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This article first appeared in City & Country, The Edge Malaysia Weekly on March 18, 2019 - March 24, 2019

Clarion Properties Sdn Bhd is launching a mixed-use commercial/industrial development in Sepang this month. Occupying a 76.16-acre tract along the Nilai-KLIA Highway, the RM356 million Suria Industrial Park will comprise 42 units of 2½ to 4-storey shopoffices, 13 one-storey terraced factories, 20 semi-detached factories, 14 lots of industrial land and two lots of commercial land.

All of the shopoffices will have main-road frontage. The built-ups of the intermediate units will be 5,382 sq ft and end-lot units will be 6,342 sq ft. There will be two 4-storey corner units with built-ups of 14,688 sq ft and 15,568 sq ft. Each will have a passenger lift.

The built-ups of the semi-detached factories will be 15,000 sq ft (intermediate units) and 14,180 to 17,360 sq ft (corner units). A standard intermediate unit will have a 1½-floor factory area and 3-floor office area. The office area will have a passenger lift.

The built-ups of the terraced factories will be about 1,040 sq ft.

The tentative selling price for a 3-storey intermediate shopoffice starts at RM1.9 million, an intermediate semi-detached factory will be RM4.5 million and a terraced factory RM290,000. The vacant industrial land is on sale for RM85 psf and commercial land is RM150 psf.

According to Clarion Properties director Yap Kok Guan, the most important thing for commercial shopoffices is accessibility.

“We have the approval to do a signalised T-junction so traffic from both directions can enter and leave the project with ease. Ease of access is one of the factors that will determine the success of the shopoffices,” he says.

Currently, the developer is focused on selling the shopoffices and ready-built factories. However, Yap says that if there is interest in the vacant lots, the company will sell them.

“But we may retain some. We would build a factory and sell both the building and the land together to improve our profitability,” he says.

The development is accessible via the North-South Expressway Central Link, New Klang Valley Expressway, North-South Expressway and Maju Expressway.


Excellent location

Suria Industrial Park will be located next to the upcoming KLIA Aeropolis and other prominent landmarks in a 5km radius, including the Hartalega Holdings Bhd’s Next Generation Integrated Glove Manufacturing Complex and Gamuda Bhd’s industrialised building system factory, Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), and klia2. The Digital Free Trade Zone is  7km to 8km away.

There will be a lot of spillover benefits, says Yap. One example is Hartalega. The company is still looking to expand its operations even though the factory occupies 110 acres.

“There are many suppliers who service Hartalega and they may be located quite far away. When we open up our development, they will be able to move closer to their main client,” he says.

He points out that the master plan of Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd’s (MAHB) KLIA Aeropolis comprises only commercial components so far.

“They [MAHB] have been quiet for some time but last year, they talked about pushing their development. If they start to push it and, again, because of our proximity — we are actually next to them — there will be potential spillover and people will start to look at neighbouring land and industrial properties.”

With the growth of e-commerce, Yap believes the need for warehousing and distribution facilities will grow, and the location of Suria Industrial Park is strategic.

The industrial park’s proximity to the airport will help warehousing firms save on transport costs and airport charges and avoid traffic congestion. “Many warehousing firms would want to look here because when a plane lands, the cargo must be removed immediately because of high airport charges. As our development is close by, they can straightaway put the cargo in their warehouse and then plan the distribution,” Yap says.

For export, he says, warehousing firms will be able to time their schedules closely to the departure of cargo planes and load their goods without any additional charges.

Yap says that Clarion Properties has received a number of enquiries from big warehouse players.

“We are aware that even though we are zoned for industry, we may not attract heavy industry because of the proximity to the airport. But medium-sized industries and warehousing firms will have a lot of interest here. In addition, we are not so concerned about attracting heavy industry because we do not have many lots to offer them.”


Clarion Properties and its future plans

Clarion Properties was incorporated in 2006 by four people — Yap, Datuk Chong Boon Weng, Datuk Vincent Tang and Tom Ek.

Taman Suria Tropika in Seri Kembangan was the developer’s first project, but its role was as project manager. Yap explains that the company made an arrangement with the landowner to plan and build the development. “In a way, we were the developer as we played that role by planning the whole project and obtaining the approvals. But our official role was as project manager.”

From 2007 to 2015, Clarion Properties focused on Taman Suria Tropika, which comprises 256 terraced houses, 89 apartments, 18 shopoffices and a 5-storey office building. The gross development value was in excess of RM150 million.

Subsequently, the same group of shareholders incorporated Hectare Heights Development Sdn Bhd and launched the 92-acre Taman Suria Warisan — a township in Sepang, Selangor.

Yap says Clarion Properties and Hectare Heights are separate companies with common shareholders. Hectare Heights is focused on developing Taman Suria Warisan and Clarion Properties on Suria Industrial Park.

Taman Suria Warisan, he says, is mainly residential although there are two parcels with commercial status. “If the opportunity permits, we plan to build serviced apartments. We are concentrating more on residential. Even though there is commercial, it will be for dwelling purposes.”

The township is divided into three phases. Phase 1 comprises 133 landed homes and it is completed.

Phase 2 has been divided into four sub-phases because the market is slow, says Yap. “We don’t want to overbuild. We just want sufficient [properties] to sell.”

The first sub-phase, comprising 72 landed homes, was launched in June last year and is more than 40% sold. It is slated for completion this November.

The second sub-phase will comprise 257 units of Rumah SelangorKu with built-ups of 1,000 sq ft, which will sell for RM232,000. Yap says the advertising permit has been granted and the launch will be soon.

Sub-phases 3 and 4 will be landed homes and planning will begin after the delivery of Sub-phase 1.

For now, the group is focusing on Suria Industrial Park and Taman Suria Warisan.

“We are quite conservative and prudent and we are aware that we have limited resources. We do not want to be too aggressive in the present market conditions as things are still not very clear. So, we want to do what we can manage,” says Yap.

As the two companies are already familiar with the authorities in Sepang, he says, they do not have plans to move outside of this area for the time being.

Going forward, the shareholders have the option to use Hectare Heights for residential developments and Clarion Properties for industrial developments.

“As a non-listed private enterprise, there is no requirement for us to do any merger or consolidation yet. We will probably look into that if the need arises. For the time being, we are comfortable with the present structure,” says Yap.

He says the two companies will concentrate on the present two projects as they want to deliver the best product and build a good name for themselves in the industry.

“Now, and for the next two to three years, is not the time for us to be aggressive and ambitious ... We just want to do what we can and do a good job. Then, buyers will be singing our praises,” he says.

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