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Monday, February 25, 2008

Nusajaya vibrant city by year 2011

BANDAR Nusajaya in the Iskandar Development Region (IDR) will come alive in 2011 when the projects and activities planned for the township takes shape.

UEM Land Sdn Bhd, through its subsidiary Bandar Nusajaya Development Sdn Bhd, is the master developer of the sprawling 24,000-acre integrated urban development of Nusajaya.

With Nusajaya being one of the five key flagship zones of the IDR, UEM Land is in an advantageous position to reap the fruits of the development of IDR into a major regional economic hub under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

According to UEM Land managing director Wan Abdullah Wan Ibrahim, the company has become more active in the last three years and implemented various changes to its plans for the township.

Wan Abdullah Wan Ibrahim

“We have been successful in putting Nusajaya back on the map with new activities and branding. We expect the momentum to pick up these two to three years,” he told StarBiz.

The blueprint for Nusajaya has been changed to cater to the present and future needs of the population of 500,000 when the development is completed in the next 20 to 25 years.

There are seven growth catalysts for Nusajaya – the residential component, a 2,400-acre international resort, 600-acre-EduCity, 700-acre MediCity, 688-acre Puteri Harbour waterfront development, 320-acre Johor State New Administrative Centre and 1,300-acre Southern Industrial and Logistics Cluster (SiLC).

Nusajaya will have 100,000 residential units eventually, and so far, 16,000 houses have been built and occupied, including those built by other developers.

Nusa Idaman and Horizon Hills are two residential developments launched in the last two years, the latter a joint venture with Gamuda Bhd.

The latest project launched was the East Ledang resort residential development, which comprises 861 upmarket residences including super link terrace houses, semi-detached units and bungalows. The project is expected to generate RM1bil in gross development value.

Wan Abdullah said the Puteri Harbour development would have its marina ready to receive its first boat in August, complete with a clubhouse and promenade.

An artist’s impression of Puteri Harbour

Being the “pride and joy” of Nusajaya, he said Puteri Harbour had attracted substantial interest from other parties for joint development and also from property purchasers.

The company has announced its joint venture with Limitless LLC of Dubai World to develop Residential North of Puteri Harbour with exclusive canal housing and retail facilities.

Wan Abdullah said RM60mil had been spent on the first phase infrastructure to build the inner lagoon. The second phase, expected to cost RM100mil, would complete the outer lagoon and hence establish the waterfront.

The initiatives to inject life and vibrancy of a thriving waterfront development into Puteri Harbour include the provision of retail and dining facilities, and efforts to have The School of Performing Arts and School of Culinary Arts located at the harbour front.

On the progress of the other components, Wan Abdullah said the Johor State New Administrative Centre was 97% completed and would be occupied by the state departments this year.

“EduCity will be home to international schools and universities and will elevate Nusajaya as an international education hub,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Customs Immigration Quarantine and Port Clearance Complex are slated to be ready by 2010. The scheduled opening of Singapore's two integrated resorts in 2010 will also benefit Nusajaya greatly.

“We are positioning Nusajaya to complement Singapore, especially when both offer very different environments.

“Singapore's spiralling property prices will be the push factor for a growing interest among Singaporeans for properties in Nusajaya,” Wan Abdullah said.

He said although some areas in Johor, especially the medium-cost housing market, were still facing supply overhang, demand remained strong in strategic locations such as Nusajaya.

“We expect demand to pick up further with the imminent opening and operations of Johor's new administrative centre and as more of our catalyst developments, such as the SiLC and Puteri Harbour, mature in the next few years.”

Besides Singaporeans, the company is also targeting the big expatriate population in the republic and buyers from other regional markets for its wide spread residential and commercial properties.

“Prices of properties in our development are only a fraction of that in Singapore and other cities in the region. Investors are seeing the potential value offered by Nusajaya,” Wan Abdullah said.

By The Star (by Angie Ng)

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