BUKIT Jalil in Kuala Lumpur has been in the limelight ever since it was chosen as the location for the National Sports Complex, the venue of the 1998 Commonwealth Games. To accommodate the more than 3,000 athletes, many apartment blocks were built in the vicinity.
The site eventually became a hot spot due to its proximity to well-established areas such as Cheras, Overseas Union Garden and Sungai Besi. It is accessible via the Shah Alam Expressway, Bukit Jalil Expressway, Maju Expressway and the Kuala Lumpur-Seremban Highway. There are also four light rail transit stations in the neighbourhood.
In recent years, more dramatic changes have taken place as new lifestyle integrated developments, such as the 50-acre Bukit Jalil City, sprang up. Jointly developed by Malton Bhd and Ho Hup Construction Co Bhd, Bukit Jalil City will also house Pavilion Bukit Jalil upon its completion.
Berjaya Land Bhd was the pioneer developer in Bukit Jalil when it obtained approval for the master plan for its 400-acre freehold parcel there in 1985, with the first launch being bungalow lots in the early 1990s.
Later, other developers came in, including Exsim Group, Trinity Group, SkyWorld Development Sdn Bhd and Aset Kayamas Sdn Bhd.
Contractor-cum-property developer WZR Property Sdn Bhd is also having projects in the area. Its maiden project — The Earth, Bukit Jalil — is located opposite Bukit Jalil City on the Bukit Jalil Expressway.
Established in 2004, the group’s construction division’s completed and ongoing projects are worth RM1.7 billion. Its clients include the Defence Ministry (Pularis Complex and staff quarters for the army training centre in Pahang), I&P Bhd (shopoffice development in Temasya Glenmarie, Shah Alam), Naza-TTDI Construction Sdn Bhd (landed homes in Shah Alam and Semenyih) and the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council (residential religious school in Cheras).
Currently, it is working on a hostel-apartment project in Kelana Jaya for the Selangor State Development Corporation and a mixed-use development in Jalan Semarak for Felcra Bhd.
Last year, WZR Property made its maiden overseas foray when it secured a contract from the Ministry of Finance and Treasury of the Republic of Maldives to design and build a 25-storey building in Malé. Called Moft “U” Tower, the building will serve as the ministry’s headquarters upon its completion. It will also be the tallest building in the Maldives.
In 2010, WZR Property ventured into property development with the acquisition of two 15-acre leasehold land parcels — one located opposite Bukit Jalil City and the other in Alam Damai, Cheras.
The following year, the group began working on the Bukit Jalil parcel — now known as The Earth, Bukit Jalil — via its subsidiary Wealth Plateau Sdn Bhd. This project, with an estimated total gross development value of RM900 million, will be carried out in four phases.
Director of development Ibrahim Rahmad tells City & Country that the RM162.8-million Phase 1 was launched in end-2011 and completed in 2015. It consists of 46 units of 4-storey shopoffices, of which 26 units are 24ft by 70ft and the rest, 25ft by 60ft, in five blocks.
“The units are fully sold and the occupancy rate stands at 60%. We can see that business and people are coming in and we believe it will be a more happening place when Bukit Jalil City is completed,” he says.
“We called the development The Earth because we emphasise greenery and minimalism. We spent about RM15 million on landscaping.”
The 15-acre parcel in Alam Damai is for the development of affordable homes under the 1Malaysia People’s Housing Programme (PR1MA). The project, dubbed PR1MA Alam Damai, will have 2,074 units in eight blocks. It is scheduled for completion by the end of next month.
Paraiso, The Earth Bukit Jalil
This year, WZR Property is looking to launch Phases 2 and 3 of The Earth, Bukit Jalil, by end of this quarter. Phase 2 is a Federal Territory affordable housing project — Impiana Sky Residensi — which will have 508 units in a 40-storey block on a 2.2-acre parcel.
Each unit will have a built-up of 850 sq ft, with three bedrooms and two bathrooms, and priced at RM300,000. The facilities include 24-hour security, a gymnasium, multipurpose hall, recreational area and nursery.
Phase 3 is a condominium project — Paraiso, The Earth Bukit Jalil — which will comprise 762 units in two 40-storey blocks. There will be four designs, ranging from 960 to 1,480 sq ft, with 3 or 3+1 bedrooms.
Every unit will come with two parking bays, two air conditioners (one in the master bedroom and the other in the living room), timber flooring (in the master bedroom) and kitchen cabinets. The units are priced at RM550 psf.
“For the biggest type (1,480 sq ft), there will only be eight units because they come with a garden and they will be on the ground floor,” Ibrahim says. “We did a preview at the end of last year and some 80% of the units are booked. Compared with the average selling price of about RM800 psf for properties in the vicinity, our units at a 40% discount and this offers room for price increases when the project is completed in 2021.”
He says WZR Property is able to price its products competitively due to its background as a contractor.
Metro Homes Sdn Bhd director See Kok Loong notes that there is still a high demand for condominiums, with the right price, in Bukit Jalil.
“The market price for new launches in Bukit Jalil should be around RM600 to RM800 psf, depending on various factors such as the project features,” he says. “Paraiso, The Earth Bukit Jalil is in a good location and has good pricing. The prospect for investment is good, but a setback is the high-tension cables next to the development.”
“Paraiso” literally means “paradise” in Spanish. The group hopes to create a “home sweet home” feeling with its concept and facilities. The facilities include a gymnasium, café, infinity pool, wading pool, reading room, play school and children’s playground.
“The strategic location is also our selling point. It is accessible via several highways, and Kuala Lumpur City Centre is only 15 minutes away. The buyers are mostly young couples aged 30 to 35, with children,” Ibrahim says.
“When we bought this land, we saw a lot of potential. So, we decided to build the commercial component first. The last phase on a one-acre parcel will also be for a commercial development, but we are not in a hurry to launch it.”
He notes that a pedestrian link is being built between The Earth, Bukit Jalil and Pavilion Bukit Jalil, which will benefit residents and people working at The Earth.
Outside the Klang Valley
Ibrahim says the stringent loan requirements are a big problem for potential buyers.
“Buyers are facing a lot of problems getting loans and that is the main challenge for property developers,” he says. “Moving forward, we hope that the current buyers will be happy with us and our other projects. We would like to have our own loyal customers.”
By end of the year, WZR Property may launch its first property development outside of the Klang Valley — 724 terraced homes in Simpang Pulai, Perak. The group, which has yet to name the development, hopes to get the approval by this quarter.
The project, covering 56 acres of leasehold land, will have 500 units of 2-storey terraced houses and 224 units of 1-storey houses.
“The Simpang Pulai project will take us five years to complete, while The Earth, Bukit Jalil will need another four years,” Ibrahim says. “We are actively seeking new land parcels nationwide and we plan to push revenue contribution from property development to 60% in three years’ time, from the current 50%.”
This article first appeared in City & Country, a pullout of The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on Feb 13, 2017.