City&Country: Rimbunan Raya offers more lifestyle projects in Ipoh

Ipoh city’s skyline is fast changing as more high-rise residential projects come up. Rimbunan Raya Sdn Bhd, a niche developer in Ipoh, is set to launch a serviced apartment project called Impiana Residences — a 13-storey tower located next to the Impiana Hotel Ipoh and right in heart of the city in Jalan Raja Dr Nazrin Shah — early next year. Aside from being one of the few serviced apartments in Ipoh, Impiana Residences is also the first such project to be integrated with a four-star hotel (Impiana Hotel Ipoh).

Sitting on a four-acre leasehold tract, which includes one acre of water body, namely the swimming pool and water landscape, the project has an estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM90 million. There will be 194 units in total with sizes ranging from 500 (studio unit) to 1,500 sq ft.

Rimbunan Raya is a subsidiary of Impiana Group that currently manages seven hotels, of which it owns five, including the Impiana KLCC and Impiana Resort Cherating in Kuantan, Pahang, and several hotels in Thailand.

The developer has so far completed RM170 million worth of projects. They are Greentown Square, a commercial development in Greentown Ipoh that was completed in 2006 and comprises 234 shopoffices on a four-acre site with a GDV of RM70 million; Greentown Suria (adjacent to Greentown Square) that consists of an 8-storey medical centre, 13 shopoffices, 24 serviced apartments and four office suites (completed in 2009); and The Enclave, an exclusive residential project (completed early 2011) in Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, which is also known as Tiger Lane.

According to Impiana Group executive director Mohd Yusof Muhammad Isahak, 700 sq ft (1 bedroom) units in Impiana Residences are indicatively priced from around RM400,000 to RM450,000, which he says is comparable with The Haven project in Tambun, Ipoh. The Haven Lakeside Residences is a leasehold condominium project by The Haven Sdn Bhd.

The target buyers for Impiana Residences are businessmen who are not based in Ipoh but have business in the city and the younger generation who prefer homes with a resort lifestyle environment within Ipoh. “The units overlook the Ipoh Turf Club,” Mohd Yusof tells City & Country.
Residents of Impiana Residences will also have the privilege of using some of the facilities at Impiana Hotel next door.

Impiana Group executive director for corporate strategies and hotel operations Francis Chung says: “Ipoh is perceived as a retirement city with a lot of elderly people and they obviously would like the young to come back. This [Impiana Residences] is a very good opportunity for them to live near their parents but at the same time enjoy condominium facilities and the hotel next to it. One will be literally experiencing the lifestyle and offerings of the four-star hotel.”

The serviced apartments will also have green features, including rainwater harvesting, and condominium facilities such as a gym, rooftop garden, specialty restaurant, concierge, hall and barbecue area.

The Enclave II
Rimbunan Raya recently held a soft launch for The Enclave II, which is located next to The Enclave, and the entrance to both developments is via the famous Tiger Lane. The Enclave II is right next to the Royal Perak Golf Club and 10 minutes away from the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport.

Sitting on a 14-acre leasehold tract, The Enclave II features 2-storey landed, gated and guarded homes. It offers 24 courtyard villas with a built-up of 4,300 sq ft, 15 twin villas (4,800 sq ft) and 41 linked villas or bungalows (6,000 sq ft), and the homes are priced from RM1 million. The GDV for The Enclave II is RM125 million.

The first phase of The Enclave II comprising 40 units was released for sale in January this year. So far, 70% of the units have been sold. The second phase was recently opened for sale, with a soft launch planned for end-September.

Chung says the buyers are mainly local businessmen, professionals and foreigners from Asian countries, such as Japan, China, Taiwan and South Korea. The houses appeal to them as either a retirement or holiday home, he adds.

The 2-storey homes come with a flat roof, suitable for barbecues and for the owners to enjoy a commanding view of the golf course. Some of the homes, mainly the linked villas (bungalows), will also have a Jacuzzi on the roof.

Neighbouring The Enclave II is The Enclave, which sits on a seven-acre tract. It comprises 16 three-storey semidees and 29 bungalows, with a GDV of RM60 million. Houses in The Enclave have all been taken up since early 2011. While the semidees at The Enclave were priced at RM800,000 (4,500 sq ft), those at The Enclave II are priced from RM1.4 million (4,800 sq ft). Bungalows in The Enclave cost RM1.6 million onwards (5,200 sq ft) while those at The Enclave II are being sold for RM2 million onwards (6,000 sq ft).

“We brought something new to Ipoh with The Enclave, something Ipoh never had before — a new, modern design with emphasis on lifestyle. Now, such lifestyle developments have become a trend there,” says Mohd Yusof.

Chung adds: “The Enclave II is a lifestyle residential development and the focal point is its golf course view and green landscaped surroundings. The homes are square-shaped, so our emphasis is on the space. It is a very modern design for Ipoh, something new again for Ipoh ... to top it all, it is on Tiger Lane.” The roads will also be pedestrian-friendly, with beautiful streetscapes.

Mohd Yusof, who hails from Perak, says Tiger Lane is a choice location in Ipoh. “It is very serene and highly sought after as the address is akin to Bangsar in Kuala Lumpur. The Enclave II has a more commanding view of the golf course.”

The Ipoh property market
Commenting on the Ipoh property market, Mohd Yusof says: “We believe in the dynamics of Ipoh for the high-end segment. Ipoh city has a lot of potential with its low density and affordable properties. The city offers a good standard of living and good connectivity. It is only two hours by train and car from Ipoh to Kuala Lumpur; the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport is just 30 minutes away.
“There’s an opportunity for investment here. Ipoh is also considered an education hub. We have Vale investing in Perak as well.”

Brazilian mining giant Vale International SA is reported to be investing at least RM3 billion in Perak.
“Ipoh has seen significant changes in the types of developments over the past years. The Enclave brought some new ideas to the market and it has become a trend now. In terms of pricing, it has also significantly increased. Terraced houses can now fetch close to RM400,000 compared with RM200,000 before. There is also an emphasis on lifestyle and not just your typical bricks and mortar,” Mohd Yusof adds.

Homes at The Enclave, which was completed early last year, have seen an increase in value of around 30% to 40% recently, based on transactions on the secondary market, says Chung.
Moving forward, aside from the upcoming Impiana Residences next year, the developer is also in the midst of negotiating either a joint venture or acquisition of land for a high-end residential development within Meru Raya in Ipoh, which, according to Mohd Yusof, is akin to Putrajaya.


This article appeared in City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 929, Sep 24-30, 2012

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