PRG to launch Embayu @ Damansara West in April

This article first appeared in City & Country, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on March 16, 2020 - March 22, 2020.

Some 230 units at Embayu have been taken up so far. Photo by PRG Holdings

an: Based on development trends, we believe [Seksyen U5 in Shah Alam] will be the next growth area after Subang, Ara Damansara and Glenmarie. Photo by Abdul Ghani Ismail/The Edge

Na: Most of the enquiries are coming from owner-occupiers and young couples who want easy access to their workplace. Photo by Photo by Abdul Ghani Ismail/The Edge

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Manufacturer-turned-property developer PRG Holdings Bhd is planning to officially launch Embayu @ Damansara West on April 19. The condominium is located in Seksyen U5 in Shah Alam, Selangor, and has a gross development value (GDV) of RM270 million. It is a joint venture (JV) project between PRG and the land owner, Baycity Park Sdn Bhd.

PRG Holdings group CEO Richard Na Chun Wee and chief operating officer of property development Andy Tan Choong Wei tell City & Country in an exclusive interview that they are positive about the location, which is a stone’s throw from the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport (Subang Airport) and next to the Kota Damansara and Ara Damansara townships.

“We find this area attractive because of the government’s initiative to improve its infrastructure, especially with DASH [Damansara-Shah Alam ­Elevated Expressway], which is under construction, and the Kwasa Land development nearby,” Tan says.

Tan expects DASH to be operational by 2021, which will shorten the travel time to the city centre. “Once DASH is completed, it will be faster to get from Embayu to KL than from Petaling Jaya to KL,” he adds.

In addition to transport links, this area’s location is also looking positive because it is near ­educational institutions such as HELP Subang 2 and SEGi University Kota Damansara, says Na.

“Based on development trends, we believe this will be the next growth area after Subang, Ara Damansara and Glenmarie. Also, many people have already started to move into the area,” he notes.

Seksyen U5 is connected to major highways, including the Guthrie Corridor Expressway, New Klang Valley Expressway and Federal Highway, and its surrounding amenities include Giant hypermarket, Star Avenue Mall and Thomson Medical Centre. The area also enjoys easy access to Damansara, Subang, Shah Alam and City of Elmina townships as well as amenities such as Subang Parade, Strand Mall, the Curve, 1 Utama, Empire Shopping Gallery, Sunway Parade, Subang Jaya Medical Centre, Citta Mall, Sri Kuala Lumpur and KDU University College.

For owner-occupiers and families

Coined from the words “embun” and “bayu”, which mean morning dew and breeze in Bahasa Malaysia respectively, Embayu is a nature-inspired development that targets owner-occupiers and families.

“This is because many families live in the area, which comprises mostly mature landed properties. This development is also ideal for first-time homebuyers and families who are looking to upgrade,” says Tan.

Embayu offers a family-oriented design and concept, says Na. “The concept [is working quite well] as most of the enquiries are coming from owner-occupiers and young couples who want easy access to their workplace. We want our purchasers to live happily and comfortably in their homes here.”

There will be 650 residential units in three blocks on a 6.5-acre site whose leasehold tenure expires in 2105 or in 83 years from project completion. Tan notes that the company will be extending the lease prior to project completion.

The first two blocks (Blocks A and B), offering 455 residential units, are open for sale while the third is still at the planning stage. “For the third block, we are looking at creating something exciting for our buyers and the announcement will be made at a later date,” says Tan.

Blocks A and B will have 14 storeys and Block C, 13. Units in Blocks A and B will have built-ups ranging from 1,000 to 1,305 sq ft, with 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom and 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom layouts. Some units will also come with a balcony or private garden.

Prices range from RM450,000 to RM600,000 or an average price of RM540 psf. Each unit will have at least two car parks.

“Since the opening of our sales gallery [in August last year], sales have been quite encouraging, with more than 230 units booked so far,” Tan says. “Many of our buyers are from Subang Jaya, Petaling Jaya and the Damansara area and between the ages of 25 and 45.”

Embayu will have 44,000 sq ft of landscaped spaces over three levels and fruit trees such as mango trees will also be planted, notes Tan.

Facilities at the development include a gym, multipurpose hall, interactive children’s playground and salt water swimming pool. Maintenance fee is estimated to be 25 sen psf, inclusive of sinking fund.

The development is slated to be completed in 2H2022 and piling works were recently completed.

Interested buyers can visit the Embayu sales gallery at Taman Subang Murni, Shah Alam, adjacent to the development site.

Focusing on bread-and-butter developments

Formerly known as Furniweb Industrial Products Bhd, PRG Holdings started out as a manufacturer of accessories and bi-products for the furniture, textile, medical, automotive and food industries. It later included property development and construction as its core business.

The company is divesting its 60% stake in ­Premier De Muara Sdn Bhd, the JV developer of Picasso Residence, for RM7.2 million. Picasso Residence is a high-rise luxury residential project in Jalan Jelatek, off Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, comprising 472 units in two 38-storey towers.

A JV project with Almaharta Sdn Bhd on a 60:40 basis, Picasso Residence was launched at prices starting from RM950 psf, with unit built-ups ranging from 1,013 to 2,480 sq ft. As at February 2018, Picasso Residence had a GDV of RM800 million and has achieved a take-up rate of 65%, comprising mostly foreign buyers.

According to Na, the company has entered into a share sale agreement with Liveintent Sdn Bhd for the proposed disposal. Liveintent is a private limited company principally involved in real estate activities with its own or leased properties, business management consultancy services and wholesale of goods. PRG Holdings will be holding  an extraordinary general meeting on the disposal in the coming months. At the time of divestment, Picasso Residence was about 35% completed.

“We are of the view that the proposed disposal would enable the company to focus on property development projects other than Picasso Residence, and at the same time, provide the company with the flexibility to reallocate its cash and other resources efficiently among those projects,” Na says via email.

“Our focus now is really on affordable homes, similar to what we are offering at Embayu. [We believe] that’s where the real demand is. We are targeting the mass domestic market with affordable prices at around half a million ringgit, as we strongly believe that affordable properties will continue to be in demand, especially in prime areas in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur,” he says, adding that the company will continue to look for land in strategic areas to add to its land bank or form JVs with landowners for upcoming projects.

“Meanwhile, our [aim] is to get Embayu up and running, and since we have the right product offering, we are very confident that, with all the resources ploughed into this project, it will be delivered [to our buyers] on time and meet their expectations.

“We believe Damansara West will only get more vibrant with young people moving in ... those with a high propensity to spend, including college students. It will be the next growth area,” says Na.