KUMPULAN Guthrie Bhds property development business will contribute 40% to group revenue this year while plantations will make up the balance.
Both our core operations are synergistic and complementary to each other, its group chief executive Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said.
Khalid said this during a media preview of Harvard Jerai Homes, the groups property project in Gurun, Kedah.
Although both are businesses with their own market cycles, they provide a buffer to ensure continuous good cashflow to the group, he said.
Kumpulan Guthrie property division director Wan Abdullah Wan Ibrahim said the groups vast land bank of some 11,650 acres in the Guthrie Corridor in the Klang Valley provided it the flexibility of optimal land planning to build the right products at the right location.
We will build according to market demand. Being in the same corridor, there is also the advantage of centralisation of public amenities and infrastructure facilities. The scheduled completion of the Guthrie Corridor Expressway early next year will open up even greater opportunities in the area, he said.
The Guthrie Corridor, which will keep the group busy for the next 20 to 30 years, encompasses the 2,200-acre Bukit Jelutong and the 1,950-acre Bukit Subang, both currently under construction, while the 5,300-acre Elmina and 2,300-acre Lagong projects are still under planning.
Guthrie is also developing the 2,650-acre Sungai Kapar Indah, which comprises mainly medium-range houses, near the Klang North Port. The RM4.1bil Bukit Jelutong was adjudged the Best Town Planning Scheme by the Malaysian Institute of Planners in 1997 and the Best Neighbourhood Landscape Award by the Selangor state government in 2001.
The township has a multi-purpose hall, a kindergarten, mosque, primary and secondary schools, large open spaces, wide internal roads and recreational parks in all its phases. A total 2,155 houses, 59 industrial units and 26 shop offices have been completed and an additional 1,800 mixed residential units will be built over the next four years.
Abdullah said the group was set to build more prestigious residential development under its planned community concept to promote healthy communal integration among the people.
We pride ourselves in being a developer of high quality townships where the comfort of residents is the prime driving force in all our development plans and designs, he said.
Abdullah said all Guthrie projects would be carefully designed to ensure that residents would be able to go back to a welcoming environment to unwind after a hard days work.
We go to great lengths to incorporate the necessary elements such as low density of about 6 houses per acre instead of the usual 12 units in other developments. The location of amenities is also carefully thought out to avoid unnecessary traffic jams for the residents. For example, instead of having hypermarkets, we build neighbourhood shops. Lo- cations of schools, kindergartens, multi-purpose halls and petrol kiosks are also well placed, he said.
Abdullah said that having made inroads into the Klang Valley market, Guthrie had set its sight on other new growth areas.
Its wholly-owned subsidiary Harvard Jerai Development Sdn Bhd will be launching the 771-acre Harvard Jerai project in Kedah in June. Harvard Jerai is an integrated development in the precinct of the Harvard Golf & Country Club and the Harvard Suasana Hotel, about 20 minutes drive from Alor Star. It will feature 344 semi-detached bungalows and 250 bungalow lots.
Abdullah said phase one on 121 acres would offer mostly semi-detached bungalows while the second phase on 650 acres comprised mixed property types.
According to Guthrie Hotel & Resort Operations general manager Abdul Aziz Ansani, the residential enclave will boost the profile of the five-year resort. The 82-room hotel has seen its occupancy rate im- proved to about 65% now from 25% previously. Its 27-hole golf course has become the top three in the northern region, hosting about 50 tournaments a year, including 28 competitive meets.
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