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City&Country: Metro Kajang continues to build in Kajang

Whoever says Kajang is a sleepy town must not have been there recently as the roads were surprisingly congested the Tuesday morning we visited. Not far from the town centre is Kajang 2, a 270-acre township being developed by Metro Kajang Holdings Bhd, which has completed more than 20,000 units of residential, commercial and industrial properties worth more than RM2.5 billion mainly in Kajang, Selangor.

Metro Kajang, incorporated in 1979 under the name Srijang Bena Sdn Bhd, was listed in 1995. Today, it also operates a hotel called Prescott Metro Inn and two shopping complexes, Plaza Metro Kajang and Metro Point Complex, in Kajang.

Metro Kajang group managing director Datuk Eddy Chen Lok Loi tells City & Country that the freehold Kajang 2 township will be developed in eight phases over the next five years, with a gross development value of RM1.4 billion.

The soft launch for the first phase of Kajang 2 on Dec 18 last year comprised 139 terraced and 104 semi-detached houses, but only 85 terraced homes and 24 semidees were put up for sale. About 70% of these were sold during the launch, says Chen.

So far, 74 terraced houses and 18 semidees have been taken up. The terraced homes were priced from RM469,000, while the semidees started at RM888,000. The buyers were from Kajang, Kuala Lumpur and Puchong.

The remaining units in the first phase are expected to be put up for sale by the end of this month, upon completion of the show units. The second phase of Kajang 2, which will comprise terraced homes, semidees and bungalows, is expected to launch in the middle of this year. No other details were available at press time.

Chen says the tract for the development was acquired four years ago. “It was previously a rubber estate and has now been zoned for residential development. Land is quite scarce in Kajang for developments of such a size, and the advantage of this is we can create more diverse elements for Kajang 2.”

According to Metro Kajang assistant manager for property Vincent Chan, Kajang 2 is being designed as a higher-end lifestyle residential development, one that will incorporate lush greenery, landscaping and streetscapes.

“In fact, Kajang has the fastest growing population in Malaysia in terms of migration from other towns or states. There is a healthy number of young professionals who find Kajang more affordable to live in than other areas like Puchong or Subang. In five to six years, these young professionals will look to upgrade to a more lifestyle kind of property, so Kajang 2 is aimed at them,” says Chen.

He adds that there are plans to build a highway that will lead directly to Bangi and Kuala Lumpur from Kajang. The flyover from Persiaran Bangi was initiated by the Kajang Municipal Council and surrounding landowners will contribute to its construction, with Metro Kajang as one of the major contributors.

Currently in the design stage, Chen says the company is working closely with the municipal council and hopes to complete the highway within the next two to three years. “There is also a planned KTM train station for Kajang 2, and I do believe Kajang 2 is set to be a major growth area within Greater KL,” he adds.

Chen says there is a high number of repeat buyers for Metro Kajang’s products and the capital appreciation of some of its properties has been encouraging. “Our 3-storey shopoffices in Metro Point were sold for RM300,000 each in 2004. Today, they are valued at around RM2.4 million, and fetching rents of about RM12,000 to RM13,000 per month. Our 2-storey shopoffices in Pelangi Semenyih 1 in Semenyih were sold for RM230,000 each in 2007 and are valued today at RM700,000.”

Other ongoing projects
Besides Kajang 2, the developer is busy with several other projects, such as Pelangi Semenyih 2 in Semenyih, Saville @ Melawati in Desa Melawati in Kuala Lumpur, Sentosa Heights in Kajang and Kiara Heights, which is near Semenyih.

Pelangi Semenyih 2 is 3km from its existing mature development of Pelangi Semenyih. “We did a soft launch for Pelangi Semenyih 2 in October and another last month. The whole development will feature a centralised recreational park with a pond and landscaping,” says Chen.

The first phase, comprising 177 units of 2-storey terraced homes and 88 units of 2-storey semidees, are priced from RM251,000 and RM448,000 respectively. The terraced houses have built-ups of 1,548 to 1,782 sq ft, while the semidees start from 2,214 sq ft.

When completed, the 168-acre freehold tract in Semenyih will comprise 2-storey terraced homes, 2-storey semidees and some bungalows. The RM380 million development will be completed over a period of seven years. It is close to Nottingham University, Tesco Semenyih and Starfield Golf Course.

Also in Semenyih is the developer’s 60-acre Hillpark 2 project, next to the fully sold Hillpark 1. The RM163 million development comprises 356 units of 2-storey terraced homes with built-ups of 1,648 sq ft; 13 units of 2-storey terraced houses with built-ups of 1,830 to 2,147 sq ft; 30 units of 2-storey semidees with built-ups of 2,638 sq ft; 83 units of 2-storey terraced homes with built-ups of 1,446 to 1,650 sq ft; and 10 bungalow lots.

Chan says of the 24 units of 2-storey terraced homes available for sale at the soft launch on Jan 29 for its privileged customers and registrants, 18 were taken up. The houses were priced from RM322,000.

As for Saville @ Melawati, Chan says the RM190 million green development was launched at end-October last year, and has seen 60% take-up so far. Comprising 408 serviced apartments and 12 units of 2-storey shopoffices, it is located in Desa Melawati in KL and is close to Jusco Alpha Angle and Carrefour hypermarket.

The serviced apartments, with built-ups of 901 to 2,513 sq ft (for the penthouse), are priced from RM340,000, while the shopoffices with built-ups of 3,190 to 4,234 sq ft are priced from RM1.6 million.

Sentosa Heights, which was launched in August last year, is strategically located in Kajang town centre. The 12-acre development has a GDV of RM80 million. There will be 46 units of 2 and 3-storey semidees with built-ups of 3,567 to 4,115 sq ft, 12 bungalows with built-ups from 4,092 to 4,292 sq ft and four bungalow lots. The semidees are priced from RM1.1 million, while the bungalows are from RM1.5 million.

The developer is looking to launch RM690 million worth of projects in Kajang and Semenyih in the near future. “We purchased landbank in the Kajang-Semenyih area because we understand there is no more big township development land within the Klang Valley. Even Kajang and Semenyih are already mature.

“Furthermore, the population within this area has an average growth rate of 8% per annum. Property prices here are still affordable for many people,” says Chan.

Metro Kajang is also involved in a development in Morib, near the beach area, where it has plans for 271 water chalets spanning 29 acres. Chan says the Morib resort project is a joint venture with Selangor’s State Development Corporation (PKNS).

Developments in KL and Petaling Jaya that are on the drawing board include one in Pantai Dalam, but details are sketchy as it is still in the conceptual stage.

On the property market outlook for the year, Chen says: “The property market in the country is very stable, and I do not see a major bubble in the foreseeable future. There has been some downward movement, or what some people refer to as pockets of bubbles, but I believe there is a soft landing to cushion the downward spiral. The holding power is still there.”


This article appeared in City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 845, Feb 14-20, 2011


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