Cover Story: Focus on landed, affordable developments

This article first appeared in City & Country, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on October 19, 2020 - October 25, 2020.

Right: The 63-acre Akasia development in Semenyih will comprise townvillas, 2-storey terraced homes and Rumah Selangorku units (Photo by Gadang Land)

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It has been a busy two years for Gadang Land Sdn Bhd, the property development arm of Gadang Holdings Bhd. Currently, the company has four new launches worth RM469 million in gross development value (GDV) planned until the first quarter of next year. They are Verdia, a townhouse project situated in its new 62.84-acre residential development Akasia in Semenyih; the second phase of townhouses at Elegan Residensi in Taman Putra Perdana, Puchong; an affordable apartment project (Cyberjaya Phase 3C) in  Laman View; and Phase 1 of a 78-acre residential development in Gelang Patah, Johor.

Gadang Land launched Maple Residence’s Phase 2 (Amaya), comprising stratified landed homes, in Laman View, Cyberjaya, in August and the last block of condos in The Vyne in Sungai Besi at the end of last year. The developer also recently completed and handed over 2-storey strata terraced units at Maple Residence Phase 1 and PR1MA Two apartment units at Laman View.

Gadang Holdings was incorporated in 1993 as Lai Sing Holdings Bhd and was listed on the Second Board in the construction sector in 1994. In 1997, its managing director and CEO Tan Sri Kok Onn took over the operations of the company and renamed it Gadang Holdings. It was subsequently transferred to the Main Board in 2007. Apart from property development, Gadang Holdings, through its subsidiaries, is involved in civil engineering and construction, water supply and mechanical and electrical engineering services.

Akasia in Semenyih

During an exclusive interview with City & Country, Gadang Land head of finance and sales Kok Pei Shing says Akasia — its freehold residential development in Semenyih, which will comprise townvillas, 2-storey terraced homes and Rumah Selangorku units — will keep the developer busy over the next six to seven years.

Akasia will feature 6.05 acres of greenery and be near existing amenities. “There will be three themed, landscaped parks catering to residents.

“The location is very near Semenyih town and easily accessible via highways such as SILK, Cheras-Kajang Highway, Kajang Semenyih Bypass, KL-Seremban Highway and LEKAS Highway,” says Kok.

Verdia, the first project undertaken by Gadang Land in Akasia, is a RM164.6 million gated-and-guarded development comprising 314 units of 1½-storey townvillas that will be launched in two phases.

The townvillas are 26ft by 70ft, with built-ups ranging from 1,281 sq ft for the 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom units to 1,389 and 1,485 sq ft for the 3-bedroom, 2+1-bathroom units. The units in Phase 1 are priced from RM516,000 to RM679,000 and the maintenance fee is estimated at RM155 to RM170 a month.

Yu (left, with Kok): While we remain cautiously optimistic about the general market, we believe there is still demand for well-planned, quality products at [good] prices in strategic locations (Photo by Kenny Yap/The Edge)

The townvillas will have spacious layouts and outdoor facilities will include a central park with a green lawn, multipurpose court, children’s playground and gazebos, says Kok.

According to her, Akasia is ideal for upgraders as well as those relocating from Cheras and Kajang. “We have quite a number of registrants who are not from Semenyih.”

Of the 152 units in Phase 1, 80 were available for sale since the soft launch in May and all have been taken up, according to Kok. “We will be launching the remaining units once the loans have been processed and converted into sales,” she says.

Meanwhile, the show units for the townvillas are ready and main building works on the project will commence in November. Verdia is slated for completion 36 months from the sale and purchase agreement date.

An artist’s impression of the 22ft by 75ft two-storey terraced houses in the 78-acre freehold Gelang Patah development (Photo by Gadang Land)

Elegan Residensi Phase 2

Located at Taman Putra Perdana in Puchong, Elegan Residensi is a RM222 million 1½-storey townhouse development spread over 17.5 acres. The leasehold, gated-and-guarded project comprises a total of 404 units and is being developed in two phases.

Of the 270 units in Phase 1, 90% have been taken up since its launch in August 2019. Phase 2, comprising 134 units, is currently open for registration and bookings pending APDL (Advertising Permit and Developer Licence). “We expect to get the APDL by the end of this month or early next month,” says Kok.

The townhouses measure 22ft by 75ft and 26ft by 75ft, with built-ups ranging from 1,282 to 1,511 sq ft for the 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom and 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom, 1-powder room layouts. The upper units for the corner lots have a built-up of 1,897 sq ft. Unit prices range from RM531,000 to RM900,000, and each townhouse unit will have an individual strata title. Monthly maintenance is estimated to be RM100 to RM150, says Kok.

“The units are spacious yet affordable for landed townhouses with expansive landscaping. Residents can also enjoy the playground, multipurpose court, jogging path and outdoor fitness equipment at the central park.”

According to her, construction at Phase 1 is 70% completed and is expected to be done by 2Q2021. Phase 2 is scheduled to be completed 36 months from the signing of the sale and purchase agreement.

Taman Putra Perdana, where Elegan Residensi is located, is a mature residential township next to Bandar Saujana Putra and Bandar Nusaputra, says Kok. “It has easy access to a wide range of amenities in the surrounding area and quite a number of highways, including ELITE and MEX. As the area is quite mature, people are quite familiar with it. Taman Putra Perdana is also not far from Laman View — about 10km away.”

