City & Country: GSB launches g Residence in Johor

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(Left): Gan says the group won’t shy away from opportunities to develop outside of Klang Valley. - Photo by Sam Fong
(Right): An artist’s impression of the sky bridge lounge
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A NEW high-rise development, g Residence by GSB Group, is set to change the Johor Baru skyline.

The RM233 million mixed development, launched on July 11, sits on 2.72 acres of freehold land in Plentong, and comprises two 25-storey towers. The first two floors will house the commercial and retail components, followed by residential units from level two onwards. Earthworks have begun and the project is scheduled to be completed in December 2017.

Towers A and B will offer 240 units each, with built-ups ranging from 653 to 1,552 sq ft. Prices range from RM327,000 for a single-room suite to RM707,000 for a 3+1 bedroom unit.

A total of 115 units, or 80% of the 144 non-bumiputera units for Tower B — the first to be launched — have been taken up since the launch, says managing director Andrea Gan.  The good response for Tower B led the group to open up Tower A for sale during the launch, which has so far seen more than 40 non-bumiputera units taken up.

“I believe the healthy take-up is due to the ideal location and reasonable pricing,” says Gan, who joined GSB Group Bhd in 2006. “The commercial and retail space has not been launched but we have also sold three units … we plan to launch it in the first half of 2015.”

Inspired by the  bridge bar at G Tower in KLCC, g Residence also has a sky bridge complete with a lounge to create exclusivity for its residents.

While the property division is fairly new — GSB Group is also involved in CD manufacturing — it has completed two developments to date and has an on-going development in Bentong, Pahang. The Bentong project came under its property portfolio when it acquired a subsidiary in Pahang.

The group’s first development, Summit Industrial Park, is in the Desa Tun Razak Industrial Park in Cheras. Comprising seven units of factories on 20.39 acres, the project was launched in 2008 and completed in 2010. The site was originally meant for the group’s headquarters.

Soon after, it built 44 units of condovillas, called Laman Ara Utama, on 21.08 acres of leasehold land in Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya.

Gan says the first two projects have enjoyed good capital appreciation, with the sub-sale price for Laman Ara currently at RM800,000. “That is an average 45% rise in three years from the launch prices of between RM324,800 and RM599,800 in 2009,” she says.

Upcoming launches

There are several more launches in the pipeline for 2015, one of which is a yet-to-be-named residential development in Klang on 55.3 acres of freehold land near Bayu Perdana. GSB plans to build 28 semi-detached units, 28 linked semidees and 24 townhouses on the tract. The semidees and linked semidees will be 2½-storeys, and will have built-ups of 2,600 and 2,000 sq ft

respectively, while the 1½-storey townhouses will have built-ups of 1,650 sq ft. The townhouses are priced from RM350,000, the semidees from RM900,000 and the linked semidees from RM640,000.

Construction is targeted to begin in the first quarter of 2015. “If we can get [building plan] approval in time, we plan to launch the project after Chinese New Year and complete it by end-2016,” says Gan.

The site is a 10-minute drive from AEON Bukit Tinggi, Tesco and Giant hypermarkets and Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah, 15 minutes from Universiti Teknologi Mara, and 20 minutes from the Management and Science University. It is accessible via the Federal Highway and Kesas Highway.

“The development is within the bustling town area of Klang and near many amenities,” says Gan. “Although all components will be launched at one go, I believe the project will sell well as prices are reasonable and the location is ideal for families.”

Apart from that, the group also has a commercial and retail development in SS6, Kelana Jaya — Cityzen — in the pipeline. The RM103.2 million development sits on 1.05 acres of freehold land and will comprise 255 commercial suites and five retail lots. It is a joint venture between GSB subsidiary, GSB Summit Development Sdn Bhd, and Project Sparts Sdn Bhd.

“We see that Kelana Jaya has many residential areas, with some retail components like Paradigm Mall and Giant,” says Gan. “We believe there is a shortage of commercial space” and that the area could use the additional commercial space, she adds.

Cityzen will offer three types of units — 376 sq ft, 506 sq ft and 753 sq ft. The group will need to re-submit the development order for approval as the local authority is still determining the zoning for the land parcels. Gan hopes to launch Cityzen in the first half of 2015.

The group will also continue to focus on its ongoing township development in Bentong, to which it has added 20 freehold acres to the existing 143 acres. The new parcels are meant for a boutique hotel catering for business travellers, and 33 two-storey terraced houses with layouts of 22ft by 65ft and 22ft by 103ft.

The residential component will be launched in 2015, while earthworks on the boutique hotel will start in the the first quarter.

According to Gan, the Bentong project will continue to contribute to the group’s revenue over five to seven years. “We hope to continue to expand our Bentong township. We’re still looking for land to acquire.”

Steering GSB forward

Gan’s philosophy for GSB is simple — to create luxurious concept developments at an affordable price range. “I believe that is the selling point for GSB products as seen in g Residence in Johor,”she says. “This is how the group will present its products going forward.”

It is in talks for another joint-venture project, but Gan is not ready to disclose the details. GSB recently received a letter of award from PKNS Engineering and Construction Bhd for 2.22 acres in Section 15, Shah Alam, according to a recent Bursa announcement.

Gan adds that the group will not shy away from opportunities for developments outside the Klang Valley, but will only do so if it believes the location is ideal.

As for the impending implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) , the group will be ready for it come April next year, she says. “It’s best for the company to understand the impact of GST on the market, cost of building and social impact so we can be better prepared when it is implemented,” she says. “We have been sending our employees for GST seminars and talks so they can have a better understanding of it.”

“As of now, we cannot propose a solution to what has not come. We will wait until the GST takes effect, then we will make a move,” she adds.

An artist’s impression of g Residence

This article first appeared in City & Country, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on October 06 - 12, 2014.