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Monday, March 10, 2008

Investment grade homes at Desa ParkCity

An aerial view of Desa ParkCity, which is today a well-designed master planned community development.

PERDANA ParkCity Sdn Bhd is targeting the investment property market and has lined up a number of investment grade residences in its Desa ParkCity township in Kuala Lumpur for launch in the next few years.

The first in the company's investment product series is The NorthShore Gardens, a 40-storey condominium block that was launched last month.

The 269 residences of between 900 and 2,500 sq ft are priced at an average of RM520 per sq ft. There are also four penthouses of 5,800 sq ft that are equipped with a private pool each.

In the pipeline are 4,000 condominium units, of which 80% will be high-end, and 500 landed residences, including bungalows, semi-detached and terrace houses.

According to group chief executive officer Lee Liam Chye, the number of property buyers who are keen to invest to reap capital appreciation and rental yields is on the rise.

“Our customers have a lot of confidence in our property products.

“This is because they have enjoyed consistent capital appreciation averaging 8% per annum for the last three years, and net annual yields as high as 12% from leasing to the growing population of expatriates,” he told StarBiz.

Besides its good location in the last piece of sizeable freehold land in Menjalara, Kuala Lumpur, Desa ParkCity's master planned community and village concept had made it a well-sought-after address among buyers, he said.

“We are also actively looking at the viability of building housing units for senior citizens who want to continue enjoying an active lifestyle in a well-managed and secure environment,” Lee said.

This special “village” of about 20 to 30 acres will have at least 200 low-rise and medium-rise apartments of between 800 and 900 sq ft, with specially designed bathrooms. It will be equipped with community halls and recreational facilities.

To kick off the initiative, he said, the company had last August signed a memorandum of understanding with Subang Jaya Medical Centre to design, build and lease a 250-bedroom hospital in Desa ParkCity. The lease will be for 15 years with the option to renew for another 10 years.

Lee said the hospital was expected to be ready for operation by 2011 and work on the new village precinct would take off two years after that.

“Providing housing and supporting facilities for senior citizens is one of the biggest growth areas in many parts of the world, but we have yet to see such a project in Malaysia.

“Our target market is the aging baby boomers who were born after World War II and would like to 'upgrade' into a better neighbourhood after their children have left the nest to live on their own.”

Lee said there would also be other more exciting products lined up for Desa ParkCity to cater to the strong demand for quality medium and higher-end residences in the area.

Since the first project, Nadia Parkhomes and Condominiums, was launched in 2002, close to 2,000 houses have been completed.

The Nadia Parkhomes in Desa ParkCity

Desa ParkCity, which will take another eight to 10 years, will have a total of 7,000 residences, of which 4,500 units will be high-rise condominium units and the rest landed houses.

“We have sold more than RM1bil worth of properties to date, and the future launches are expected to generate another RM3bil,” Lee said.

Its maiden commercial enclave, comprising neighbourhood shops on 5.5 acres facing the central park lake, was recently completed and leased to various businesses.

There are 150,000 sq ft of net lettable space, of which 80% have been leased at rental rates of RM3 to RM10 per sq ft.

Meanwhile, Desa ParkCity's town centre will be launched in the next two years. The 40-acre development will comprise mainly shops, offices, serviced apartments as well as a hotel and hospital.

Perdana ParkCity chief operating officer Fan Len Kuan said a memorandum of understanding had been signed with Nord Anglia Education PLC, a worldwide education specialist listed on the London Stock Exchange, to operate an international school in Desa ParkCity.

Lee said the development of the township was on track and much value had been added to the once rocky terrain.

Perdana ParkCity, a unit of Sarawak timber company Samling Group, bought the 437-acre land in 1999 for RM200mil.

“While many regarded the site as too hostile for development, we also saw the immense value behind the rocky land. It took us three years to blast the whole area to get it ready for development, which incurred a total bill of RM100mil.

“A total 12 million tonnes of rocks were blasted and shipped out from the area. After the area had been cleared, the net developable land came to 200 acres,” Lee said.

Today, the bustling neighbourhood is being joined by other quality developments such as Sunway SPK Damansara and Villa Manja, which are undertaken by Sunway City Bhd and its joint-venture partner, Syarikat Permodalan Kebangsaan Bhd.

By The Star - StarBiz - (by Angie Ng)

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