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Saturday, June 25, 2011

A resort island in Nilai?

The sky bungalows has a 70% take-up rate.

The idea of offering island living in Nilai, Negri Sembilan, sounds like pie in the sky, but to gain attention in the competitive property market, you have to think big and different sometimes.

The 350-acre Green Beverly Hills development in Putra Nilai (formerly known as Bandar Baru Nilai), with its inland resort island concept, is said to be the first of its kind in the world.

The brainchild of GD Development Sdn Bhd, Green Beverly Hills is on freehold land, and plans includes a five-star health-themed hotel, a 500,000 sq ft club house, condominiums, semi-detached homes, villas, and a shopping mall. The project, due to be completed in eight years, has a gross development value of RM4bil.

GD Development chief executive officer Lim Ching Choy says Green Beverly Hills was conceptualised as a upmarket residential community on a iconic lifestyle resort island.

“As far we know, there is no other similar development in the world,” says Lim in an interview with StarBizWeek.

At present, there are five lakes within the development. “We will link the lakes, and flood other areas, to create a canal system around the development, thus turning it into a man-made inland island,” he says.

According to Lim, it is the company's joint chairman Datuk David Yeat Sew Chuong who comes up with the idea.

“He was inspired by the castles and palaces he visited in Europe, South Korea, Japan and China that are surrounded by moats and lakes.”

Yeat is also the founder and chief executive officer of INS Bioscience Bhd, which is listed on the ACE Market of Bursa Malaysia.

Lim has extensive experience in property development, having served as chief executive officer in Mah Sing Group Bhd and Magna Prima Bhd within the past nine years. He was also formerly the managing director of Ho Hup Construction Co Bhd.

Engineering firm Angkasa Consulting Services Sdn Bhd, which has been involved in wetlands and lake developments in Malaysia and China, is the consultant for Green Beverly Hills.

Lim says water discharge and flow in the canal will be controlled by mechanical systems. “During periods of heavy rain, we can discharge the water when it reaches a certain level.”

Access to the development, over its water channel, will be via three roads. The development is touted as being strategically located, with the South Klang Valley Expressway and North-South Expressway as highway links.

“From Green Beverly Hills, it is a 10-minute drive to the KL International Airport (KLIA), a 15-minute drive to Putrajaya, a 35-minute drive to the Kuala Lumpur City Centre, and a 20-minute drive to Seremban. The Salak Tinggi KLIA Transit Station is just a five-minute drive away,” says Lim.

He points out that institutions of higher learning such as the Inti International University, Nilai University College, Nilai International School and Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia are located close to the development.

Also in the vicinity are the Nilai Springs Golf & Country Club, NCI Hospital as well as Tesco and Giant hypermarkets.

Lim says other highlights of the gated and guarded development includes the availability of broadband Internet services, a “green environment” and a density of 5.7 units per acre (including condominiums) with about 2,000 planned property units.

He adds that a 50-acre forest, 20-acre organic farm and 20 acres of water (surrounding the island) are in the works. “Residents can buy produce from the organic farm with points accumulated via their property maintenance fees.”

A closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera surveillance and CMS (central monitoring system) will be put in place for better security on the island. “Each house is linked to the CMS,” says Lim.

Also, the company will make a submission for certification from Malaysia's Green Building Index soon. “All our buildings will incorporate a rain water harvesting system.”

Lim: As far we know, there is no other similar development in the world like Green Beverly Hills.

Earlier this year, two blocks of Sky Bungalow condominiums with 334 units sized from 932 to 1,816 sq ft per unit, were launched.

A unique feature of the Sky Bungalow condominiums, priced from RM487,200 to RM910,800 per unit, with one to three-bedroom types, is that each unit comes with a swimming pool.

Smaller units have 5 x 10 ft pools while bigger units have 5 x 14 ft pools. “We can provide an option for heated water in the pools, depending on request,” says Lim.

Another highlight here is the 12-ft ceiling of the units. One block of the Sky Bungalow condominiums is a 25-storey tower, while the other is a 20-storey tower.

Each floor has six to eight condominium units, with each allocated a car park bay. An extra car park bay for each unit can be rented at less than RM100 per month. “For those who need more than two car park bays, we are providing an additional 66 bays.”

To date, the Sky Bungalow condominium project has a 70% take-up rate. According to Lim, the Sky Bungalow condominiums will be the only high-rise residential units on the development. “All other residential units here will be landed types.”

Also launched earlier this year were 17 units of four-storey Water Villa bungalows, each with a built-up area of 4,769 sq ft and priced at RM3.167mil.

Each unit comes with a private lift. There are also 44 units of three-storey Garden Villa bungalows, each with a built-up area of 3,858 sq ft and priced at RM2mil. Lim is pleased by the take-up for the bungalows, as only two and 18 units of Water and Garden Villas respectively remain available for sale.

The condominiums and bungalows are due to be completed by the end of 2014 and 2013 respectively.

In July, Lim plans to launch 148 units of three-storey semi-Ds, each with a built-up area of about 3,600 sq ft and priced at RM1.7mil onwards. According to Lim, to date, about 30% of the buyers are foreigners. “The foreign buyers are mainly from Singapore, with the rest from Indonesia and Hong Kong.”

Green Beverly Hills is GD Development's maiden and only foray in property development. The company was incorporated in 2009. Lim says the company has no other property development plans. “For the next eight years, we will focus only on Green Beverly Hills.”

By The Star

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