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Saturday, October 6, 2012

SDB adopts its own approach

Sitting in the vicinity of Bandar Tun Hussein Onn, Windows on The Park will be one of the few in the area which is still surrounded by greeneries.

WHILE it is a common strategy for most property players to have a certain amount of land bank, Selangor Dredging Bhd (SDB) has a different approach when it comes to property development.

Managing director Teh Lip Kim says: “We don't have a land bank. We buy and develop based on what is not available.

Teh: ‘You go high-rise so that there is a lot of space for trees and a park.’

“We look at the locality, income of the people and population around the area to decide what to build.”

Windows on the Park is another project that follows the company's niche to provide products with a strong concept.

Sitting in the vicinity of Bandar Tun Hussein Onn in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, the planned high-rise residential will be one of the few in the area which is still surrounded by greeneries.

Currently, there is an 11-storey apartment developed by Yuwang Development Sdn Bhd next to SDS's showroom. Besides that apartment, Yuwang has other products like double-storey semi-detached houses, 2-storey terraced houses and three-storey shop offices in Bandar Tun Hessein Onn. Uda Holdings Bhd too has projects near SDB's site.

“We do something different and give customers what they want that is not available in the area,” Teh says.

The highlight of the project is the park which was planned before the building. “You go high-rise so that there is a lot of space for trees and a park,” she quips.

There are three parks: a quiet park, an active park for teenagers and the central park where shared amenities like the gym, swimming pool and a multi-purpose function room are.

One can tell how much emphasis the company places on the 4.2-acre park when Teh shows the landscape model even before she starts.

“We want to come out with a park that is more natural, with multiple layers of terrain as compared with a flat landscape,” she enthuses.

With the different undulation created, one would be able to see a park that resembles a jungle.

“We have a three-tier planting. When residents look down (from their windows), they see three different layers of rooftops which include three-tier planting for trees and three-tier planting for shrubs,” she elaborates.

There is a 800-metre jogging track at the park so people can feel like they're running in the jungle, she claims.

One may wonder if it costs a lot to maintain parks that cover more than 40% of the total surface area?

“We know the types of plants to choose. We even have horticulturalists to help us choose plants that are easy to maintain and does not affect the ground,” she assures.

“Retaining the park will be important because it is the concept that appeals to buyers. We don't want the trees to die after one year!” she exclaims.

The whole idea is to provide city dwellers an opportunity to own a piece of the park without having to go to a public park.

“Basically, we want people to be able to come out from the confines of their own homes to enjoy nature,” she explains.

The apartments were planned in such a way that every unit can oversee the parks surrounding them.

“To symbolise this, there are big openings in the blocks that allow visitors to see through the greeneries when they drop off someone,” she says.

As for the unit, she emphasises on spatial planning so that the space within a unit is well-balanced.

According to Teh, natural lighting is an important element in SDB's projects.

In terms of safety, the area is gated and guarded. The buildings were also earthquake resistant.

The development consists of three blocks totalling 540 units with a gross development value of RM513mil. It sits on 8.98-acres of freehold land.

Selling prices start from RM550,000 for the 916-sq-ft unit which works out to be about RM600 per sq ft. Prices go up to RM2mil for the penthouses.

The site is accessible via SILK Highway, Lebuhraya Cheras-Kajang and Lebuhraya Sg. Besi. There are two proposed MyRapid Transit stations within 4km from the project site.

By The Star

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