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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Mulpha finds its golden goose

Semi-detached homes perched over the 1.2km Canal Waterways in Bayou Water Village.

Village-style homes stand out from the rest and win international accolade

WINNING accolades seems to be second nature for property developer Mulpha International Bhd, which recently picked up an award at the 20th FIABCI Prix d’Excellence Awards for its Bayou Water Village development under the Best Residential (Low-Rise) category.

The development is part of the company’s 1,765-acre Leisure Farm Resort in Gelang Patah, Johor and next to the Second Link Expressway to Singapore.

Winning a FIABCI Prix d’Excellence Award is certainly great for the public image, but Mulpha deputy chief executive officer (property division) Ronn Yong is quick to point out it is also beneficial from a business sense.

Yong says FIABCI award is a confidence booster and reaffirms Mulpha’s mission of establishing its brand name as a high-end eco-lifestyle developer that gives back to nature.

He says the Bayou Water Village development is built and designed according to Singapore’s Construction Quality Assessment System (Conquas) to ensure that only homes of high quality and excellent workmanship are delivered to homeowners.

“From a business sense, it is a testament to delivering Conquas standard finishes with passive green features. It’s also about getting recognition from the challenging property industry.

“It is definitely a confidence booster, knowing that we are coming up with the right products – and that it is being well accepted by the market both locally and internationally. It also helps to reaffirm Mulpha’s mission of establishing its brand name as a high-end eco lifestyle developer that gives back to nature,” Yong tells StarBizWeek.

The 22-acre Bayou Water Village development comprises 213 two-storey residential units, five bungalows, 46 semi-detached units and 162 courtyard terrace homes.

The development has a distinct Malaysian village concept, with the houses built on stilts, fronting a waterway and built in small clusters at certain sections.

It also features homes nestled within nine acres of park, 1.2km of canal waterways and garden ponds. The houses are linked by three bridges over the canal, with jogging paths, pocket parks, barbeque gardens and childern’s play area.

The homes range from 1,777 sq ft to 2,203 sq ft and are priced around RM550,000. Residents are a mix of locals, Singaporeans and other expatriates.

“The creative design adopts an eco-chic waterfront village living concept. The (development) planning takes into account site factors such as respecting the surrounding ecosystem and interacting with the inherent environment,” says Yong.

According to him, prior to construction, Mulpha went to great lengths to ensure the impact on the surrounding ecosystem was minimal.

Detailed, photo-documentation of the sites was done prior to construction, so that the company would know if any wildlife would be affected upon the project completion.

“It (the development) definitely stands out from the rest, especially when we successfully transformed the existing drain reserve into a garden spine with 1.2km of sustainable canal waterways and walkways.

“The newly carved canal becomes a natural habitat that meanders through the whole site, linked by a series of bridges to an island clubhouse with a cantilevered pool perching over the canal, making it a community hub,” Yong says.

Yong says integrating its development with the surrounding nature also helps the company differentiate itself from the competition.

“When we come to a piece of land that has a lot of green, we don’t want to ignore it and we chose to work with the surrounding. Another thing is that with our proximity to Singapore, we need to differentiate ourselves.

“Singapore doesn’t have as much green space and our products need to capitalise on this.”

According to Yong, the latest award for Bayou Water Village is the fourth FIABCI Prix d’Excellence Awards for Mulpha.

It has also won three awards on the local front at the FIABCI Malaysia Property Awards.

The awards are intended to recognise the world’s best developments.

This year’s FIABCI Prix d’Excellence Awards, which was held in May at St Petersburg, Russia, crowned four Malaysian developments in total.

The event saw winners from seven countries namely Hungary, India, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan and Turkey. There were over 60 projects from 16 countries that contested for this year’s international awards.

“Naturally, we will continue to develop more international class products, which we believe will benefit our investors and residents in the long term.

“Through this winning experience, we want to express our sincere appreciation to all our buyers, contractors, consultants, colleagues and other partners for their invaluable support and contributions. We hope to impart this confidence factor to them too so that they feel recognised to be associated with Leisure Farm.”

Moving forward, Yong says Mulpha will continue to focus on developing more projects within Leisure Farm.

Firstly, Bayou Creek, known as Precinct 7 and consisting of 332 canal front bungalows and semi-detached houses, will be launched in four sub-phases over three years. This precinct is a continuation of our series of successful canal-front living homes.

Yong says the first phase opened for sale recently, offering 96 units of semi-detached houses and bungalows at RM1.8mil and RM2.8mil respectively.

“The second lifestyle product is based on the build-then-sell concept, where we are in the process of building 30 individually-themed villas progressively over the next two years. There are four new show villas ready for private viewing now with a starting price of RM4mil.”

On the prospects of the property market, Yong says the prevailing cautious market sentiment currently, coupled with the uncertain global economy, will pose challenges.

“Nevertheless, we see many opportunities opening up in Iskandar Malaysia from this year onwards for Leisure Farm. This year represents the tipping point of Iskandar Malaysia with the commencement of some catalytic developments such as the Johor Premium Outlet, Newcastle Medicine University and Legoland in September.

“The improved bilateral relationship with the Singapore has also seen interest in Iskandar Malaysia grow. We’re also optimistic because compared with Singapore, in terms of price per sq ft, we’re about one-fifth cheaper. So based on that, the Malaysian property market is still attractive,” says Yong.

By The Star

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