freehold land at the crossroads of the Shapadu Highway and Jalan Meru.

“When I was offered the land, I found it to be ideally located,” says Marvelane managing director Ong Choon Hock. “Connectivity is very good as it is next to a highway. The land is also next to a wholesale market, which I consider the nucleus [of the area] to pull people here ... when they go shopping, people will notice Marvelane Square.”

Accessibility will be further improved, he says, with the construction of the new West Coast Expressway, which has been in the pipeline for a while now.

Marvelane may be a first-time developer but its directors are by no means novices. Founders Teoh Yong Hoee, Chan Kuan Yew and Ong are experienced engineers and directors of a consulting engineering group. The group has been involved in projects that include Proton City, an integrated township of 4,000 acres that is 45 minutes away from Kuala Lumpur.

Ong explains that in 1998, Marvelane’s founders, via their engineering consulting firm and a property investment group, began investing in shophouses. But after having acquired about 50 units, they decided it was time to build their own shophouses.

In 2004, Marvelane was incorporated as an investment property holding and property development company.

Marvelane Square
Upon completion in 2013, Marvelane Square will have 22 three-storey shopoffices comprising 20 semi-detached and two detached units. Ong reveals that the shape of the site determined the configuration. The project was launched in June this year and to date, 80% of the units have been sold.

The 35ft by 70ft semidees have land areas of 8,248 to 12,716 sq ft and a built-up of about 8,200 sq ft. Their prices begin at RM3.23 million.

The two 40ft by 80ft detached units have land areas of 11,683 and 11,715 sq ft and a built-up of 10,400 sq ft. Their prices start at RM4.18 million.

To ensure that the development stands out from the competition, Ong says the design of the shopoffices is very different from that of the traditional shopoffices located opposite the Marvelane Square site.

The façade of the 3-storey units is enveloped by glass to allow in plenty of natural light. On the ground floor, the doors are large enough for a car to be driven in, making the units ideal for a car showroom. The units come with lifts, and each storey will have its own electrical and water meters for easy monitoring of power and water usage.

“The interior spaces are column free, making the units suitable for corporate offices or banks to do ID work that follows their corporate identity,” says Ong.

In addition, the shopoffices come with 12 to 18 parking bays. The parking area can be cordoned off with a boomgate if the entire unit is taken up by an individual tenant.

To give more value, the roof of each unit is flat, and the space can be rented out to advertisers for billboards for an estimated RM50,000 to RM80,000 per month.

Another option would be to put up a rooftop garden.

The rent for an entire Marvelane Square unit is estimated to be RM20,000 per month. Based on this and the price tag of above RM3.23 million, the yield is about 7.4%.

On the grounds of Marvelane Square, there will be a small green space of about 150ft by 120ft, with a fountain, for people to hang out in. This space will be maintained by the developer for one year before the unit owners are each charged a maintenance fee of RM250 per month.

The fee will also cover the maintenance of the roads, lights and landscaping of the project.
To ensure security, Ong says the developer will provide night patrols.

The population catchment is over one million, from areas such as Klang, Shah Alam and Setia Alam, according to Ong.

As an added service to the buyers, RM250,000 has been budgeted for marketing and advertising, including organising a “bridging” event to bring together owners and retailers.

Even though the project has just been launched, several interested parties are already scouting out Marvelane Square, among them, a textile company, an education centre, a furniture showroom, bridal shops, a budget hotelier and corporate entities, Ong reveals.

Marvelane Homes
The company’s next project will be Marvelane Homes in Putra Heights, Selangor, on a 23-acre leasehold parcel, a mere 500m from the proposed LRT station called Station 12 on the Kelana Jaya line. However, the mixed residential development, with a GDV of about RM400 million, will only occupy 12 acres. The rest of the site, on which there is a lake within a former quarry, will remain untouched.

“We want to maintain the greenery and aim to achieve a GBI (Green Building Index) rating of silver or better,” Ong says. The development will feature 64 semi-detached houses, 20 bungalows, four cluster homes, 22 lakeside villas, six lakeside townhouses, a 90-unit condominium, 200 units of affordable housing and a small commercial area built out onto the lake.

The water quality of the lake, according to Ong, is classified as Class 1, which means it is clean enough to swim in. He says the water is so clear that you can see 10 to 20ft down. Pollutant traps for surface water will be installed to ensure the water quality is maintained.

The project is scheduled to be launched before the next Chinese New Year. The first component to be rolled up will be the semidees, which will have built-ups of 4,800 sq ft and above, and price tags of RM2.3 million onwards.

“The semidees have a unique family pavilion on the rooftop that opens out to the outdoors, allowing the occupants to enjoy the cooling lakeside breeze,” says Ong.

The semidees will be followed by lakeside villas (built-ups of 4,800 sq ft and prices from RM3.8 million) and the condominiums (built-ups of 1,600 sq ft, prices from RM880,000). The launch dates for these components have yet to be confirmed.

Marvelane at present has a modest landbank of 30 acres. It has budgeted about RM100 million to RM150 million to buy more land, especially in the Klang Valley and Penang.

In the long term, Ong says, the developer aims to build a reputation as a boutique developer. “Our plan is that in five years, we will have an annual GDV of close to RM400 million.

“In the near future, we will focus on developments that are residential in nature, considering that the government aims to increase KL’s population to 10 million from the current six million.

“Because of the Greater KL masterplan, there will be more people migrating to the area. There will be demand for homes. But with land and material costs increasing, it will be hard for people to buy landed property, so we will consider building condominiums and SoHos.”

Marvelane may be a new player, but the founders aim to keep it on a steady course as it strives to establish itself in the competitive property industry.



This article appeared in City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 928, Sep 17-23, 2012

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