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This article first appeared in City & Country, The Edge Malaysia Weekly on April 13, 2020 - April 19, 2020

Among Perak-based Setia Awan Holdings Sdn Bhd’s ongoing and new projects worth a total gross development value (GDV) of RM3 billion this year are developments in the Klang Valley. In an interview with City & Country, executive director Ng Teck Hua notes that the company’s projects are located in different states, including Perak, Melaka and Negeri Sembilan.

“The group’s land bank is about 5,000 acres,” he says. “The important factors are location, accessibility and pricing, no matter where we go. These three factors will help us to sell and, of course, we will not compromise on our standards because of pricing.”

Currently, the developer’s ongoing projects include Block D of UniSuites Kampar in Perak; Block E of Sri Melaka Residensi in Melaka; Blocks A and B of Brezza One Residency in Ampang, Selangor; and Taman Mawar, Bidor.

It has planned two new launches this year — in Jelatek, Kuala Lumpur, and Kemayan Heights S2, Negeri Sembilan.


Venturing into the Klang Valley

Central region CEO Lee Yan Yaw notes that Brezza One Residency is the developer’s first venture in the Klang Valley. One can have a panoramic view of Kuala Lumpur city centre from the sales gallery as the project is located in Bukit Ampang Permai, a stone’s throw from the popular Ampang Look Out Point, which has since been closed to the public.

Located on a 4.56-acre parcel, Brezza One Residency will comprise 660 serviced apartments in four blocks. These units, with built-ups of 1,253 to 1,472 sq ft, are priced from RM420 psf. The developer started selling the first block — Block B — last September, and debuted Block A last December.

The facilities will include a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, wading pool, children’s playground, gymnasium, games room, multipurpose hall and squash court.

“We bought over the company that owned the land … The shareholders were looking to retire,” says Lee. “Block B is 80% taken up, while Block A is 95% taken up.

“To get more people to know about the development, we set up a café in the sales gallery about a year ago. The café is known for its view of KL and it is full house every evening … many people have posted about this place and this helps to create awareness about the development.”

Located about 10km from KL city centre, the leasehold development is also about 500m from an exit of the upcoming Sungai Besi-Ulu Kelang Elevated Expressway. It has been reported that the 24.4km highway — which will run parallel to the Kuala Lumpur Middle Ring Road 2 — is scheduled to open this year.

The developer has a 10-acre parcel nearby, on which it plans to build a commercial centre.

Setia Awan also has a 6.85-acre parcel next to Jelatek LRT station in Kuala Lumpur, according to Ng. The company is awaiting approval from the authorities for the mixed-use development, which will offer more than 5,000 serviced apartments in six blocks.

“There will be a connection to the LRT station. Currently, the land is occupied by a car showroom. We plan to launch the high-rise development in the second half of the year, but it will depend on the approval. All the apartments and shops will be up for sale.”


Kemayan Heights S2

Another scheduled launch by the group is the 17.24-acre Kemayan Heights S2 in Seremban 2. Ng says, “We have been in Seremban for five years developing landed homes and this is our first project in Seremban 2.

“It is a low-density, guarded project with 120 semi-detached homes, which will be launched in May. The built-ups are 2,930 and 3,042 sq ft with a lot size of 40ft by 80ft. It is primarily targeted at the local Seremban market — families looking to upgrade to a bigger home. The target price is from RM830,000.”


Ongoing projects

In February, Setia Awan launched one new project as well as a phase each in two other projects. The new project is the 62.78-acre Taman Mawar in Bidor, comprising 654 one-storey terraced houses, 36 low-cost units and 35 two-storey shopoffices. Lee says the terraced houses are priced below RM250,000. The developer is also awaiting approval to develop a 68-acre tract in the district.

February saw the launch of the final block — Block D — at UniSuites Kampar. Dubbed the premium block by Lee, it will have 1,016 solo (135 sq ft) and twin suites (269 sq ft), which are priced from RM93,000. “Block D will be a premium block because it will face the clubhouse, which will have a 16,000 sq ft retail area on the ground floor as well as facilities such as a swimming pool, gymnasium, study area, badminton courts and reading rooms.

“We will invite F&B and other service providers to come in to operate in the retail area … it allows the students to stay in rather than go out. The retail area will be surrendered as a common area so that it can generate income to reduce the maintenance fee. The car park, with about 800 bays, will also be surrendered as a common area.” Almost 2,000 motorcycle parking bays will also be provided.

The 9.62-acre UniSuites Kampar will have 2,876 units in four blocks. The first phase — comprising Blocks A and B — was launched in 2017 and all units have been sold. All units in Block C have been sold as well. The maintenance fee is 25 sen psf per month.

“As more than 80% of our investors are from Kuala Lumpur, we are getting Rahim & Co to come in to manage the property. It is a reputable manager that also manages many other student hostels. It will offer a tenant management service whereby it will fix a standard room rate and help the owners to rent out the rooms. The tenancy term is at least one year,” Lee explains. “The team will manage the tenants and upkeep of the units. There is also a property management mobile application for the owners and tenants. Rahim & Co will also be selective about the tenants. Of course, owners can choose to rent out the units themselves.”

He adds that Blocks A and B are targeted for handover by year-end. The targeted tenants are students of Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (Utar) as well as staff of the upcoming hospital that is being set up by the university.

UniSuites Kampar is 10 minutes’ walk from Utar. There will be a shuttle bus service, from the development to the old town, run by the management.

Setia Awan also owns a 40-acre parcel next to UniSuites Kampar, on which it hopes to develop a commercial centre with shops offering entertainment and services such as a cinema and rock-climbing facility.

Also launched in February was the second last block of Sri Melaka Residensi, Block E. A serviced apartment project with 2,070 units in five blocks as well as shops, the 21-acre project was launched in 2018.

All blocks will be identical and the units will have built-ups of 1,000 and 1,135 sq ft. Blocks A and B are sold out while Block D is almost fully booked, according to Lee. “The selling price of the apartment is RM209 psf. We target to open for sale the final block, Block C, in the fourth quarter. We call this block a premium block because it will face the Bukit Serindit Recreational Park,” he says.

“We are going to keep the 2-storey shops (built-up: 2,400 sq ft) to get the right tenancy mix before selling them. As the development is next to Bukit Serindit Recreational Park, the businesses will be able to cater for the people who come to the park.”

The facilities will include a gymnasium, swimming pool, basketball court, badminton court, futsal court, children’s playground and multipurpose hall.


Sales still strong

Despite the ongoing Movement Control Order (MCO), Lee notes that some of Setia Awan’s projects have been selling well, such as the final phase of UniSuites Kampar, which has received more than 200 bookings.

“Our group is also pushing hard on digital marketing, which is in line with the inclination among the new generation. For Sri Melaka Residensi, Blocks A and B have been fully sold and we target to hand over these units by early next year. We are in a healthy condition and we shall focus on construction after the MCO,” he adds.

“The construction of Brezza One Residency had just started and we will resume work once it is allowed. Thus, we foresee that the group’s performance will continue to be good.”

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