IJM aims to be different

Unlike other developers in the Kuala Lumpur City Centre area, IJM does not sell the view, says Teh Kean Ming, managing director of IJM Properties Sdn Bhd. One of its latest offerings in Kuala Lumpur — the luxurious condominium development Ampersánd @ Kia Peng — has quite a different marketing strategy.

“It will be a low-density, low-rise development with a tropical design — more like a home,” Teh tells City & Country.

Located in Jalan Kia Peng, Ampersánd is surrounded by greenery and was designed “inside out”. “Because the interior is more important, we designed the interior first before designing the façade to give you the ambience of a home — with natural lighting and ventilation — in a resort-style setting,” Teh explains.

The project sits on two acres of leasehold land, with a gross development value of RM243 million, and comprises 71 units, or an average of 35 units per acre. The condos feature 4 + 1 bedrooms each with an attached bathroom.

The developer has also included a water feature in each unit. The intermediate units come with a 3m by 12m reflecting pool. “Those with green fingers can convert this into a planter’s box, a green patch or an indoor garden. This is a flexible design,” says Teh.

The penthouses, meanwhile, come with a lap pool and a rooftop garden each.

The 5,800 sq ft, 2-storey penthouses are tagged at RM7.2 million, while the intermediate units, with sizes that begin at 2,600 sq ft, have a starting price of RM3.1 million. Since the condos were opened for sale in a special preview in January last year, the take-up rate has been about 55%. IJM will open Ampersánd to its registrants on April 26. According to Teh, the project will be completed and handed over to the owners in January 2010.

Some of IJM’s other notable projects are Riana Green East in Wangsa Maju, Bukit Mandarina and Monte Bayu in Cheras, Serenia Gardens in Ampang and PJ8 in Petaling Jaya. According to Teh, these ongoing projects are more than 70% sold.

“Our high-end condominium development in Wangsa Maju — Riana Green East — has a 75% take-up rate, while PJ8 is 80% sold. As for Bukit Mandarina, we’re in Phase 2, while Monte Bayu is 75% sold,” he says.

Phases 1A and 1B of Serenia Gardens were launched by April. These 20ft by 70ft, 2-storey terraced homes have enjoyed “good sales”, with 70% of Phase 1B already taken up, says Teh.

Another project, Canal City, will be launched towards the end of the financial year, he reveals. The 4,000-acre “lifestyle township” will feature canals with good connectivity, he says. Located close to Kota Kemuning, it can be reached via the existing Elite Highway and Kesas highway and the upcoming South Klang Valley Expressway and West Coast Highway.

Another project by IJM — Rimbun 360 – in Taman Melawati has stalled due to protests from residents in the area. The land for the proposed project is privately owned and was previously approved for a condominium development with more than 500 units, says Teh.

Rimbun 360 comprises 152 hillslope bungalows, or just four units an acre, he says. One of the concerns about the project is that the hillslope is unstable. However, Teh explains that the development includes stabilisation work. He also reveals that the residents there have been using the land as a recreational area and want it to remain that way.

“We are not cutting the hill at all. It will not be gated; it will only be guarded, and we will provide street lighting,” Teh explains. In doing so, the area will be a much safer place and residents may continue to access the area. IJM is also proposing a special method of construction, going for expensive micropiling and minimal noise pollution for the benefit of residents in the area.

“We want to improve the area. Our project might even enhance the value of properties in the area,” says Teh, adding that these people do not know enough about the project, hence the protests. But until it receives final approval from the authorities, IJM will not go ahead.

On the company’s new launches for the year, Teh says: “We will see how the market moves.”

Some of the launches in the pipeline are The Light, a waterfront project in Penang, new phases in Serenia Gardens and Riana Green East as well as bungalows and semi-detached homes in Sandakan. These projects will have a combined gross sales value of about RM1 billion, he adds.

IJM will also be completing its takeover of RB Land Holdings Bhd in late April or in May, says Teh. “IJM’s group strategy is to have high-value products and a fast turnover rate while RB Land’s strength lies in its townships. Our strategy will be almost the same and we will combine each other’s strengths,” he explains.

Teh reckons that there will be synergies in IJM’s future developments and that the takeover will lead to “operational efficiency”. “It is a good thing to happen,” he says.

The takeover is pending approval from the Securities Commission. - By The Edge Daily

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