After rapidly opening three Malaysian stores last year–in Lot 10, Setia Alam City Mall and Paradigm Mall, PJ–global fashion chain H&M will in a few months open what will be its second largest Asian store in Avenue K mall, believes a source close to the development.
“You can expect a lot of changes in store, especially with a change in leadership in the mall,” he said at the event announcing upcoming tenants for Avenue K. The mall, which is located across from KLCC on Jalan Ampang, is currently being renovated and revamped.
At the event, it was revealed that H&M will take up three floors in Avenue K, extending from the ground floor’s highly visible street frontage on Jalan Ampang to the concourse level which connects to the KLCC LRT station.
Singaporean retail and property consultancy company, Synergistic Real Estate Management & Network Pte Ltd (SRE) was pulled in to rejuvenate this mall which has previously suffered from low occupancy and footfall.
“Avenue K has been idle and unloved for a while,” admitted Avenue K general manager, Sue Wang who was seconded from SRE. “But forget the old story, let’s talk about the new story!”
As part of the new story, other tenants coming in include Australian fashion store Cotton On which will open a flagship store, Popular bookstore, local supermarket Presto (also in Citta Mall and Taman Tun Dr Ismail), sportsware store Original Classics, Crocs, Chatime, The Loaf, Krispy Kreme, Swensen’s, and EMS Entertainment (which also offers “The Ice Age Experience” at 1 Mont Kiara mall).
Existing tenants like Fitness First, Leica, and Stage Kuala Lumpur, will remain.
While reticent to reveal how many tenants have already signed into the mall, Wang promised that the mall will be 70% occupied by the time it is re-opened in October. “Before this, we were calling people, but now people are calling us,” she said confidently.
Wang revealed that “round about RM50mil” was spent on renovations, which included the moving of escalators and walls, among others, to provide better layout, and with consideration for feng shui principles.
Sg Buloh project brought forward to 4Q2013 and will be launched ‘affordably’ at RM650 psf.
Upcoming launches for Mah Sing projects will be more affordably priced, within the range of RM650psf, says Mah Sing Group Bhd, in quoting a report by MIDF which recently visited the property development company.
“The maiden launches of Mah Sing’s recent acquisitions will be priced at around RM650-700 psf which is relatively more affordable than the ongoing projects in Ampang and Petaling Jaya like M-City and Icon-City,” said MIDF. “Inclusive of discount, the pricing is expected to be lower at between RM600-650psf, while the pricing of the “City series” is close to RM1000psf. We are optimistic on the affordably-priced future projects which will be more resilient as compared to the high-end high-rise developments.”
Registration for Mah Sing’s other upcoming projects are also open: Lakeville Residence in Bangi (with GDV of RM1.15b), Meridin @ Medini in Iskandar Malaysia (GDV RM1.1b) and Meridin @ Senibong near Johor Baru (GDV RM4.35b).
Southville City Bangi will be launched by year end. Phase 1 comprises of 2- and 3-storey lifestyle retail shops and executive suites. Built-up areas of the executive suites is 956 sq ft onwards and pricing start from RM280K. Phase 2 will be link homes. As at Jul 15, there were 15,900 registrants for the project.
First phase of Meridin which comprises of 2 blocks of residential suites was launched in May 2013. The 3rd block was launched over the weekend
The first phase of Lake Ville Residence are serviced residence with size ranging from 950 sq ft to 1,200 sq ft. Registration of interest for the project will commence in 2H13, with preview in 1H14.
Mah Sing’s fundamentals are strong with unbilled sales of RM3.6b driven by record breaking sales for the past few years, added MIDF.
KUALA LUMPUR: PNB Development Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Permodalan Nasional Bhd, is selling properties for three projects at its Kota Seriemas township in Nilai, Negri Sembilan.
The projects are Cempaka Sari Villas and Twin Villas @ Laman Cempaka, Frangipani Villas and Laman Alamanda superlink homes 1.
Cempaka Sari Villas and Twin Villas @ Laman Cempaka is a luxury development comprising 62 bungalows with built-up areas of 2,715 square feet to 3,134 sq ft. Some units come with private pools. It is priced from RM948,888 to RM1.42 million.
