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Monday, March 8, 2010

HSL plans ambitious La Promenade project

An artist’s impression of a semi-detached house at The Leaf.

KUCHING: Riding on the robust sales of its newly-launched guarded and gated residential estate The Leaf, Hock Seng Lee Construction Sdn Bhd has set its next ambitious target to build 1,000 high-end homes in a major mixed-development project in Sungai Kuap, along the Kuching-Samarahan Expressway.

Named La Promenade, this single-biggest project ever undertaken by the property arm of Hock Seng Lee Bhd (HSL) will have a commercial centre of 200 shophouses, a shopping mall, two office blocks, a clubhouse and a man-made lake and recreational facilities.

These are in addition to the 1,000 high-end homes in the guarded and gated residential estate.

HSL plans to relocate its head office at Jalan Pending to La Promende in one of Sarawak’s fastest growing centres.

Yii Chee Sing (right) discussing the Leaf’s development with the company’s property development manager Benny Goh.

Executive director Yii Chee Sing said with a gross development value (GDV) of RM900mil, La Promenade would be launched in the second half of this year.

“Reclamation works for the project is already under way. The entire development spanning 80ha will be carried out in 10 phases over 10 years,” he told StarBiz.

Yii said the company’s confidence of a strong demand in high-end residential homes was boosted by the nearly sold-out The Leaf, which would provide lifestyle living, comprehensive security system and attractive landscaping.

He said more than 90% of the 54 luxurious contemporary duplex villas, semi-detached houses and double-storey linked houses at The Leaf, near Kuching International Airport, had been snapped up since its launch three months ago. The showhouses drew some 6,000 visitors on the opening day last November.

“All the 34 semi-detached units priced between RM700,000 and RM1mil have been sold,” he said, acknowledging the current glut in the sales of conventional semi-detached houses priced in the RM400,000-RM500,000 range in the state capital.

The Leaf boasts Sarawak’s first electrified perimeter fencing to deter and detect any intrusion. Its other security measures are vehicle access card entry, intercoms and panic alarms from each home to the guardhouse as well as round-the-clock patrols by trained guards.

“Housebuyers today are more sophisticated in choosing what they are going to invest in. Besides the house designs, they are particularly concerned about safety for a peaceful living,” said Yii.

He said The Leaf’s entire development would provide an attractive environment with covered drains, leafy landscaping and, most notably, concealed utility services. There will be lush lawns, trees and shrubs in keeping with the estate name – The Leaf.

Other shared facilities for the house owners are a recreational park with a playground and a discovery fruit orchard for children.

Yii said the La Promenade community would be modelled after The Leaf as there was a rising demand for lifestyle concept living that emphasised on security, landscape and recreational facilities.

He said HSL Construction had built some 1,000 houses in the state capital in the past five years, including in the top-selling Samariang Aman project in Bandar Baru Samariang (GDV of RM110mil). All the 642 units priced between RM160,000 and RM220,000 in this ongoing residential development have been taken up.

Yii said an innovative design introduced for the single-storey terrace houses in Semariang Aman was an internal countyard to bring extra light and ventilation to the centre of the home. This private garden space not only enhances the ambience of the house but also the quality of life of its occupants.

On the drawing board is the proposed Samariang Aman II project – a mixed commercial and residential development with over 220 shops, a hypermarket and a seven-storey office block.

The company has just launched Vista Aman in Samarahan which involves the development of 60 houses. Its other residential developments are Highfields in Batu Kawa (175 units), Lavender Hills along Kuching-Serian Road (64 units) and Vista Parade in Sibu (38 units).

HSL Construction has a landbank of some 285ha with good development potentials in both Kuching and Bintulu, with a total GDV of RM1.9bil.

The size of the landbank is expected to increase as more construction contracts are secured by parent company HSL whereby payment is by way of cash and land. Most of the land it owns now was secured over the years as part-payment for state-funded infrastructure projects.

“The property arm now contributes about 15% to the HSL group revenue, and between RM8mil and RM9mil a year to group profits,” said Yii.

By The Star (by Jack Wong)

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