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Friday, November 30, 2007

From secondary jungle to thriving township

What was once considered secondary jungle 10 years ago is now a thriving selfintegrated township with a good mix of residential and commercial properties.

Property developer Glomac Bhd saw the potential of the 500-acre piece of land in the heart of Sungai Buloh and transformed it into the now 1,100-acre Bandar Saujana Utama, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this Sunday.

Its group managing director Datuk FD Iskandar (pix) said the developer took a risk to come up with a township in the area, which was considered relatively far from Kuala Lumpur and nearby townships such as Shah Alam and Petaling Jaya.

“At that time, we had to go for cheaper land as we could not compete with the bigger boys who could afford expensive land nearer to the KL city centre,” he told PropertyPlus. The calculated risk seems to have paid off as the township now enjoys take-up rates of up to 90% for its properties. About RM750 million-worth of properties here have been sold so far.

The Bandar Saujana Utama project began in 1997, via a joint venture, and over the years accumulated more land thus expanding the township to its size of more than 1,000 acres today.

“We started off by selling 1- and 2-storey terraced houses priced at RM90,000 and RM108,000 respectively, but sales were difficult to come by due to the recession in 1998,” he said. A decade later, prices for these units have doubled to about RM200,000 each.

Fortunately for the development, the government announced the first Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) a few months after the houses were launched, and purchasers of affordable homes (priced below RM250,000) were given incentives such as stamp duty waivers and developers absorbing the S&P fees. “We anticipated sales to be slow and targeted only two
phases a year, instead we managed to clear three phases during the HOC period,” FD Iskandar revealed.

Bandar Saujana Utama is accessible via the Guthrie Corridor Highway, North Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE), an upgraded trunk road to the MRR2, and the proposed New North Klang Valley Expressway (NNKVE). It has a total gross development value (GDV) of RM1.3 billion, with 5,500 properties already handed over.

Township amenities
To create added value and benefits for the residents of Bandar Saujana Utama, the developer has provided numerous amenities and facilities in the township. These include a residential clubhouse with facilities such as a swimming pool, gymnasium and tennis courts, the Elmina Equestrian Centre, which offers horse riding classes, and schools such as SK Saujana Utama and SMK Saujana Utama. The upcoming Universiti Teknologi Mara is located five minutes drive away.

Central Mart, the latest addition to the township’s commercial hub known as SU Central, is expected to bring added business and vibrancy to the self-integrated township. It is a RM12 million joint venture project between the developer and Trendcell Sdn Bhd.

“Ever since it opened in June, Central Mart has definitely exceeded expectations and would no doubt be a major centre for business and social activities to almost 30,000 residents in Bandar Saujana Utama and the surrounding areas,” FD Iskandar said.

The township's Central Mart is expected to bring more businesses to the area

He added that being the first modern supermarket in the vicinity, the mart would complement the other conveniences already available in the commercial centre, including SU Mall, Saujana Square and Saujana Square 2.

The 50,000 sq ft modern building comprises a wet and dry market, offering a wide variety of fresh vegetable, fruits and seafood at reasonable prices. The mart also houses a food court and an Ace Hardware store. It was officiated by Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Tuesday.

Bandar Saujana started off as a small project but has since grown to a township with a huge market catchment of more than 20,000. This would in turn attract and give confidence to supermarket chains and operators like Central Mart to set up their business here,” he said.

He added that, as the township progresses, the developer would be able to upgrade its products.

“Besides terraced houses, Bandar Saujana Utama also offers super links at RM320,000, semidees from RM380,000 and bungalows from RM500,000 onwards,” he said.

On Sungai Buloh, he stated the area has great potential for future development due to improved accessibility. It is about a 35 to 45-minute drive to KL. “With improvements to public transportation and roads, I foresee traveling time to be reduced to only 30 minutes in the future,” he said adding that travelling time from Subang Jaya to Kelana Jaya also takes about the same time.

“Although our properties are priced slightly higher than others in the vicinity, buyers do not mind paying a 10% premium because we are a reputable developer and offer enhanced value to the properties they purchase,” he offered.

Anniversary carnival
In conjunction with the township's 10th anniversary, Glomac is organising the “Karnival Saujana Utama 2007”, at the township’s show village this Sunday. Among the activities planned include, face painting, lucky draws and a live performance from local comedian Saiful Apek. The developer is hoping to raise funds through the sale of coupons, with proceeds going to schools in the township and other charity organisations.

During the event, the group will be launching its latest phase of 2-storey terraced houses, consisting 120 units in phase 5B and 115 units in phase 3. Prices range from RM177,900 to RM205,8000.

Besides Bandar Saujana Utama, the developer has two other ongoing township developments, the 450-acre Sri Saujana in Johor and the 350-acre Saujana Rawang, located in the Northern Growth Corridor, 10 minutes from the Rawang interchange. The projects have GDVs of RM600 million and RM550 million respectively.

The group has 14 projects throughout Malaysia with a total GDV of RM3.3 billion. It also has warehouses in Australia and Thailand, and is undergoing due diligence for a university township development in India.

By theSun (by Yap Yew Jin)


Anonymous said...

Great job GLOMAC. However, the school is virtually 'bursting at the seams'. Pls put pressure on the govt to build another school.

In the meantime, pls check out this link to view what's happening at SK Saujana Utama.


NYDP, PIBG 2006-2008

Anonymous said...