Frangipani Villas is a luxury home series with sizes of 3,136 sq ft to 3,666 sq ft. There are 36 units priced from RM948,888 million each.
Laman Alamanda comprises 33 double-storey houses with built-up areas of 2,356 sq ft to 2,292 sq ft, selling from RM456,888.
The company has also opened registration for its Terezza Terraces 2 project. It comprises 98 double-storey units with build-up areas of 2,110 sq ft to 3,085 sq ft, selling from RM383,888 to RM740,888.
The Terezza Terraces 2 units are designed to enhance the emerging wellness lifestyle of Kota Seriemas, with homes adjacent to the township's lake park.
NUSMETRO Group is targeting RM1 billion worth of lock-in sales by the third quarter of this year.
Its managing director Thomas Chan said the targeted sales would be made through its four Arte series projects in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Penang.
He said the two ongoing projects in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur - Arte @Subang West and Arte @Kuchai Lama - are already sold out.
The latest introduction in the series, Arte S in Bukit Gambir here, has already sold 40 per cent of its 400 condominium units, Chan said, with another 30 per cent sales targeted within the month.
"We would have sold 70 per cent of the Arte S units here by next month ... and we managed to sell 40 per cent during Chinese New Year in February.
"We hope to reach the RM1 billion sales target.
"I do not think many developers have managed to do so, unlike the big players like SP Setia," he said at the official launch of the Arte S project last Saturday.
Arte S, a project of about RM430 million in gross development value (GDV), is the property developer's first Arte series project in the nor-thern region. Construction is expected to begin next month and be completed by the end of 2016.
The project features two condominium towers of spiralling architectural lines; iconic indoor and outdoor pods that house a three-storey entertainment lounge; a garden with hanging cocoons; a gym; and a multi-layered pool.
The project is designed by Spark, the internationally-acclaimed London-based architecture and ur-ban design firm, which also designed Singapore's Clark Quay and the Shanghai Cruise Terminal in China.
Chan said Spark's design for Arte S has been shortlisted for the World Architecture Festival (WAF) 2013 in Singapore this October under the Future Projects Award.
"Spark has also worked on designing many other projects, but it chose Arte S to enter the competition at the world's largest architectural festival this year," he said.
Chan said Nusmetro did not previously develop projects in series until it introduced the Arte series two years ago.
"We never had that kind of branding but this is something we need to do to develop projects for a niche market," he said.
Projects in the Arte series, he explained, evolved around the art subject and sought to give a different definition to lifestyle living.
"When people look at the projects, and how they are designed externally and internally, what they think about them is subjective.
"However, our Arte series projects have received encouraging market endorsement," he said.
Nusmetro's fourth Arte project, named Arte+, is a mixed-development project with small-office home-office suites off Jalan Ampang in Kuala Lumpur.
Chan said the project will be officially launched to the public in November or December this year, after it is unveiled to the company's partners in September.
KUALA LUMPUR: Mah Sing Group Bhd will develop Kota Kinabalu Convention City (KKCC), a waterfront integrated development with RM1.4 billion gross development value (GDV), in Kota Kinabalu.
Mah Sing group managing director Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum said the KKCC will be developed on a 3.78ha site.
Mah Sing, through subsidiary Convention City Development Sdn Bhd, has signed an agreement with Yayasan Sabah to buy 3.37ha of the 3.78ha site for RM164 million.
"The remaining 0.41ha was acquired for RM21.9 million from Sasinma Sdn Bhd, together with a building contiguous to the project," Leong said in a statement yesterday.
The total investment for the 3.78ha at RM184.9 million is equivalent to 13.2 per cent of the estimated GDV.
"KKCC will be to Kota Kinabalu what KLCC is to Kuala Lumpur, becoming a landmark that will put Sabah on the world map," Leong said.
Besides KKCC, Convention City Development is also entitled to exercise an option for 2.40ha of adjacent land.
Leong said this may generate additional GDV of RM600 million, potentially bringing up the GDV of Kota Kinabalu Convention City to RM2 billion.
"We may exercise the option for an entitlement price of RM117 million within two years from the issuance of the separate issue document of title," he added.
