KUALA LUMPUR: Boutique property developer KL Metro Group is gearing up to expand its signature water homes resort to Penang, said Datuk Low Tak Fatt, managing director, KL Metro Development Sdn Bhd during a press conference on Oct 27. Water homes are properties built on a platform or surface over water, in this case, over the sea.
This project is the company’s first in Penang and the 460 units of water homes will be situated in Teluk Kumbar, a fishing village on the southern part of Penang island. According to Low, the water homes will be built in the shape of Malaysia’s national flower, the hibiscus, hence the name of the project, The Hibiscus in Penang.
The company is in the midst of obtaining approval for the development and aims to launch the project by the middle of 2010. KL Metro Group is also seeking to trademark the name, The Hibiscus as the company plans to develop similar water homes in other parts of the country under the same brand name, said Low.
Low also announced the completion of phase 2 of KL Metro Group’s RM160 million gross development value (GDV) water homes project in Port Dickson, The Legend International Water Homes. Phase 1, the Legend Water Chalets comprising 329 units, opened it doors in October 2006.
All units in phases 1 and 2 have been sold on a leaseback arrangement whereby the developer leases the sold units back from the buyer. According Low, the buyers have a 10-year contract in which they are paid 8% per annum of their purchase price.
The Legend International Water Homes comprises of 249 units. Each unit comes with its own swimming pool and is sized between 1,000 sq ft and 1,300 sq ft. The resort will be managed by the Legend Group of Hotel & Resorts. The Balinese-themed luxury resort is expected to generate an occupancy rate of at least 55% from foreigners.
Low is optimistic the resort business will perform well. “Firstly, the supply of water homes in the market is very limited. The strong demand for water homes is proven in the high room rates charged by other water homes resorts like Pangkor Laut, Avillion and our Legend Water Chalets. It is our company’s philosophy to develop more high-end resort homes in the country as well as abroad,” said Low. The Legend Water Chalets enjoys an average occupancy rate of 60% to 65% all year round.
Addressing the tsunami threat, Low assured that based on the geographical position of the country, the chances of being hit by a tsunami are very minimal. “To give that extra assurance, we have arranged for insurance coverage for the property owners,” added Low.
Also in the pipeline are phase 3 of its Port Dickson water homes development, 74 units of landed resort homes with a GDV of RM45 million and 30 units of freehold semi-detached houses in Bangi with a GDV of RM25 million.
“We are exploring opportunities in China and Vietnam as well and are still in the midst of discussions with the relevant parties. We are also doing heavy marketing overseas to draw more tourists to our resorts,” said Low.
The Legend International Water Homes is slated for a soft opening on Nov 1, offering an average promotional rate of RM550 to RM900 inclusive of breakfast and dinner for two.