RESIDENTS of Bandar Laguna Merbok (BLM) must be the envy of many people, not least the other folks of Sungei Petani.
The reason: they have their very own private clubhouse by a lake.
It is not any clubhouse but one that was built at a whopping RM6mil, an expense not many developers are prepared to spend, particularly in these trying times.
Since the developer Patani Jaya Sdn Bhd (a Paramount Corporation company) completed Kelab Bandar Laguna Merbok in February this year, the elegant clubhouse has been the talk of the town.
With a built-up area of 36,000 sq ft, it occupies a 6.6-acre site fronting a tranquil man-made lake with riverside jetty for fishing and picnics.
Gunung Jerai forms a majestic backdrop while the Merbok River offers a haven for boating and fishing enthusiasts.
Entry to the clubhouse is via member's card access.
It has a swimming pool, tennis courts, gymnasium, aerobics room, sauna, dining outlet, function room, children's playground and reading room. Families can throw a party in the outdoor dining area.
Purchasers of a home in this 493-acre freehold township automatically gets a free membership worth RM4,000 to the club.
“This is the only residential development with a clubhouse in Sungai Petani. We had our soft opening during Chinese New Year. We have now more than 300 members. One of the main reasons why we built Kelab Bandar Laguna Merbok is to foster closer rapport amongst our residents so that they will look out for one another,” said Patani Jaya Sdn Bhd executive director Ricque Liew.
Liew said the company was in the midst of setting up the BLM Residents & Homeowners' Association, to be based at the clubhouse.
The association would serve as a platform for all residents to voice their concerns through a committee that would promptly address any problems that might arise.
As such he urged the nearly 3,000 residents to support this effort by joining the club.
He said the annual subscription fee of only RM480 per year was in fact a “maintenance fee” for the general upkeep of the existing security services, amenities and facilities at BLM.
A recent visit to this development showed that many houses have been completed.
As the development is a short distance off the main road, residents enjoy more privacy. There are jogging and cycling paths, children's playground and 24-hour security.
As of June 30 this year, 1,622 units had been handed over to the purchasers and some 1,229 families are residing there. The township will have 3,188 terrace houses, 670 semi-detached houses, 40 detached houses and 208 shop office units. A total of 2,002 units (89.5%) out of the 2,236 units launched have been sold. The total sales value is RM340 mil.
Houses in Bandar Laguna Merbok have earned the reputation of having superior finishes, a result of Patani Jaya Sdn Bhd's constant effort to implement some of the best features found in Klang Valley townships.
For example, its integrated brickwork fencing is “copied” from the Bukit Jelutong houses in Shah Alam, Selangor.
Its latest products like the 40ft x 80ft double-storey semi-detached house, the Casamaria 2 (priced from RM265,900 for a standard unit/2,806 sq ft built-up area) come with new superior finishes such as plaster ceiling, 18 inch x 18 inch ceramic floor tiles, timber strip parquet to first floor, 8ft high solid timber door to the main entrance and the integrated brickwork fencing.
About 30 of the 76 units had been sold during its soft launch in June. It would be relaunched end of this month.
To enhance the township's image, about RM500,000 had been allocated to revitalise the landscapes. “It takes us an average of six months to develop a product based mainly on customer feedback. We translate their needs and expectations to the final product. We constantly improving our products by listening to what buyers want,” said Liew.
The company received the prestigious ISO 9001:2000 Quality Management System certification from Sirim for the development of residential and commercial properties at BLM in January 2003.
Patani Jaya Sdn Bhd sales & marketing manager Tan Chin Chua said all the 40 bungalows had been sold.
These include 30 units that come with four designs and priced from RM480,000 each, and 10 standard units priced from RM430,000.
He said the 20ft x 70ft Almeria Elite (122 units/1,783 sq ft built-up area), 20ft x 75ft Veronia Elite (28 units/1,972 sq ft), 22ft x 70ft Vittoria 3A (18 units/2,077 sq ft) and 22ft x 75ft Vittoria 3B (12 units/2,116 sq ft) would be launched in September and October.
“Sungei Petani buyers are rather careful. They like to compare between developments. They find that our product offers a different lifestyle. Fortunately we have parked out low-cost units elsewhere,” he added.
Residents can participate in the Rewards Plus 2003 programme, where they stand to win cash prizes and a lucky draw with the grand prize of a Kancil car and the first prize of a Jaguh motorcycle for introducing buyers to some of its bumiputra units.
Bandar Laguna Merbok is located in a booming area and very near such amenities like colleges, campuses and private medical centres like the Metro Specialist Centre, Strand Specialist Centre and the proposed Sungai Petani general hospital.