City&Country: OSK to develop activity hub in Cyberjaya

Cyberjaya is often perceived as the nerdy cousin of the staid, administrative capital of Putrajaya. While the former was designed as a hub for IT and IT-related industries and is home to a number of  multinational corporations, its less-than-vibrant retail scene and lack of nightlife has not helped to differentiate it from the surrounding administrative capital.

“People perceive Cyberjaya to be like Putrajaya, maybe because of the ‘Jaya’ suffix as well as their proximity to each other. Otherwise, it is really just like Puchong [and the nearby suburbs],” observes OSK Property Holdings Bhd senior public relations and communications executive Emily Cheng.

The real estate developer is ready to dispel this notion as it is poised to introduce its second development here — the Pan’gaea mixed-use development that will cover 16 acres of freehold land in Persiaran Bestari in the western part of the IT hub.

Pan’gaea will comprise serviced apartments, offices, shops, a hotel and a retail mall, and will be developed in five phases over four years. The Green Building Index-compliant development will have five acres of landscaping and employ a rainwater-harvesting system, among other features.

Phases one and three will each feature 800 units of serviced apartments, while phase two will contain 4-storey shops housed in a podium. Phase four will consist of an office tower and a hotel and phase five will feature a retail mall with a tentative net lettable area (NLA) of 500,000 sq ft, says Cheng.

The mixed-use development has an estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM1.2 billion.
Indicative prices for the serviced apartments in phase one, also known as Solstice, range from RM188,000 to RM450,000. The built-ups range from 450 to 880 sq ft with layouts featuring one to three bedrooms. The 880 sq ft unit is a duplex with 2+1 bedrooms.

The serviced apartments will also feature large windows to maximise natural lighting and sky garden terraces on each floor, adds Cheng.

Other facilities include a 50m infinity pool, pool bar, hanging gazebo, reflexology path, gym, squash court, launderette, convenience store and business lounge.

“In the first phase, the serviced apartments might be housed in one or two towers … we’re still tweaking the plans,” Cheng explains. Prices and built-ups for the shops have also not been fixed.

OSK Property aims to get a four-star rating for its hotel and will be looking for hotel operators.

Construction work on Pan’gaea is slated to begin later this year and expected to be fully completed in 2016.

Unlike its first foray into Cyberjaya in the form of the Mirage by the Lake high-end residential development, Pan’gaea is an effort to cater for the mass-market as more residents from the surrounding suburbs such as Subang Jaya and Puchong look at relocating to the area, says Cheng.

Mirage by the Lake comprises 125 low-rise condos, 26 3-storey lake villas, 39 2-storey link villas and three garden villas, and has a GDV of RM350 million. Phase one, which features the condos, is sold out while Phase two is 30% sold.

A number of other developments will be coming up in Cyberjaya such as S P Setia Bhd’s RM3 billion, 268-acre Setia Eco Glades mixed-use development and Mah Sing Group Bhd’s RM690 million gated and guarded mini-township Garden Residences.

OSK Property envisages Pan’gaea — or at least the retail mall — as the hub of all the surrounding homes coming up in the future.

“We want this development to [anchor] the area. We feel that that with the mall, it will be a hub of activity in the immediate area and the larger Cyberjaya area,” says Cheng.

Other projects
Coming up in Jalan Yap Kwan Seng in Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) is Mirage Residence, OSK Property’s second development under its Mirage series of luxury homes.

The 25-storey condo will come up on a freehold tract just under an acre wide and will feature 102 units ranging from 850 to 3,100 sq ft. The average size of the units is 1,400 sq ft, says Cheng.

Prices will be from RM1,100 to RM1,200, resulting in a GDV of RM175 million, she adds.
According to Cheng, some 500 people attended the preview held in late September.

The condo project’s predecessor is Mirage by the Lake in Cyberjaya, featuring lake villas, garden villas and low-rise condos at Perdana Lakeview West.

Meanwhile, work has begun on OSK Property’s Atria mixed-use development in Damansara Jaya in Petaling Jaya with the demolishing of the car park and parts of the retail mall.

“We have been talking to some potential anchor tenants but we are taking our time as it will be a while before demolition works are completed,” says Cheng.

OSK Property is looking for tenants that would cater for the fairly affluent residents of the neighbourhood.

“We want to complement the neighbourhood malls, such as Tropicana City Mall [in SS20, Petaling Jaya] and The Curve [in Mutiara Damansara],” she says.

