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Saturday, August 25, 2012

KSL jumps on the Kesas bandwagon

It is developing the Canary Garden township along corridor of the busy highway

AS one drives along the Kesas Highway heading towards Klang, new townships are being developed closer to Klang town nowadays, leveraging on the popularity of other townships that have emerged over the years.

The development of Kota Kemuning by Hicom-Gamuda Development Sdn Bhd, which is the nearest to Subang Jaya, started about 20 years.

Bandar Puteri Klang by the IOI group and Bandar Botanic, also by Gamuda group, were other townships that were launched subsequently.

Much of the growth along the Kesas corridor came about because of access. Today, as one drives further, one will see a lot of signboards promoting upcoming projects.

Home owner Kalai, who lives in Bandar Puteri, says: “Today, the Kesas Highway has a lot of traffic, much like Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong. The amount of traffic using this highway is an indication that the population along Kesas is growing.”

After the turn off at Banting, there is the newly-developed Bandar Parklands by the WCT group.

The Island and Peninsular group and other developers are also there. Johor-based developer KSL Holdings Bhd has also set its sight in the vicinity.

Patrick Khoo Keng Ghiap, the project director for Canary Garden, says: “We would like to build our base here and establish our name in the Klang Valley and eventually work our way up to Rawang and Semenyih. The margins here are much higher compared with Johor projects.”

Khoo is the son of managing director Michael Khoo whose brothers are also holding positions in the company.

Canary Garden is a 446-acre development near WCT's Bandar Parklands and fronts Jalan Langat which provide direct access to the Kesas highway. There is a 2km river or stream cutting across it, dividing the land in half.

Under state laws, all rivers, streams and drains are state land, which means there is a buffer on both sides of river that cannot be developed. The 446 acres exclude this 50 acres which the developer will landscape.

KSL head of marketing Chris Fong says the company will landscape an additional 50 acres on the 446 acres in order to add value to the properties in that development.

The plan is to use the river as a natural border which separates the landed units totalling about 1,300 from the commercial area of about 90 acres. Cluster homes were launched at just below RM1mil a few months ago while semi-detached units, with and without lifts, are priced from RM1.3mil.

The commercial area will occupy up to 90 acres and will have a gross development value of about RM3bil, Fong says.

The plan is to have a three-storey linear mall with internal and external retail space and al fresco dining along the riverside with a total gross area of over eight million sq ft with a plot ratio of 1:4.

KSL developed the KSL City Mall in Johor Baru opposite Holiday Plaza which comprised a hotel and serviced apartments.

The same template will be used here. This time, seven blocks of serviced apartments of 28-storey will sit on top of the mall. There will also be a hotel, a few schools and a tertiary education block. He says the idea is to make the place self-contained.

In addition to the proposed 1,960 serviced apartment units, condominiums and other commercial blocks encircle the entire project.

Fong says Canary Garden is not a strata development, but there will be a perimeter fencing around it and the units will be individually titled, which means there is room for renovation.

There will also be a monthly security charge of RM250 per household which the developer will bear in the first 24 months. The owners have the option to employ their own security from the third year onwards. Monthly charges may vary.

The local authorities will upkeep the place. The maintenance charge of the serviced apartment has not yet been determined.

The plan, he says, is to have several thousand housing units comprising mostly high-rise projects on that 446 acres.

Fong says the company is not building a gated and guarded landed community because residents will have to form a joint management body. An agent from Reapfield says landed units are currently more popular than high-rise projects, because there is an abundance of land in Klang.

“Landed units, by comparison, will be cheaper because there is a cost to having a high-rise development. So far, high-rise developments have not been popular in Klang.”

While Canary Garden is easily assessible from the Kesas Highway, in time to come, more townships will be developed fronting Jalan Langat and congestion may be an issue, the agent says.

By The Star

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