Focus Malaysia, 25 October 2014 - Klang Valley's latest suburban hotspot

Tropicana Corp Bhd and Eco World Development Group Bhd are developing the prized land in Shah Alam in three separate components - Bandar Rimbayu (developed by IJM Land), Tropicana Aman (Tropicana) and EcoSanctuary (Eco World) - each with its unique set of attractions. Just how much is the development south of the township of Kota Kemuning worth? A massive sum - it is estimated to have a combined gross development value (GDV) of almost RM30 bil, IJM Land is sitting on an estimated GDV of RM11 bll and Eco World expects a GDV of RMS bU.

Tropicana, which has not fiilly planned out its stake, is likely to see a GDV rivalling IJM's, The first phase of Tropicana Aman is expected to have a GDVofRM770mil, DM Land and Tropicana had acquired their respective land bank in the Canal City development from the Selangor government. It is not clear why Canal City was divided between the two developers but both subsequently decided to rename their development, ending the reference to the earlier name, Tropicana sold a portion of its land bank there to Eco World earlier this year, and now the project is known as EcoSanctuary, The key attraction of this new residential hotspot is its strategic location which is not far from major townships like Kota Kemuning (developed by Gamuda), Putra Heights (Sime Darby) and Bandar Saujana Putra (LBS Bina Group). It is right smack in the fast-growing areas of the affluent Klang Valley. Easy accessibility Accessibility has always been a key factor in triggering interest in any property and Canal City is no different, according to several analystsIhe location is accessible via four major highways to Kuala Lumpur city, Subang Jaya, Petaling laya, Uamansara, Puchong, Shah Alam and Klang,

These are Lebuhraya Shah Alam (Kesas), Lebuhraya Kemuning Shah Alam (LKSA), Expressway Lingkaran Tengah (Elite) and the South Klang Valley Expressway (SK\^}. And a fifth highway - the West Coast Expressway (WCE) - is slated to further open up the area, Ihe new highway, which involves IJM Land's sister company IJM Construction Sdn Bhd (IIMC), will bring a double benefit to IJM Land and the group. The government has approved the appointment of a consortium comprising IIMC and Kumpulan Europlus Bhd as the turnkey contractor tor the construction of the WCE for a fixed sum contract of up to RM5 bil, according to TA Securities Holdings Bhd, IIMC is also the contractor for phase one which has an estimated contract value of RM2.8 bil. It is expected to be completed by May 2018, says its senior analyst Beng Hooi Ooi, adding the third and final phase is expected to be completed by lune 2019, The major enhancement in accessibility is positive to IIM Land's 760,4ha Bandar Rimbayu township development, he adds. Another analyst says the better accessibility afforded by the WCE would draw property buyers amid rising demand for landed property on the outskirts (if Greater KL, which vrill benefit from the spillover demand from the booming township in Canal City. "We understand the take-up rate for the newly-launched semi-Ds in Bandar Rimbayu with selling price from RM880,000 in August, stayed resilient with 140 out of 190 units being booked," says IF Apex Securities Bhd's Jessica Low, Slaying true to its brand promise of "bringing life to ordinary spaces'; IIM Land aims to make a positive impact through every phase by creating interesting landscapes that leave a lasting impression for the property.

Perhaps that is why the properties are selling well, says a property observer. "How many landed property of this size Tan says the sale of land to Eco world Is a positive move Phase one of Bandar Rimbayu comprises 526 two-storey link houses. UM Land promises to bring life to ordinary spaces by creating interesting landscapes in its projects we welcome Tropicana and Eco world to develop in this area, says Teh with green surroundings that can be bought for under a million ringgit |are there] in KL now?" he asks. And IJM Land, which has a market capitalisation of RM4.94 bil, is no small developer either. It is the property development arm of IJM Corp Bhd, a major construction and infrastructure group. As one of the country's largest property developers, it has completed townships, boutique developments, commercial buildings, and high-rise and exclusive condominiums in key growth areas in Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan (Seremban), Melaka, lohor, Sabah (Sandakan and Kota Kinabalu) and Sarawak (Kiiching). Township inspired by nostalgia Bandar Rimbayu is designed as an integrated township with residential, commercial and recreational components spread over four precincts: Flora, Fauna, Bayu and Commercial Hub. "Bandar Rimbayu is a premier township development inspired by nostalgia for a time when life was simple and people lived close to nature, in a safe, supportive neighbourhood/' says a source from the developer When phase 3, comprising 464 units of Unked semi-detached houses priced from RM870,000, was launched, it was well received, says an analyst. He attributes the good pick-up rate Chang expects work on EcoSanctuary to begin before year-end to the wider catchment due to the access from the four highways. "There is a rising pool of upgradcrs and owner-occupiers who will further fuel Bandar Rimbayu's deepening appeal as a sought-after address for landed property within the South Klang Valley corridor," he says. "To date, three phases of residential parcels comprising 1,477 houses have been successfully launched with all non-bumiputera units sold," IJM Land director Datuk Teh Kean Ming tells FocusM. "Future developments comprise approximately 10,000 units of residential units and about 200 acres of commercial properties.