Atria will comprise a 5-storey retail podium with an NLA of 450,000 sq ft and 1,830 parking bays within a multi-level car park. On top of the podium are two 16-storey office towers with a possible gross floor area of 310,000 sq ft. One of the towers will feature 110 designer office suites that will range from 597 to 4,846 sq ft. “The designer office suites have an indicative price tag of RM700 psf. The other tower will be sold on an en-bloc basis at the right price,” says Cheng.

Future plans in Cyberjaya
OSK Property is scouting for more land in Cyberjaya and plans to offer landed homes next as it perceives good demand for these, judging by the impressive take-up of Suntrack Development Sdn Bhd’s SummerGlades and UEM Land Holdings Bhd’s Symphony Hills, says Cheng.

Both projects were launched in the middle of last year and sold out. SummerGlades is located at the exclusive enclave of Perdana LakeView West — home to tycoons and political heavyweights such as former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad — while Symphony Hills is located in Persiaran Bestari, near Pan’gaea.

“Most of the land available for development is in the western part of Cyberjaya and they have been earmarked for landed properties,” Cheng adds.

OSK Property is not ruling out a high-end development in the area, given the neighbourhood’s posh credentials.

Cyberjaya’s prospects

According to Saleha Yusof, head of research at Rahim & Co, Cyberjaya has seen a lot of development in recent years. In fact, the town’s master planner Setia Haruman Sdn Bhd expects it to be fully completed in 15 years.

“As of 2010, 35% of the total 3,705 acres had been developed either by Setia Haruman or other developers via land sales. The arrival of reputable developers in Cyberjaya such as Mah Sing Group Bhd, Glomac Bhd and UEM Land Holdings Bhd has helped to boost growth in Cyberjaya — particularly in the residential market.

“Take-up rates of newly launched residential developments have been very encouraging with the majority of the projects registering 70% to 100% [sales] within one year of launch. Residential properties in Cyberjaya offer unique design features that primarily promote the lifestyle resort concept with a modern and sleek design that blends with the surroundings — greenery and lakes.

“SoHos are also becoming a favoured property here as they integrate living and working in the same area. This concept has gained popularity, especially among young business entrepreneurs who need to minimise their business start-up cost,” Saleha points out.

She says over 500 companies have set up their businesses in Cyberjaya, besides using it as an outsourcing and solutions centre. These include MNCs such as DHL, HSBC Malaysia Bank Bhd , Dell Malaysia, Shell, BMW, Advanced Micro Devices and Sony Ericsson.

“As at 2009, the population in Cyberjaya was 39,000 people with 39% [15,000] belonging to the working-class group — in MNCs or local companies. It is learnt there are about 3,000 to 4,000 expatriates working in Cyberjaya,” says Saleha.

She notes that the population in Cyberjaya is expected to grow to 180,000 by 2025. There is also more upside for the town as the government is expected to strengthen its position as the preferred destination for information and communications technology, multimedia and shared-services outsourcing investments and operations locally and abroad, in line with various economic transformation schemes.

“Nonetheless, we believe local buyers will continue to dominate the market in Cyberjaya.

Expatriates will be primarily drawn from within Cyberjaya as we reckon expatriates working outside the town will continue to make Mont’Kiara, Bangsar, Petaling Jaya and KLCC their home as these areas are well facilitated with their lifestyle preferences,” says Saleha.

Investor demand for condominiums in Cyberjaya with its integrated “intelligent-city concept” is gaining momentum, she says, attributing this to the projects’ relatively low selling price, the new office parks that will eventually attract more local and international professionals, as well as their proximity to tertiary institutions such as Limkokwing University of Creative Technology and Multimedia University.

“For owner-occupiers, Cyberjaya offers the chance to live in tranquil, modern, affordable yet lavish homes, including in condominiums such as Serin Residency and Mirage by the Lake,” Saleha adds.

Furthermore, the completion of the Maju Expressway has significantly improved accessibility to Cyberjaya, enabling its residential properties to also capture KLCC’s working population, she offers.

The flipside of Cyberjaya is that it is not as vibrant as Mutiara Damansara, Bandar Sunway or Puchong.

“Comprehensive community facilities in the vicinity, public primary and secondary [schools], retail markets and hypermarkets lie outside of Cyberjaya and require residents to travel. Besides, there has been no concrete initiative to provide a rail system in Cyberjaya such as the LRT, MRT or monorail, apart from the existing express rail link [from KL Sentral to Kuala Lumpur International Airport],” says Saleha.

This article appeared in City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 881, Oct 24-30, 2011

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