Friday 24 May 2024
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This article first appeared in City & Country, The Edge Malaysia Weekly on December 4, 2023 - December 10, 2023

The Edge Malaysia Property Excellence Awards, introduced in 2010, initially comprised anchor award The Edge Malaysia Top Property Developers Awards, and two other sub-awards, namely The Edge Malaysia-PEPS Value Creation Excellence Award and The Edge Malaysia-PAM Green Excellence Award. 

They were subsequently expanded to include The Edge Malaysia Affordable Urban Housing Excellence Award, The Edge Malaysia Outstanding Contribution to the Real Estate Industry Award, The Edge Malaysia Outstanding Property CEO Award, The Edge Malaysia Outstanding Property Entrepreneur Award, The Edge Malaysia Outstanding Overseas Project Award and The Edge Malaysia Property Development Excellence Award.

This year, we recognise industry veteran Datuk Soam Heng Choon for his contribution to the real estate industry. With over 40 years of experience, he has long been a highly respected figure in the industry.

From his humble beginnings in Seremban, Soam would go on to helm IJM Land Bhd and turn it into one of the largest and most successful property developers in Malaysia. He later moved on to take charge of IJM Corp Bhd. He was instrumental in steering the industry through the Covid-19 pandemic in his capacity as president of the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Rehda) Malaysia.

This award recognises industry captains who have made significant and outstanding contributions in growing their companies into dynamic players at the forefront of the industry. This year, we have two recipients — Datuk Azmir Merican of Sime Darby Property Bhd and Datuk Joseph Lau of ParkCity Group.

Azmir and Lau did not start out in the property development industry but they stepped out of their comfort zone to helm their respective companies. They have successfully led their companies through the Covid-19 pandemic and brought them to new heights. 

This award, which was introduced in 2019, recognises overseas property developments that showcase not just the daring but also the capability and tenacity of  Malaysian  developers. The joint winners are 1060 Carnegie, Melbourne, Australia by Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd; Royal Mint Gardens, London, UK by IJM Land Bhd; and The Mansions @ ParkCity Hanoi, Hanoi, Vietnam by ParkCity Group.

Royal Mint Gardens in London

These awards recognise successful property developments that have made a significant impact. The projects have to be catalysts for growth while continuing to contribute positively to the vibrancy of the areas in which they are located.

Excellence in Township Community Hub

D’Network @ Setia Eco Park

The hybrid solar-powered F&B-focused retail hub made its debut at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. It was designed to seamlessly integrate with the adjacent lake, creating a relaxing green haven for the neighbourhood. D’Network has 17 units, of which 10 are F&B outlets and seven are for services.

The Waterfront @ Desa ParkCity

The 2-storey open-air neighbourhood mall was originally built for the convenience of Desa ParkCity residents. However, its popularity has grown over the years, thanks to its offerings, the park and its pet-friendly environment. Now, it receives about 20,000 visitors a day from all over the Klang Valley.

Excellence in Neighbourhood Mall

163 Retail Park

163 Retail Park

The mall brought a different kind of retail experience to Mont’Kiara when it opened in 2018. The open-design concept allows for natural ventilation, which helped boost footfall at the tail end of the pandemic. The mall draws a young crowd, with about 70% in the below-40 age group, and has a footfall of between six million and seven million per annum.

Bangsar Shopping Centre

Opened in 1990, Bangsar Shopping Centre has held its own against the myriad of shopping centres that have sprouted around it over the years. Its ability to evolve with the times has brought new visitors and exciting tenants such as BSC Fine Foods, Momaku X Baristart Coffee Malaysia and Truefitt & Hill.

Introduced in 2014, this award seeks to identify and encourage the private sector to provide more and better quality, affordable housing. 

Building affordably priced homes must not be merely an exercise in fulfilling an obligation. Instead of settling for a cookie-cutter design and layout, more thought must go into how the homes can be improved. Practical spatial planning and comfort are important, and affordable homes must be designed to facilitate community building, something for which the developer should take the lead.

No two affordable homes are necessarily alike in design and pricing. The latter is highly dependent on location and accessibility. However, their function remains the same.

This year, the joint winners are Hibiscus 3, Bandar Seri Coalfields by KLK Land Sdn Bhd and SkyAwani 3 Residences by SkyWorld Development Bhd. Special mentions go to Taman Nuri Sentosa by Sri Pengkalan Binaan Sdn Bhd and Residensi Bandar Bukit Mahkota by PR1MA Corp Malaysia. 

The award, which was introduced last year, recognises an outstanding catalytic development that has rejuvenated an area. Bukit Bintang City Centre and Kwai Chai Hong are this year’s winners. 

Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC)

Built on the site of the former Pudu Jail, BBCC stands out from the rest of the neighbourhood’s ageing pre- and post-war shophouses that have served generations. Spread across 19.4 acres, the RM8.7 billion integrated mixed-use transit-oriented development has brought new life to Pudu with its offerings.

Kwai Chai Hong

Kwai Chai Hong

The transformation of a dark and dirty back alley in KL’s Chinatown to a hotspot for tourists and locals is nothing short of inspiring. Today, it offers a wide range of eateries and a back alley decorated with elements such as lanterns, bamboo trees and murals depicting characters from old Chinatown in KL, which also serve as a mark of Chinese culture and identity in the area.

<execellence in conservation>

This award recognises the best conservation and adaptive reuse projects that have preserved our heritage and history, and are reintroducing them to a new generation. The winners this year are Hin Bus Depot, Else Kuala Lumpur and A Place Where by APW.

Hin Bus Depot

A former depot that was used to house and maintain the buses of Hin Company Ltd, Hin Bus Depot has been transformed into a creative event space with retail offerings. The restoration was carried out with minimal alterations to the former structure. Today, apart from events, the Sunday market has become a huge draw, with about 100 stalls.

Else Kuala Lumpur

Else Kuala Lumpur

Built in 1930, the former Lee Rubber Building was known as the city’s tallest building at that point in time. In 2016, the historical building was acquired by GF Land Sdn Bhd and turned into a 49-room boutique hotel. The Art Deco façade of the building was maintained while the interiors were renovated.

A Place Where by APW

Better known as APW, the 65,000 sq ft creative and retail hub was originally a commercial printing factory known as Art Printing Works Sdn Bhd, which was established in 1952. The decision to turn the old factory into a creative campus proved to be the right one as APW has become a popular spot for F&B, arts and retail.

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