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Monday, September 29, 2008

Sunrise going ahead with super-condos amid challenges

Sunrise Bhd is continuing to launch “super-condos” in Mont’ Kiara despite fears of an economic slowdown.

In the pipeline is the 460-unit 10 Mont’ Kiara which may set a new benchmark price.

The company, which was the first property developer to launch the RM1mil “super-condo” eight years ago, continues to set new benchmarks not only in pricing but also quality and service.

Sunrise general manager (branding & corporate communications) Joachim Ng recalled how Sunrise shocked the market when it launched its Mont’ Kiara Damai in 2000, the first “super-condo” that broke the RM1mil per unit mark in Mont’ Kiara.

Joachim Ng

Since then, the public-listed company went on to launch more “super-condos” priced at an average of RM1mil and above. They include Mont’ Kiara Aman and Mont’ Kiara Banyan.

In 2006, Sunrise launched the 10 Mont’ Kiara where the units were priced above RM2mil each or about RM530 per sq ft (psf). While other developers went for smaller units, Sunrise continued building large units of 2,500 to 4,000 sq ft.

“The success of 10 Mont’ Kiara showed that this affluent suburb can take a price level of RM2mil,” he said, adding that another benchmark was set when it launched the 11 Mont’ Kiara last September at RM700 psf and climbing to RM890 psf for the latest units.

Ng said 65% of Sunrise’s residents were foreign expatriates and their families, mainly from Japan, Korea, Britain, the United States, Sweden, India and Indonesia. The average occupancy of its condominiums is 82%.

“Sunrise spearheaded the development here 15 years ago. Its philosophy has always been creating value-added products and it gave so much back to its purchasers in terms of excellent services from property management, security, traffic control to cleaning public roads,” he said.

He said new players who came in about five years ago had benefited from Sunrise’s efforts. An example is the Solaris Mont’ Kiara where its many food and beverage outlets would meet the growing demand for eating and entertainment facilities. Solaris Dutamas Phase 1 is due for completion this September while the project would be finished in first quarter of 2010.

“The other developers are riding on Sunrise’s infrastructure. While we’re trying to differentiate ourselves from others, they have no problem identifying themselves with us as they too call their area Mont’ Kiara although they are further away,” said Ng.

Ng said Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority (BCA) recently conferred the Green Mark Certified Award to 11 Mont’ Kiara, making it the first residential development in Malaysia to achieve this distinction in environment sustainability in several criteria: energy and water efficiency, indoor environment quality, innovation and site/project management.

Sunrise, which had won numerous awards, was also named Malaysia’s Best Residential Developer in Euromoney’s 2008 Liquid Real Estate Awards. It is also thrice winner of the Malaysia Property Award (formerly known as FIABCI Award of Distinction) in 2005, 2001 and 1997 for Best Residential Development and was named Forbes Asia 200 Best Under US$1billion Company 2005.

Ng said although Sunrise’s condominiums were priced at a premium (10% to 15% more), it offered a host of services to its buyers.

“You may pay slightly more but in the long run it’s actually cheaper as you get to enjoy so many kinds of services and facilities,” he said, as he showed the security command centre in Plaza Mont’ Kiara where staff monitor the 38 CCTV cameras placed at strategic spots in the Jalan Kiara area. This Safe City concept has given residents and visitors a sense of security.

Ng said the company spent about RM1mil yearly just on security (not including security in the condominiums) and cleaning services.

It has also spent RM1.5mil on Fun Zone (opened in Sept 2006), a 4,000 sq ft upbeat community area for its 12,000 residents living in its 11 completed condominiums. Located at Aman Walk retail deck along Jalan Kiara 2, the centre is the brainchild of Sunrise Bhd executive chairman Tong Kooi Ong, who wanted the residents to foster closer bonding through free activities as reflected in its seven themed “planets”: arts, books, cuisine, drama, music, nature and sports. There is also a large play area called Space Explorer play-gym that is very popular with the children.

Sunrise has built over 4,000 completed residential and commercial units in 11 condominium and two commercial projects (Plaza Mont’ Kiara/Solaris Mont’ Kiara). This does not include the Solaris Dutamas and several high-end condominiums like the 10 Mont’ Kiara, 11 Mont’ Kiara and Mont’ Kiara Meridien - all under construction. It has another 100 acres in the area to be developed over the next decade.

There is an estimated 6,000 condominium and commercial units completed by other developers in the area.

Ng feels the “congestion issue” had been overplayed as the current heavy traffic is mainly due to construction activities. Jalan Kiara 1 (recently made into a no-parking zone) would be widened by three feet and there would be more access roads in the future, he added.

By The Star (by S.C.Cheah)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It seems that this country's property development is moving towards this area.