City&Country: Trinity designs for flexibility

The New Economic Model and the Economic Transformation Plan are designed to attract investment, both local and foreign, and turn Malaysia into a business destination of choice.

Trinity Group Sdn Bhd, the developer of light industrial project Latitude @ USJ 19, plans to tap into the small and medium industry (SMI) market, targeting those looking for value-added manufacturing facilities, managing director Datuk Neoh Soo Keat tells City & Country.

The project comprises 14 units of 2½-storey semi-detached factories and a larger standalone 2½-storey factory within a gated and guarded compound.

The 5.8-acre leasehold project in Subang, Selangor, with a gross development value (GDV) of RM65 million, is located behind Rhythm Avenue Axis, whose anchor tenants are Carrefour and Digital Mall. Close by is The Summit USJ mixed development.

Formerly known as Trinity Towers, the relatively young developer that focuses on niche developments, renamed itself Trinity Group to reflect its more varied offerings following its maiden light industrial development.

“This project was developed for the needs of SMIs engaged in more sophisticated processes, such as the manufacture of food, medical equipment, boxes and branded clothing and accessories, says Neoh.

“The location is accessible via the KESAS, LDP, ELITE and upcoming SKVE highways. It is in a well-established neighbourhood, well-served with amenities that could serve the factory workers, satisfying the demands of our buyers.”

Size matters
In keeping with its name, Latitude’s key selling point is its larger space.

“If you look at the factories in the vicinity [Subang Jaya and Shah Alam], they lack space. These factories [generally] have a land area of 6,000 sq ft and built-up of 5,000 sq ft,” says Neoh.

The smallest semi-detached unit at Latitude will have a built-up of 7,613 sq ft and a land area of 10,987 sq ft, while the largest semi-detached unit will have a built-up of 8,057 sq ft and a land area of 16,751 sq ft. The standalone factory’s built-up will be  10,622 sq ft on a 17,933 sq ft plot.

The larger land area can accommodate at least eight vehicles and allow trailers (10-wheelers and 12-wheelers) with 40-foot containers to park and unload, saving business owners storage and parking surcharges while boosting efficiency, says Neoh. There is also room to expand the building.

The building comes with a 20ft-high double-volume warehouse facility at the back, while the ground floor at the front of the building has a 13ft high ceiling.

The warehouse space allows for processing equipment, more storage space and even forklifts, says Neoh.

Other features include a sleek, modern glass façade, lifts, CCTV cameras around the perimeter and round-the-clock security.

Neoh says the buildings come with a power supply of 150 amperes, but buyers can opt to bump this up. The ground floor can withstand 7.5 kiloNewtons of force per sq m, first floor five kiloNewtons per sq m and the top floor 2.5 kiloNewtons per sq m.

Trinity Group is targeting upgraders from Subang Jaya and Shah Alam as well as investors looking for rental income.

Prices for the semi-detached units range from RM3.6 million to RM5 million while the standalone unit is priced at RM7 million.

Multiple functions
Neoh says the factories were designed to serve a number of functions — as a corporate office, warehouse, commercial outlet and even a residence.

“This concept is very popular in Taiwan right now. Business owners may want to live on the premises if they need to oversee machines that run around the clock. Or, they may allow key personnel to live on-site,” he says.

The upper floors are open spaces which owners can renovate to suit their own purposes, and the topmost floor comes with a toilet.

“Since [the units] are individually titled, the owners can do whatever they want. For instance, an interior design firm or a medical equipment firm could use the space to showcase its products,” says Neoh.

Investment potential?
Axis REIT Managers Bhd director Stephen Tew tells City & Country that capital appreciation of industrial properties from Kuala Lumpur to Shah Alam has seen an upside of 10% to 15% over the past 12 months.

Tew, a member of the team managing the real estate investment trust’s industrial and office buildings, is however sceptical of the potential recurring income from rents that these properties may generate as higher prices, coupled with flat rental growth, have resulted in yield compression.
“It’s more of an end-user market at this moment. It’s very niche now. You wouldn’t be buying industrial properties anyway — unless you are looking for something specific,” he says.

Going forward
During the soft launch on Nov 19, which the group’s previous product buyers and its business associates attended, Latitude @ USJ 19 saw a 60% take-up rate, Neoh says.

Given the interest in the product, the group has earmarked a three-acre site in the vicinity for a similar development with a GDV of RM45 million. Approvals are pending, says Neoh.

The industrial project adds to the variety of products the developer has in its portfolio. Ongoing projects include its gated and guarded residential project 19 Residency (GDV of RM24 million) in Bandar Bukit Puchong and its mixed development The Zest @ Kinrara 9 (GDV of RM250 million).
Both projects have been fully sold, except for a limited number of bumiputera units at The Zest. Its maiden project, The Heron Residency condominium in Bukit Bandar Puchong, has already been completed.

The developer has several pockets of prime land around the Klang Valley earmarked for development in the near future, including a seven-acre residential site in Bukit Jalil for a RM400 million development, three acres of residential land in Melawati with a GDV of RM60 million and the three acres of industrial land in USJ 19.

This article appeared in City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 836, Dec 13-19, 2010

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