We expect Bandar Rimbayu project to be fully developed within 15 years with an estimated GDV of over RMl 1 bil." IJM Land doesn't view Tropicana or Eco World, believed to be the vehicle of former SP Setia president and CEO Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin, as competitors, but as co-developers to enhance the overall development. "We welcome Tropicana Corp and Leo World to develop in this area as it will quicken the pace of development along the corridor from Kota Kemuning to Saujana Putra and will enhance demand for property within this latest property hotspot in the Klang Valley," he says. In contrast to IJM Land, Tropicana, altlioLigh ha\ing acquired its 474.3ha land four years ago, did not start work immediately due to its other property commitments. With a market capitalisation of RML7 bil, made the headlines earlier this year when it sold I24.9ha of the acquired land to Leo World Development Sdn Bhd for RM470.67 mil. Ihe sales agreement, pricing the land at RM35 per sq ft (psf), gave Tropicana RM170 mil profit, much to the chagrin of the Selangor government, which had originally sold the land to the developer.

However, Tropicana group executive vice-chairman Tan Sri Danny Tan Chee Sing attributes the sale as a positive move to allow Eco World to be a player in developing the Canal City land. "As Tropicana Aman's chief developer, this transaction wUI allow co-developers to join us, creating a more vibrant lifesrvic township," he says. He also points out that the sale is timely given the group's strategy to accol eratc growth and progression, with plans to unlock the value of its substantial asset base and land bank. Tropicana Aman sits at the strategic point of Klang Valley's southern growth corridor, only 40km from the heart of KL city, with surrounding middle-class population catchment areas like Putra Heights, Kota Kemuning, and also the new township of Bandar Rimbayu, says a company source. "That's why we believe the development here will be a landed property holsptit," he says. Fxt) World, with a market capitalisation of RM 1.01 bil, is equally pleased witii the acquisition.

President and CEO Datuk Chang Khim Wah says the acquisition is in line with Eco World's strategy to seek opportunities (o replenish its land bank in major growth corridors to expand its operations. "Now that we have secured 308.72 acres {124.9ha) in a key development hotspot, we have an excellent opportunity to introduce our vision of creating 'World Class Eco Living' not just to our customers in Johor Bahru but also to Klang Valley property buyers." Apart from locational advantages, die land, which was acquired on a net land basis, comes with an approved development order. 'Jhis will enable the group to launch the project shortly after completion of acquisition. EcoSanctuary is envisaged as an eco-themed mixed residential and commercial development and is expected to be completed by 2022. "As this will be our maiden township launch in the Klang Valley under the EcoWorid brand, we plan to showcase the full spectrum of the group's eco-living j Scarlet is one of the d(!Signs for landed property in Bandar Rimbayu concepts and development capabiliiics through EcoSanctuary," says Chang. Eco Worid's first launch will include luxury landed homes incorporating intelligent and aesthetically pleasing designs with an emphasis on sustainability within gated and guarded residential enclaves. '

The development will include commercial offerings all set within a beautifully-landscaped suburban sanctuary, he says. "We believe this project, which is accessible to and from every major hub in the Klang Valley, will be very warmly welcomed by homeowners seeking a safe, secure and serene haven as a welcome respite from the husde and bustie of big city life" Chang adds. Work on the project is expected to commence before year-end and take eight years. A source indicates Tropicana Aman is unlikely to be launched anytime soon as the company is concentrating on the properties it has launched like Tropicana Vietropark in Subang Jaya, Tropicana Heights in Kajang and Tropicana Danga Bay in Iskandar Malaysia, Johor. However, while Tropicana and Eco World have not officially released images of tlieir proposed developments, registration for tlie properties has begun. And if IJM Land's propeny take-up is any indication, Tropicana and Eco World will likely enjoy brisk sales despite the current slowdown in the property market.