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City&Country: Taking the Twin Palms brand up a notch

If you take a drive to Kemensah, a stone’s throw away from the National Zoo in Kuala Lumpur, you will notice a number of on-going projects there. The area is attractive for its lush greenery and impressive hills, its proximity to the Kuala Lumpur city centre, and several major expressways that ensure convenience and connectivity.

Among the developers building here is Lum Chang Group, which unveiled its 30-acre high-end residential development Twin Palms Kemensah on March 27. The freehold gated and guarded development in the foothills of Bukit Tabur, with a total gross development value (GDV) of RM400 million offers a total of 128 bungalows. Twin Palms Kemensah will be developed in three phases.

The weekend launch of the first phase, named Cubist, comprising 42 bungalows, out of which 25 were open for sale, were priced from RM2.8 million. The developer says the remaining 17 bungalows are expected to launch by 4Q2010. Built-ups are from 4,770 to 4,800 sq ft and each master bathroom comes with a jacuzzi.

altLum Chang group (Malaysia) executive director Cham Kooi Joo tells City & Country the development site, which was previously secondary jungle, was purchased about four years ago from another developer. “It took us about two years to plan the development as there is not much land left in the area. The low density development has a linear park with views of the Kemensah area,” he says.

Lum Chang general manager George Fong says other unique features of Twin Palms Kemensah are its interior architecture — with a central staircase and a triple volume ceiling that allows in natural light and acts as a visual link through the house. One of the highlights is the specific areas designed for family bonding. For example, in the three designs offered in the first phase, purchasers can choose to have the family area or kitchen on the ground floor or on the first floor.

Fong says target buyers for the Twin Palms Kemensah project are well-travelled people who are receptive to new concepts and designs. He describes the first phase design as “selfish on the outside, appreciated from the inside.” By that, he means one must look beyond the minimalist cube design of the exterior of this very modern house and view the interior spaces.

Cham prefers to let the development itself do the talking, similar to Twin Palms Sungai Long that he says has seen many repeat buyers from their earlier projects. There are currently two Twin Palms developments — Twin Palms Sungai Long and the upcoming Twin Palms Kemensah. The 126-acre freehold gated and guarded Twin Palms Sungai Long development in Cheras comprising bungalows, semi-dees and superlink homes was first launched in 2007, and is currently 20% completed.

The developer launched early March its third phase within Twin Palms Sungai Long, comprising 41 bungalows, out of which 17 units were open for sale. The bungalows, with built-ups of 5,019sq ft and 5,024 sq ft, are tagged from RM1.8 million.

Cham says the first phase of Twin Palms Sungai Long, known as the Palmyra link homes, was priced from RM595,000 at the October 2007 launch and recent secondary transactions were about RM680,000 to RM700,000. The 60 units with a land size of 26ft x 80ft were fully sold, completed and handed over in October last year.

Twin Palms Sungai Long also has a clubhouse named The Orinoco which offers facilities such as a swimming pool, gymnasium, children’s playroom and poolside café.

“We will continue to build our Twin Palms brand focusing on high-end properties with resort-living ambience that have become synonymous with the Lum Chang Group,” Cham says.

The developer plans to continue looking for land in the Klang Valley. “But right now we are focusing on our existing projects. Based on our current planning, Twin Palms Sungai Long will take another six years to complete,” Cham says.

Lum Chang’s previous projects include The Forum, Wickham Manor and Damansara Villa in Kuala Lumpur, and Laman Seri and Suria 618 in Shah Alam, Selangor. Its flagship development was the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club (KLGCC), which was sold to the Sime Darby Group in 1996.
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