Sunday 19 May 2024
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This article first appeared in City & Country, The Edge Malaysia Weekly on September 4, 2023 - September 10, 2023

Avaland Bhd is launching the RM475 million Amika Residences in Subang Jaya this month. This marks the company’s second project in the 88-acre Tropicana Metropark.

“This continues our success story in Tropicana Metropark. Our first project, Alira Subang Jaya, is currently 85% taken up and is slated for completion in 2025,” says chief operating officer (COO) Aw Sei Cheh during an exclusive interview with City & Country at the Avaland Gallery in Taipan USJ.

The 5.6-acre Alira Subang Jaya comprises 832 serviced residences over two phases. Phase 1 was launched in November 2021 and Phase 2 in July 2022.  

“The company bought two parcels of land in Tropicana Metropark in 2018. We chose this location simply because the whole development is very accessible with a direct link from the Federal Highway,” says Aw.

Amika Residences sits on a 3.5-acre freehold parcel and faces the 9.2-acre central park. The development will comprise 468 serviced apartments in two towers (Tower A: 216 units, Tower B: 252 units) and 24 retail units.

The serviced apartments come in three sizes — 883, 1,075 and 1,227 sq ft — with layouts of 2+1 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms; 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms; and 3+1 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms respectively. Selling prices start from RM697,800, while the maintenance fee inclusive of the sinking fund is 35 sen psf.

The retail units are priced from RM1.3 million and the built-ups are from 1,335 to 3,681 sq ft. Amika Residences is slated to be completed in 4Q2027.

Japanese-inspired design

Inspired by the Japanese’s art of simplicity, Amika Residences is designed to cater for post-pandemic lifestyles, where people spend more time at home, says Aw.

“The name Amika signifies ‘beauty’ or ‘vividness’ in Japanese and [the project] is inspired by the beauty of connections between family and loved ones. Every part of this project is carefully curated and designed. Even our facilities deck is designed for families to enjoy spending time together,” he adds.

Keeping in mind the Japanese minimalist aesthetic, the serviced apartments are designed to be flexible and versatile, and able to accommodate the needs of residents in various stages of their life cycle, from young couples to growing families and multigenerational living.

This can be done by removing the partition wall between the first and second bedrooms to create a bigger space and by redefining the open-plan living, dining, kitchen and yard areas according to individual preferences, Aw explains.

“Bedrooms one and two can be converted into a second master bedroom. Also, the kitchen can be extended all the way to the yard, as there is no wall between it and the kitchen. The apartment is designed to be convertible throughout a family’s entire life cycle,” he says.

The inspiration for this concept was taken from the Japanese fusuma — sliding panels that can be used to redefine spaces in a room or act as doors, says deputy COO Chee Kok Keong. “Lifestyles do change as people grow and go through different life cycles, so their space requirements will also change. For example, the space usage of a young couple is very different from, say, when they have a newborn baby to when they become empty nesters.”

Another unique feature is the apartments’ internal foyer, which is inspired by the traditional entryway of a Japanese home. “Unlike typical apartment foyers, which are outside the living space and normally very narrow, the one in Amika’s units is an internal space big enough to fit a shoe cabinet and bench, and for you to hang your [outerwear]. All the units will have this,” says Aw.

Each unit type will have a wide balcony that can be turned into an urban garden. The units will come partially furnished with a digital lock; kitchen cabinets, complete with hood and hob; five-star-rated air conditioners for the living area and bedrooms; water heaters in all the bathrooms; a shower screen for the master bathroom; and a sliding door for the plus-one room.

An artist’s impression of the 1,227 sq ft serviced apartment (Photo by Avaland)

Each apartment is provided with two or three side-by-side car parking bays. “Selected units come with a storage space of 25 to 100 sq ft next to their parking space,” says Aw.

Residents can enjoy facilities — located on the West Garden “Nishi” on Level 3, East Garden “Azuma” on Level 8 and the Clubhouse Rooftop — such as the love canopy, stone garden, tatami lawn, water cascades and koi pond, tea leaf pavilion, gymnasium, central pool, water lounges, barbecue enclave, outdoor gym, garden kitchen, reflexology path, maze garden, calligraphy walk, interactive jogging track, tree seating, play area with space for hopscotch and snakes and ladders, swing area and sky garden.

Chee says, “Some of the facilities and equipment are designed for sensory play for childhood development. We have also incorporated more organic designs, such as an organic-shaped swimming pool instead of the traditional rectangular shape.”

Other common areas in the development include a grand lobby area, chill-out lounge, co-working space, function room and reading room.

“Even without leaving the development, residents can enjoy scenic walks on the property itself. We have incorporated a selection of plants and trees, including Tecoma trees, also known as Malaysian Sakura trees, and walkways,” says Aw.

