SunCity’s green awards

Sunway City Bhd (SunCity) has joined the league of Malaysian developers whose projects have been awarded the coveted Green Mark certifications by Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority (BCA).

Sunway Palazzio development in Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur, a residential high-rise development, obtained the BCA’s Green Mark Gold Award (provisional), while Sunway Challis Damansara in Sunway Damansara received BCA’s Green Mark Certified Award (provisional). Sunway Challis Damansara is the first landed residential development to receive the BCA award.

The BCA Green Mark scheme is a rating system that evaluates a building’s environmental impact and performance. The initiative was launched in 2005 to promote sustainability and raise environmental awareness among developers, designers and builders.

The award is based on five key criteria: energy efficiency; water efficiency; site/project development and management; good indoor environmental quality and environmental protection; and innovation. Depending on the points scored, buildings are awarded Platinum, GoldPLUS, Gold or Certified rating.

A jubilant Ngian Siew Siong, SunCity managing director, says it has always been part of the company’s philosophy to incorporate sustainable principles in its developments. For instance, Sunway houses have always been built with a north-south orientation while cavity walls are used for better insulation.

Last year, Sunrise Bhd’s [email protected]’Kiara condominium development in Mont’Kiara became the first high-rise residential development to receive BCA’s Green Mark Certified Award (provisional). Recently, Sunrise’s 18.76-acre Solaris on the Park mixed development, with a prospective gross development value (GDV) of RM2.3 billion, was awarded BCA’s Green Mark Gold Award (provisional). The developer has also submitted the two-tower Solaris KL office development located off Jalan Sultan Ismail to Singapore’s BCA for rating.
Meanwhile, the RM450-million G Tower in Kuala Lumpur, developed by Goldis Bhd wholly owned subsidiary G Tower Sdn Bhd, also obtained BCA’s Green Mark Gold Award (provisional).

Not by design
SunCity apparently did not design the developments specifically to meet BCA’s green standards. “We did not plan to have our projects certified by BCA. However, when some of the other developments started obtaining BCA certification, we decided to submit these two projects to BCA and see where SunCity stands,” Ngian explains, adding that the few remaining units at Sunway Challis Damansara were snapped up after the developer obtained the BCA award.

The RM60-million Sunway Challis Damansara sits on a 5.34-acre tract, with 102 units of 1½-storey garden villas. Launched in 2007, the developer sold the units, with average built-ups of 2,131 to 2,472 sq ft, for between RM553,000 and RM670,000. In the same year, the RM458-million Sunway Palazzio, a joint venture between SunCity and landowner Medallion Development Sdn Bhd, was unveiled. Comprising 160 units, it sits on a 4.3-acre freehold site. In December 2007, the developer sold one of the 20-storey blocks, or 80 units, for RM750 psf or RM219 million, to Radiant Splendour Sdn Bhd. The units in the other tower have registered a take-up of 85%, and the rest, with built-ups of 2,500 and 3,000 sq ft, are tagged from RM2.5 million. Maintenance fee, inclusive of sinking fund, is 40 sen psf.

Malaysian certification too?
With the award, SunCity plans to get all its future developments certified as “green” developments. “The next one up for certification will be Sunway Vivaldi,” Ngian tells City & Country. He does not rule out obtaining certification from Malaysia’s own Green Building Index — a new rating system jointly developed by Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia or Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM) and the Association of Consulting Engineers Malaysia that was launched last week.

With a GDV of RM635 million, Sunway Vivaldi @ Mont’Kiara sits on a 7.7-acre tract and features 228 condos and duplexes housed in six blocks.

The developer soft-launched three blocks of 94 condos and duplexes in April 2008 and at presstime, some 31% has been taken up. A typical 2,573 sq ft unit is tagged from RM2.3 million.

The developer also recently submitted layout plans to Kuala Lumpur City Hall for its first commercial development, which will also seek green rating certification. Slated for launch next year is the RM1.5-billion Sunway VeloCity KL integrated commercial development, located at the cross junction of Jalan Peel and Jalan Cheras in Kuala Lumpur.

A joint venture with the landowner, the 22.6-acre freehold project features a 800,000 sq ft shopping mall, serviced apartments and shopoffices. It is due to be completed in five years. With a total gross floor area of five million sq ft, one of the features of Sunway Velocity is the pedestrian-friendly environmental deck, or eco-deck, that serves to separate vehicular from pedestrian traffic, while linking up all the components of the development.

Triple Z Series
SunCity currently has more than RM1 billion worth of properties left on the market, mainly from three of its major residential developments in the Klang Valley, namely BayRocks Garden Waterfront Villas @ Sunway South Quay, Sunway Vivaldi and Villa Manja @ Sunway SPK Damansara.

The developer introduced the Triple Z Series scheme in April this year to boost sales. One feature of the ownership-made-easy scheme is that purchasers need not have to service the principal amount of the loan for up to 60 months from the the first loan drawdown, giving them potential savings. “When the time comes, the market would have fully recovered and properties located in popular areas will certainly see an upside. Moreover, we also allow buyers to sell their units on the secondary market before completion for them to enjoy some capital appreciation,” says Ngian.

Under the scheme, purchasers make a 5% to 10% downpayment. They also enjoy zero-interest payment during construction, zero payment for up to 24 months after completion and zero-principal payment for up to 60 months from the first loan drawdown. This package is only applicable to SunCity’s high-end developments of BayRocks Garden Waterfront Villas @ Sunway South Quay, Sunway Vivaldi @ Mont’Kiara and Villa Manja @ Sunway SPK Damansara.

The RM357-million BayRocks Garden Waterfront Villas @ Sunway South Quay is the only landed residential component in Sunway South Quay that has a total GDV of RM5.2 billion. With only 77 units, these 2-storey and 2½-storey villas have land areas from 7,172 sq ft and built-ups from 6,469 sq ft. A unit here will set you back from RM4.5 million. As many as 27 units have been sold so far.  

Themed a lakeside metropolis featuring 4,000 high-end villas, condominiums and shops, Sunway South Quay is a gated and guarded development spread over 178 acres. To be undertaken over eight years in 15 phases, the enclave features a 28-acre lake.  

At end-2007, SunCity sold en bloc 249 condos to Luxury Court Sdn Bhd for about RM170 million. Luxury Court is a joint venture between CI Korea Ltd and Daol Trust & Fund Co Ltd, South Korea’s first specialised real estate fund investment and management company.

The RM370-million Villa Manja @ Sunway SPK Damansara features 196 units of 2-storey twin villas over two phases. For the first phase, the developer offered 100 units in August 2007 and 71% has been taken up. Less than a year later, it offered an additional 96 units for the second phase, which registered a take-up of 30%. The price tag for the units (land area: 45ft by 90ft; built-up: 3,948 sq ft) starts from RM2 million.

With its green commitment, recovery in the equity market and renewed confidence in the property sector, the developer is confident of achieving its sales target of RM330 million for 2009. Last year, it achieved sales worth RM725 million, while progress billings of unbilled sales currently total RM869 million. For the first 4½ months of the year, sales from SunCity’s ongoing projects stand at RM41 million, or 12.4%, of its target. With about seven months to the year-end, an undaunted Ngian believes the developer’s proven track record and capital appreciation at its previous projects will attract prospective customers and enable it to meet its target.

This article appeared in City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 756, May 25 – 31, 2009.

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