City&Country: New landmark for Taman Desa Jaya

The Innoverse Group is brimming with confidence and all geared up to take on ventures which others may find too challenging after its success in developing Ehsan Industrial Park in Kepong, Kuala Lumpur, in 2008.

The leasehold site on which the industrial park is located had been up for sale for some time because it was located near a cemetery and was deemed unsuitable in terms of geomancy.

The developer conducted a market study and was convinced that the plans it had in mind for the site would work. It then went ahead to acquire the land for RM30 psf.

The project comprises 21 units of detached and semi-detached factories, and construction on the 3.68-acre site began in 2006.

The detached factories have built-ups of 4,000 to 4,600 sq ft and land areas ranging from 8,644 to 17,632 sq ft. They were priced at between RM1.39 million and RM2.58 million.

The semi-detached factories, meanwhile, have built-ups of 2,960 and 3,440 sq ft, with land areas of 5,038 to 9,946 sq ft, and were tagged at RM868,000 to RM1.63 million.

The industrial park is the company’s first development and has been fully sold, says company founder and managing director Steven Lee, defying the critics.

Desa Jaya Commercial Centre
The success of Ehsan Industrial Park has affirmed The Innoverse Group’s optimism in the prospects of the Kepong property market, says Lee.

The company believes Kepong will be one of the main economic centres in northern Klang Valley and in 2007, entered into a joint venture with landowner Damani Sdn Bhd to redevelop a 1-storey hawker centre. Located on leasehold land in front of the Kepong wet market in Taman Desa Jaya, the centre has been operating for 30 years.

The most challenging task were negotiations with the tenants/hawkers, which took two years, says Lee. After coming up with a win-win solution in 2009, the group proceeded to get the necessary approvals.
The RM17.4-million project was finally launched on July 24.

alt align=left src= Desa Jaya Commercial Centre, the 1.35-acre site offers seven units of 5-storey shopoffices in a commercial block. With gross built-ups of 8,800 and 11,200 sq ft, these units are going for RM2.3 million to RM3.35 million. The development has 125 car parking bays.

“Desa Jaya is more than 30 years and it is very mature… there is nothing exciting happening here. So to bring excitement to the area, we have to go for redevelopment in the area — that’s our main intention. Ehsan Industrial Park is a benchmark for us.

“We wanted to build higher but there are restrictions by the local authority, so we only got five storeys. Nevertheless, that’s enough for it to become a new landmark in Desa Jaya. When there is a landmark, naturally the commercial area there will boom,” Lee tells City & Country.

The Innoverse Group is determined to drive urban redevelopment in other areas.
Based on market research, there is demand for offices in that area, Lee says, and the company has sold three units to date.

Targeted at corporate owners looking for shopoffices with lifts, Desa Jaya Commercial Centre has an open area on the first floor, which the owners can turn into an F&B area or hawker centre. By purchasing all five levels, owners can opt for leasing on a per unit basis.

Lee says hawkers from the old hawker centre have first priority for places in the hawker centre on the first floor. The developer has built a temporary hawker centre at the car park for the hawkers to continue their business while construction is going on.

“We are more than happy to help the hawkers rent places on the terrace on the first floor; after all, the owners are also looking for tenants. The temporary hawker centre will be demolished after the building is completed,” he says.

Lee believes that the value of the old shop lots nearby could rise when the development is completed. Citing Ehsan Industrial Park as an example, he says the value of properties there went up by 20% to 30% after the project was completed.

The Innoverse Group first ventured into the construction and property business in 2003. Lee, a quantity surveyor, has experience in the property development and construction sector in the public and private sectors although the company was set up to carry out civil engineering, mechanical and general building contracting works. It also provides management services.

The group is currently into another joint-venture project in Kuala Lumpur, called Jinjang Avenue. The 22-acre mixed development in Jinjang, with a gross development value of RM200 million, is in the final stage of planning.

The group, Lee adds, has no plans to develop projects on its own because of the high holding cost. However, it is looking at joint ventures
in Klang.

This article appeared in City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 816, July 26-Aug 1, 2010

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