Resort-Living Focus: Dijaya's niche resort
Edge, Resort-Living Focus, 4 September 2006
Dijaya Corp Bhd group managing director P K Poh
remembers a time when helicopter rides were part of
the effort to attract prospective buyers to what was
then a relatively new property offering — resort-style
homes within a golf and country resort. The year was
1991 and the development, Tropicana Golf and Country
Resort, was considered the first of its kind in Petaling
Jaya. Aside from taking prospective buyers on helicopter
rides over the 625-acre development, the developer
also completed the infrastructure and a 36-hole golf
course within the first three years.
"We wanted to build the trust of prospective
buyers and allow them to see the progress of the development,"
says Poh of the developer's move to build the roads
and put in the streetlights in the early stages. "We
also built the golf course ahead of time to show our
commitment," he adds. (The development was planned
with a 27-hole golf course in mind; the additional
nine holes have since been developed for property
While the first few years were challenging, the turning
point came in 1994 when the golf course was completed.
Landscaping at the development had also progressed
and Tropicana Golf and Country Resort began to gain
the market's attention. By then, the developer had
embarked on another resort-style project in the vicinity
— the 407-acre Damansara Indah — and the
rest, as they say, is history.
Today, both Tropicana Golf and Country Resort and
Damansara Indah have notched up total sales of RM1.8
billion. Tropicana Golf and Country Resort has the
distinction of having residents from 22 countries
(the US, Canada, Japan, Sweden, Germany and Spain,
among others). "It is like having a mini-United
Nations," says Poh.
Having developed 90% of the total acreage at these
two addresses, only a few residential and commercial
parcels remain undeveloped. These include an eight-acre
parcel at what Poh says is the most prime site of
Tropicana Golf and Country Resort as it commands views
of the golf courses at Tropicana and Damansara Indah.
The developer plans to offer 400 units of upmarket
condos in the middle of next year. The condo project,
Tropicana Grande, will offer built-ups ranging from
2,500 to 4,500 sq ft, says Poh, adding that the project
is currently at the design stage.
Aside from this upcoming project, the developer is
offering the remaining bungalow lots and semidees
at Green Acres, an enclave within Tropicana Golf and
Country Resort. These units were put on the market
in 2004. Land area for the bungalow lots ranges from
7,500 to 15,600 sq ft. The lots are pegged at RM145
psf and to date, 80% of the 64 lots have been sold.
The 178 semidee units, meanwhile, have notched up
a 95% take-up (the remaining are bumiputera units).
The semidees offer a lot size of 40 ft by 100 ft and
built-ups of 3,910 to 4,200 sq ft and are pegged at
Over at Damansara Indah, prospective buyers have a
choice of semidees and condos. The condo project,
Casa Indah 2, boasts 391 units with built-ups of 1,215
to 1,519 sq ft and a price tag from RM248,900. Made
up of two 27-storey tower blocks (Tower A and B) and
two 5-storey blocks (Tower C and D), Casa Indah 2
is located next to the recently handed over Casa Indah
1 at Persiaran Surian. The high-rise units at Casa
Indah 2 were put on the market in March and to date
80% of the units at Tower A have been sold. The developer
plans to offer the low-rise units once the high-rise
ones have achieved total take-up of 70%.
The 150 semidee units, meanwhile, offer built-ups
of around 6,200 sq ft and a price tag of RM2 million.
Poh discloses that construction has begun on half
of the units. Opting for personalised one-to-one sales
service, to date 10 units have been sold since the
units were put on the market earlier this year.
Aside from these housing units, there are a few commercial
parcels earmarked for lifestyle retail and commercial
units and the developer's corporate office at Tropicana
Golf and Country Resort and Damansara Indah. Poh is
excited about the 14-acre commercial development at
Damansara Indah, in particular the 500-unit serviced
apartment project fronting the lake at Sri Selangor
golf club. These units are to be put on the market
in the third quarter of next year.
'Competition spurs us on to do better'
While Dijaya Corp no longer needs helicopter rides
to offer prospective buyers a glimpse of resort-style
homes, it continues to be innovative in its product
Poh points to the 498-unit Casa Indah 1 condo comprising
high-rise and low-rise blocks. "In designing
the 4-storey low-rise block, we decided against a
replica of the high-rise block; here, owners of the
ground floor units have their own garden and the car
park is just outside the unit, so it is almost like
living in a landed property," he says. Due to
its location next to a golf course, the views are
maximised so much so that some units boast views of
both the golf course and the swimming pool.
When Casa Indah 2 was launched earlier this year,
the developer again upped the ante. Poh says the high-rise
units from the fifth floor onwards boast full-length
windows for the master bathroom, complete with rain
While competition spurs the developer on to raise
the bar and come up with innovative products, Poh
recognises that the market is increasingly challenging.
"You can come up with a good product or concept
but service is crucial, especially if you want repeat
customers," he says. For Dijaya Corp, 10% to
15% of its customers comprise repeat buyers. He adds
that one of the lessons learnt over the years is exceeding
customers' expectations. He points to the service
rendered by the security team that goes above and
beyond their job requirements. "We charge 2.2
sen psf for security but residents get more than security
in return; our guards have now become experts at catching
snakes and monkeys. They even risk their lives to
remove bee hives to offer residents peace of mind,"
Thanks to these efforts and through its experience
of managing 1,000 acres of property (Tropicana Golf
and Country Resort and Damansara Indah combined),
Poh is confident that the service culture at Dijaya
Corp cannot be copied. "The culture is built
into the organisation," he adds.
Spreading its wings
Looking ahead, Poh says the developer is in serious
negotiations with three developers in India to jointly
develop resort-style properties. "We are keen
to transfer our brand name and help design golf resorts,"
Closer to home, he says the remaining parcels at Tropicana
Golf and Country Resort and Damansara Indah are sufficient
to keep the developer busy for the next five to eight
years. Besides this, Dijaya Corp also has 500 acres
of land in Tanjung Malim, Perak, where development
approvals are currently being sought. For more details,
call (03) 7728 2018.