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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Branding Alam Jaya

Barisan Elite's RM200 million Alam Jaya Commercial Centre in Bandar Puncak Alam, Shah Alam, hopes to draw the interest of Klang Valley folks

IT is not only the ultra high-end projects by big players that create an impression, but sometimes niche projects by lesser-known developers manage to catch the eye. One such project is Barisan Elite Sdn Bhd’s RM200 million Alam Jaya Commercial Centre (AJCC) situated in Bandar Puncak Alam, Shah Alam, Selangor.

The 46-acre leasehold mixed development comprises five products — AJ Wallstreet, AJ Boulevard, AJ Gallery, AJ Serene and the AJ Hypermarket, something that its general manager Ong Yen Lee (pix) says was planned from the start when the land was purchased five years ago.



"We wanted to offer a product unique to this area as the surrounding developments are mostly residential townships,” says the accountant turned entrepreneur. “Although the surrounding townships have their own commercial parcels, they usually cater for the neighbourhood with mostly clinics, hairdressers, launderettes and coffee shops. At AJCC, we want to attract not only the surrounding business, but draw in the crowds from KL, Subang Jaya and Petaling Jaya,” adds Ong.

Barisan Elite is a collaboration between three professionals in the various fields of architecture, property development and finance. The group’s first project in 1993 was Taman Usahaniaga in Bukit Mertajam, Penang. That project with 121 units of 4- storey shopoffices and 484 units of apartments was developed under Matrix Development & Construction Sdn Bhd.

The group subsequently undertook the development of other mixed industrial, commercial and residential projects of Taman Industri Teguh in Penang (1997), Taman Bangi Jaya in Semenyih, Selangor (1998), Taman Harmoni Indah in Balakong, Selangor (1999) and Taman Impian Indah also in Balakong (2002).

Its most recent project is the RM250 million Taman Industri Alam Jaya also in Bandar Puncak
Alam. This 300-acre project is adjacent to AJCC and was completed in 2004 with 152 industrial lots, 367 units of 2-storey terraced homes, 284 units of shophouses and 380 apartment units.

Ong said the group never had difficulty in delivering projects, even during the 1997 economic crisis and often relied on the partners’ strong business networks to market their commercial products.

AJCC
The first phase, AJ Wallstreet has yet to be officially launched, but a takeup of over 85% has been achieved since Barisan Elite started marketing units mid-last year. The modern fa├žade AJ Wallstreet comprises 115 units of 2-storey shopoffices with spacious built-ups from 2,797 to 7,338 sq ft. The shopoffices are priced from RM318,000.

“We have not advertised much and are surprised by the good response as this proves that word-of mouth is an effective marketing tool. Some 15% are repeat buyers from the previous project, Taman Industri Alam Jaya, which has been fully sold. Also, our prices are competitive.



We know of similar shop offices in this area that are being marketed from RM400,000,” said Ong. AJ Boulevard (pix), the second product to be offered, was launched in January this year and to date 25% of the 262 units of 2-storey “streetmall” shops have been sold.

These shops have built-ups from 1,441 to 2,929 sq ft and are priced from RM249,000 to RM620,000. “The streetmall concept is not a new one as it has been popular for many years in China.

It provides patrons a comfortable shopping environment with a covered pedestrian walkway and
boulevard, making promotions and activities possible regardless of the weather," said Ong. She added that streetmalls provide an alternative for tenants who cannot afford to set up businesses in the luxury shopping malls with high rental as streetmalls have lower operating costs.

“To ensure full occupancy and vibrant business atmosphere, we will be managing the tenancy on
behalf of the buyer for a period and guaranteeing a 7% return of investment per annum for two to five years,” said Ong.

AJCC is strategically located at the fringes of Sungai Buloh, Klang and Shah Alam and is accessible via the Guthrie Corridor Expressway, Shah Alam-Batu Arang Highway, Jalan Meru and Jalan Kuala Selangor.

“In the near future, this area will be easily connected to Petaling Jaya, Mutiara Damansara. Damansara Perdana and Kuala Lumpur using the proposed New North Klang Valley Expressway. The fact that our project is served by many highways gives buyers confidence as one of the key criteria to look into when making an investment is road infrastructure,” said Ong.

AJCC is also near established townships such as Bandar Puncak Alam, Shah Alam II, Taman Puncak Alam, Taman Industri Alam Jaya, Desa Coalfields and Bandar Saujana Utama. There are
also many upcoming projects in this area such as Sunway Alam Suria, Alam Budiman, Cahaya SPK and Puncak Perdana.

“As AJCC is a new project, I have been asked whether there will be too many shops, but I do not feel that this is an issue as investors are forward thinking. The project is surrounded by matured townships and by 2010, the area is expecting a 700,000 household population. There will be added demand for properties when the nearby Universiti Teknologi Mara begins its first intake of students in 2009,” she said.

Future
To be launched in July are 800 units of middle-range serviced apartments in AJ Serene and five units of 2-storey standalone showrooms in AJ Gallery. Units in AJ Serene are priced from RM90,000 with average sizes at 850 sq ft.

“The apartments are targeted at factory supervisors and executives in the industrial area, as well as UiTM lecturers and students. It would be a convenient living choice as eateries and shopping areas are just a walk away,” said Ong.

Meanwhile, the developer has positioned AJ Gallery as an ideal showroom for businesses to display their products. “Food and beverage outlets or even interior design companies can opt to set up offices here as there is high visibility, individual compounds and private car parking. The unit prices are from RM1.6 million with built-ups of 7,000 sq ft.”

As for AJCC’s final component, the AJ Hypermarket, Barisan Elite is in the midst of finalising the
agreements to have a hypermarket chain set up business by 2009. The entire development is expected to be completed by end- 2009 and the developer is planning for a mega opening carnival to create a publicity buzz.

In the pipeline for Barisan Elite is the development of a 300-acre land adjacent to AJCC. Project development for the commercial and industrial lots are set to commence by end-2008.

“We will be continuing with the Alam Jaya brand name as we aspire to have the whole area known as Alam Jaya. For the future project, there will be more industrial products than commercial because there is strong demand for medium-size factories in this area and we are going to capitalise on that. We still have a waiting list of buyers wanting to buy units from our previous development,” said Ong.

By theSun (by Allison Lee)

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