According to her, Phase 1 has quite a good mix of purchasers, from upgraders to young couples looking for affordable, landed homes. “We see buyers from the surrounding areas, including Dengkil,” she notes.

Cyberjaya Phase 3C in Laman View

At its Cyberjaya development, Gadang Land is targeting to commence registration for its Cyberjaya Phase 3C affordable apartment project by year-end. Kok says this development, which is awaiting approval for its name, is part of the developer’s joint-venture (JV) agreement with landowner Cyberview Sdn Bhd to provide a certain number of affordable housing units with a five-year moratorium period.

With a GDV of RM100 million, Cyberjaya Phase 3C will offer a total of 300 apartments with two built-ups — 850 and 950 sq ft — and at prices ranging from RM268,000 to RM500,000.

“The high-rise development will sit atop a ­podium car park and residents will enjoy views of the six-acre central park at Laman View opposite the development,” Kok says.

Started in 2015, the 121-acre freehold Laman View mixed-use development has a total GDV of RM1.05 billion and currently comprises landed homes at Laurel and Maple Residence, as well as PR1MA apartments. In addition to the Cyberjaya Phase 3C development, the developer has in mind several condo and commercial developments. The plan is to develop Laman View up to 2028, says Kok.

“Cyberjaya Phase 3C, PR1MA One, PR1MA Two and Laurel make up the affordably priced offerings in Laman View,” she adds.

Laurel, comprising 142 two-storey terraced houses priced from RM504,000 to RM1.06 million, is 99% taken up. The certificate of completion and compliance (CCC) was obtained in May 2017.

Gadang Land’s Maple Residence Phase 2 (Amaya), comprising 146 units of stratified 2-storey terraced houses priced from RM1.05 million to RM1.5 million, was officially launched on Aug 8, and to date, 70% of the units have been booked, according to Kok.

Meanwhile, Maple Residence Phase 1, comprising 194 units of stratified 2-storey terraced houses, is 90% sold. CCC was obtained in March this year and so far, 150 units have been handed over to buyers.

An artist’s impression of the 1½-storey townhouse units at Elegan Residensi (Photo by Gadang Land)

Gelang Patah development

Gadang Land’s development in Gelang Patah, Johor Baru, is a RM675 million project comprising a total of 936 two-storey terraced homes to be developed over four phases. Still awaiting approval for its name, the 78-acre freehold project’s first phase of 206 homes with a GDV of RM127.9 million is targeted for launch in March next year.

“The overall plan is for a guarded neighbourhood with a single main entrance for better security. Also, there will be a centralised green area and park that caters for the residents,” says Kok. The development will have a density of 12 units per acre, she adds.

The homes will be 22ft by 70ft and 22ft by 75ft, with built-ups ranging from 2,045 to 2,135 sq ft and 2,238 to 2,354 sq ft respectively. Prices will start from RM650,000.

According to Kok, the development is still at the planning stage and the developer is in the midst of constructing the sales gallery and show units, which are targeted to be completed by year-end.

The development is strategically located and easily accessible via a network of highways, which include the Second Link. “We are quite confident about the development, as it is just opposite Setia Eco Gardens and quite near to Kota Iskandar. It is also not far from Legoland and Medini. The location would cater to those who work in Singapore as it takes 15 to 20 minutes to get to the Second Link,” says Kok.

An artist’s impression of the Cyberjaya Phase 3C affordable apartments, the Maple Residence clubhouse and the 121-acre Laman View project (Photo by Gadang Land)

Prudent strategy

Despite the challenging property market at the moment, Gadang Land believes there is still demand for well-positioned products.

“We do not deny that the current situation has impaired the market, especially for high-end products, but the majority of our products, which are affordable and mid-range, are not affected much,” says Gadang Land chief operating officer Yu Kang Huai.

“While we remain cautiously optimistic about the general market, we believe there is still demand for well-planned, quality products at [good] prices in strategic locations. We remain optimistic about the opportunities ahead as well as the reintroduction of the Home Ownership Campaign, and with mortgage rates as low as 1.75%, this will stimulate demand and boost buyers’ confidence,” he adds.

Meanwhile, the developer has several projects in the pipeline, including a RM630 million, 21.08-acre mixed-use residential development in Kwasa Damansara, which will tentatively comprise 780 units of freehold condo units, semidee villas, townhouses, town suites and duplex suites. Other projects are a RM350 million condo development on a 9.5-acre parcel in Melawati comprising 479 units, and the remaining 170 acres of undeveloped land at its mixed-use development in Pokok Sena, Kedah, with an estimated GDV of RM335 million.

According to Kok, Gadang Land is in the midst of exploring JV opportunities with local partners up north for its 200-acre development in Pokok Sena. “We actually launched this development in 2013 and have completed Phase 1, comprising 149 one-storey terraced houses and 69 units of low-cost 1-storey terraced homes, but owing to the distance, we are hoping to do a JV with a local developer.”

Gadang Land is still on the lookout for more land in the Klang Valley and Greater Klang Valley. “We will continue to focus on landed and affordable housing developments,” Kok says.

The company currently has a land bank of 522.6 acres, inclusive of JV land, with a total GDV of RM4.99 billion, in the Klang Valley and Greater Klang Valley, Kedah and Johor Baru. Of the total land bank, 400 acres are undeveloped and have a GDV of RM3.5 billion.