Designed by WDA Architects Sdn Bhd, with Praxcis Design Sdn Bhd as the landscape architect, Amika Residences is designed to be a green building based on GreenRE’s six key pillars — energy efficiency, water efficiency, environmental protection, indoor protection, other green features and reduced carbon emissions.

“We are aiming to receive a Gold certification from GreenRE mid-September. We would like to note that 50% of the dwelling space is designed to have cross-ventilation and 90% is designed to get natural light as every room has a window. Not only does this make the apartments pleasant to live in, it also helps to bring down electricity costs. We are also quite pleased to achieve a 38% carbon emissions reduction for this project,” says Aw. He adds that the five-star rated air conditioning units provided will also offer energy efficiency and cost savings.

Yaw Sheng Fung, senior director of project development, says electric vehicle charging points will be available as part of the green building features. “On top of that, we are talking to several EV operators.”

Meanwhile, Amika Residences has garnered more than 1,000 registrants, predominantly from Subang Jaya, Petaling Jaya and Shah Alam, since July. “In terms of age group, the majority fall within the 32-to-40 bracket,” Yaw notes.

Retail component

Aw says the company is currently handling the leasing of the 24 retail units at the development. “We would like to control the tenant mix, as we want to placemake the whole development with a signature retail component and set a standard for the place, so we are not in a hurry to dispose of them. We are talking to some key tenants now and mainly focusing on F&B, convenience stores and lifestyle outlets.

According to Yaw, there is a ready catchment for the retail shops. “There are existing residences nearby, namely, Paloma, Paisley and Pandora in Tropicana Metropark. The shops will cater for the community living there as well.”

Aw says the retail shops can also cater for the community at Sri KDU International School across the road. “The shops are within walking distance to the school and existing residences, and the shop frontage will be car-free and purely for pedestrian and bicycle access. We have also separated the retail car park from the residents’ car park for privacy and security.”

Location matters

Amika Residences is directly accessible from the Federal Highway and is connected to other major highways including the North-South Expressway Central Link (ELITE), Shah Alam Expressway (Kesas) and Damansara-Puchong Expressway (LDP).

Amenities are aplenty in the surrounding areas. In addition to the Sri KDU International School, which is 300m away, Amika Residences is within a 5km to 10km radius of shopping malls (Sunway Pyramid, Subang Parade and Empire Shopping Gallery), educational institutions (Sunway University, Monash University Malaysia and Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus) and medical centres (Subang Jaya Medical Centre and Sunway Medical Centre).

It is also within reach of many multinational corporations, including Digi Telecommunications, FedEx — TNT Ship Centre, Maxis Communications, Fonterra Brands Malaysia, U Mobile and ZTE Corporation, all of which are located in the Subang Hi-tech Industrial Park and just a four-minute drive away.

Yaw says, “Amika Residences is located close to Subang Jaya city centre but is not right smack in the city centre, so it is a quieter area to live in.”

Aw points out that residents get to enjoy the central park adjacent to the development. “Amika fronts the 9.2-acre central park, which has a water body inspired by Melbourne’s Yarra River. This gives us a lot of opportunities to not only create living spaces but also commercial amenities by the waterfront.”

An artist’s impression of the West Garden overlooking the central park (Photo by Avaland)

What’s next?

Aw says Avaland is looking to launch Aetas Seputeh in Seputeh, Kuala Lumpur, towards the end of this year. However, details are still under wraps.

As at June 30, Avaland’s ongoing projects had achieved the following take-up rates — Aetas Damansara 89% (number of units: 226, completion: 2Q2025), Alira Subang Jaya 85% (832 units, 4Q2025), Sanderling Lakefront Cyberjaya 50% (606 units, 3Q2025) and Casa Embun in Cybersouth 54% (Phase 1: 482 units, 1Q2025; Phase 2: 505 units, 4Q2025). 

“All of our projects have been very well received and we’re on our way to achieving total sales of RM848 million in FY2023 ending Dec 31, 2023,” says Aw.

“We handed over Casa Bayu Apartments and Casa Bayu Townhouses [in Cybersouth] in May and August respectively. The two projects offer a total of 260 residential units with a combined gross development value (GDV) of RM145.2 million.”

Meanwhile, Avaland has just launched Alora Residences on Aug 26. The project is the first phase of the company’s 2Fifth Avenue development in Subang Jaya. With a GDV of RM551.9 million, the project will comprise 770 serviced apartments and eight retail units.

In addition to the company’s rebranding exercise, another key milestone that Avaland achieved this year is doubling its revenue to RM113.8 million in 2Q2023 from RM53.5 million in the previous corresponding period, its highest quarterly revenue since 4Q2020, he says.

“The company currently has RM852 million worth of unbilled sales as at June 30, up from RM720 million as at Dec 31, 2022, and we are targeting to achieve RM1 billion in unbilled sales by year end. We look forward to achieving all these.”

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