WHERE one works may not say a lot about us, but where one hangs out will. Which takes us to the next level. Does demographics have an influence over how office buildings are planned and designed?
Property consultant YY Lau, the principal of YY Property Solutions, says the Klang Valley’s changing office environment says a lot about our lifestyle and how we like to spend our time.
Let’s take public transport versus private cars. Because of the poor public transportation system, most of us drive to work. So the availability of office parking is an issue.
Consider KL Sentral. That is supposed to be a transportation hub, but how often do people going there opt for public transport? Chances are, one will take the car.
So when a company chooses a location, several factors come under consideration.
“Branding, perception, budget and talent retention are important issues they have to consider,” she says.
After years of helping her clients to find their dream office space, she has learned a few things about demographics and what people want.
“The Gen-Y (those born in the 1980s and 1990s) group likes to go into prestigious offices. The older workers, the baby-boomers (1946-1955) and Gen-X (1965 and 1980) consider day-to-day issues like ease of parking, picking up the children, the cost of food around their office, the cost of commuting and the time taken.”
Lau says it is common for a job offer to be rejected or accepted based on what’s around and available in the office premises, or what the office looks like.
Gen-Y’s preferences for prestigious glass and steel buildings may also be an indication of where they like to hang out during and after office hours. Today, the imported coffee culture – Starbucks and Coffee Bean – is within the office premises, having found their way from the shopping malls to the work place.
Lau says the shortage of car parking facilities is another long-standing issue across the demographics.
A lot of young people drive. Lau says every 500 sq ft of office space is provided with one car parking bay. Sometimes, it could have one car parking bay for every 1,000 sq ft. Three to five people can occupy a 500 sq ft office. “So if your office is located near a mall, that helps,” she says.
Depending on the sector, a company may not need as much space as before. With the convenience of technology, a lot of Gen-X and Gen-Y carry that technology around today.
“If you have 20 staff members, you need 20 seats. But for consultancy work, a number of the staff may not be in the office during any part of the working day. But there is this Asian mentality – they like to have ownership of a place. But we have seen how people in other countries work – everybody has a trolley. And you log in.
“Some work from home. From the company’s point of view, they will save in terms of phone calls and the staff will be happier but it cannot be a habit.
“The issue about not going into the office is, after a while, you lose touch and no longer feel connected. These are the issues that need to be worked out between employers and employees,” she says.
Quite a number of office blocks today also come with gym and sports facilities. Some have a pool. These are amenities enjoyed by the working community in that area and help to reduce road congestion as they do not need to drive to the gym.
Lau says the provision of a child care centre has been talked about for a while. Today, there are a few offices which provide this facility.
“The year 2012 was a dragon year which naturally saw a baby boom. Working mothers are having a hard time getting help to look after their babies. Hence, the trend today among building owners is to have a child-care centre within their premises which they outsourced to an operator,” says Lau, adding that from her conversation with employers, their preferences and need for a work-home balance have result in them giving up a lucrative job offer.
MGPA (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd general manager Patrick Liau says people want conveniences irrespective of demographics. Liau manages The Intermark, a mixed integrated development located at the intersection between Jalan Ampang and Jalan Tun Razak in downtown Kuala Lumpur.
The development is anchored by a hotel, a mall and two office blocks offering more than 1.3mil sq ft of office space. There are six retail floors of about 200,000 sq ft with a carefully selected mix of tenant to provide conveniences and services to the working and visiting community.
Jaya Groccer will provide added conveniences and the lower concourse and concourse floors provide the services. The space and how it is used, says Lau, has been carefully planned and thought out.
It’s a story about transformation, not only of this place, but how an integrated development, with the office component, should work, he says.
Liau says the office floor space can be as large as 23,500 sq ft, and without columns, big enough to accommodate more than 200 people on one floor.
Studies done have shown that productivity increases when the different departments that need to work each other are located on one floor, he says. Time may be lost taking the stairs or in lifts.
Within the building, excluding external factors like location, Liau says tenants today look for three things – air conditioners that work, clean toilets and well-maintained escalators and lifts.
He says the lifts at The Intermark travel at 7 metres per second, one of the fastest in Kuala Lumpur.
“You need this, when you are travelling 62 storeys,” he says.