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Thursday, November 12, 2009

A sweet victory for YTL Land

PETALING JAYA: Winning a prestigious accolade like the International Real Estate Federation (Fiabci) Malaysia Property Award (MPA) is a fantastic achievement for any developer, especially when the project that won faced tough odds.

Datuk Yeoh Seok Kian ... ‘Winning an award like Fiabci’s also makes our marketing initiatives much easier.’

When YTL Land & Development Bhd embarked on its high-rise residential project, The Maple at Sentul West in Kuala Lumpur, it chose a site that posed significant challenges, said executive director Datuk Yeoh Seok Kian.

“We did not start with the best location in hand. Sentul was regarded by many as a forgotten railway town that was not immediately perceived as a desirable place for home or work.

“Based on location and product type, the challenge was made tougher, as Sentul was placed in direct comparison with the more affluent and established KLCC and Mont’ Kiara areas,” he told StarBiz in an e-mail.

Rather than go head-to-head with the competition, YTL Land decided to create an entirely different living concept in which a former nine-hole golf course was turned into a private park for the sole use of the community, said Yeoh.

“The intent behind creating a new green lung for KL and the city’s first private park homes, was to develop unprecedented living values for city dwellers not found in the growing concrete jungle,” he said.

The Maple, comprising two 30-storey towers with 159 units each that come with three bedrooms and a utility room, sits on 2.2ha, of which 60% has been dedicated to landscaping.

The winner of the MPA 2008 (Residential High Rise category) and second runner-up at the Fiabci Prix d’Excellence Award 2009, The Maple is the only residence in KL with a private gated park.

The units come in three built-up sizes from 1,535 to 1,707 sq ft. It was launched in 2003 at a starting price of RM250 per sq ft. Foreigners make up 30% of its residents.

“The Maple is currently valued at an average price of RM500 per sq ft, which translates to 100% appreciation since its launch in 2003,” said Yeoh.

On YTL Land having won (multiple) Fiabci awards in the past, Yeoh said: “Naturally, winning Fiabci awards is important for us. It’s the industry’s highest recognition among our peers and the industry’s thought leaders, not only in Malaysia but internationally as well.

“Winning an award like Fiabci’s also makes our marketing initiatives much easier. Instantly, the award speaks volumes about the quality of our projects to potential buyers.”

Fiabci Malaysia will be organising the 2009 MPA on Nov 16 in Kuala Lumpur, with Malayan Banking Bhd as the official sponsor. The emphasis for this year’s award is Intrinsic Value in Holistic Living.

The categories that will be contested are: Property CEO of the Year, Master Plan, Residential Development (low rise and high rise), Retail Development, Office Development and Purpose-Built Project. The event will be graced by the Sultan of Selangor.

Winners of the MPA in their relevant categories will represent Malaysia the following year at the International Prix d’Excellence, an annual competition that honours the world’s best property projects.

By The Star (by Eugene Mahalingam)

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