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Monday, November 17, 2008

AP Land’s luxury project in Japan

An artist's impression of the Shiki Niseko

ASIA Pacific Land Bhd (AP Land) will be breaking into Japan’s lifestyle property market with the upcoming launch of its maiden project in Niseko, Hokkaido by the year-end.

“Lifestyle projects are in vogue in Japan to cater to the well-heeled and savvy travellers. We are also exploring opportunities in Osaka and Tokyo,” AP Land joint managing director Low Su Ming told StarBiz.

Low Su Meng

AP Land’s resort project, called Shiki Niseko which means four seasons, is a high-end residential development located in Niseko, a popular ski-resort destination.

Low said there were vast opportunities to be tapped in China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia and Russia, for the resort-type property developments.

The project will generate an estimated gross development value of US$52mil.

Located in the most sought after part of Niseko-Hirafu, the project is set to make waves with its unique design.

Low said the project will be designed by internationally acclaimed architect DBI.

“Located centrally with good access to the ski lifts, Shiki is built over a 3,082 sq metre planned space with seven storeys of architectural ingenuity,” she said.

There will be a combination of 45 fully furnished two- and three-bedroom apartments, including four penthouses. The units will be priced from US$1mil to US$2mil.

The land, which was acquired for RM18.9mil in February is located near ski lifts and surrounded by restaurants, bars and retail outlets.

AP Land will be the first Malaysian developer to undertake a property development in Niseko.

“The arrival of AP Land will open up Niseko to yet another growing Asian market, especially investors from Singapore and China,” she said.

Singapore is on the verge of engaging in a more vigorous way with the Niseko market while the strengthening of the renminbi against the US dollar in the past several years, had made it much cheaper for the Chinese to buy property in Japan.

“Located on Niseko’s doorstep with direct flights from Shanghai to Chitose, China represents a huge market opportunity,” Low said.

Meanwhile, major ski tour operators in Britain such as Ski Independence, Crystal, Kuoni and Inghams are also featuring Hokkaido in their tour booklets.

Low said the Niseko area would continue to enjoy remarkable growth, adding that investment return had been incredible in recent years, with further capital growth expected.

“Niseko is clearly a world-class ski location, with its real estate still a fraction of the price of comparable international destinations. Summer bookings were up by 100% this season.

Following the influx of holiday makers to the area, Niseko resort operators and the local government are working together to improve its infrastructure and amenities including shuttle bus routes, new shuttle services and high speed internet by next November.

“Niseko’s natural assets differentiate it from the other ski resorts.

“These include an average 13 meters of powder snow in an era of declining snowfalls; true four-season beauty and an unspoiled pure environment.

“Its close proximity to other fast growing Asian capital cities also ensure its rapid growth into a sought after resort destination,” Low pointed out.

By The Star (by Angie Ng)

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