Eco-friendly living at Prima Villa

Property Talk: A weekly column by S.C. Cheah

THERE are so many “gated and guarded” developments these days that it can be quite difficult to choose the one that really suits your lifestyle and needs. 

However, for people who like to live in the Melawati areas that are quite close to the Kuala Lumpur city centre or simply crave for abundant greenery with a majestic backdrop of a limestone hill, Prima Villa's gated community may just be your dream home. 

This 7.06-acre freehold development is just adjacent to Prima Ukay, a 20-acre medium to upmarket residential development in Saujana Melawati in Selangor. Both projects are by Beneton Properties Sdn Bhd. 

The company has a track record of developing niche high-end projects in Kuala Lumpur that includes the Stonor Park, a 20-storey exclusive condominium next to the Petronas Twin Towers. It will also be launching at the end of the year another exclusive 20-storey condominium in Persiaran Hampshire that is also very near the world's tallest twin towers. 

As for Prima Villa, comprising 64 semi-detached units priced from RM600,000 to RM900,000, purchasers would be attracted by the presence of much greenery and the many amenities and facilities there. 

Beneton Properties Sdn Bhd chief operating officer Leong Swee Han (right in red attire)showing some models of the Prima Villa sem-detached houses. On the left is the company's marketing & sales director, Mary Lam.

Beneton Properties chief operating officer Leong Swee Han said the gated community concept in Prima Villa was planned several years ago following requests from many residents of Prima Ukay who wanted to have such a secured environment for their homes. Since it would not be easy to get everyone to agree to transform Prima Ukay into a gated community, an alternative is to offer a new project that has a gated community. 

The response has been good for Prima Villa. Some of the purchasers are currently staying in Prima Ukay. “A man flew from east Malaysia to buy a Type C unit. His brother is staying in Prima Ukay,” said Leong, adding that many purchasers were referrals. 

She said the six Prima Villa designs were eco-friendly. “We do not cut trees unnecessarily. It'll have underground utilities and paths for people to walk,” she said. 

The six designs comprise two-, 2½-storey and three-storey units with built-up areas of 2,475 to 3,143 sq ft. There will be 26 48ft x 50ft Type A and B three-storey units with 2,895 sq ft built-up area and 4 plus 1 rooms. These are back-to-back units. 

There will also be 12 units each of the side-to-side Type C (two-storey) and Type D (2½-storey) 33ft x 83ft units with 2,475 sq ft and 2,938 sq ft respectively. Type C (priced at RM580,800 is the entry level as it is the cheapest) has 3 plus 2 utility rooms while type D has 3 plus study plus 2 utility rooms. 

The biggest design is Type E, a 2½-storey unit with 33ft x 95ft lot size and 3,143 sq ft built-up area. It has three bedrooms, a den, study and two utility rooms. The prices range from RM800,000 to RM919,000. The 12ft x 16ft den in front of the house can be used as an entertainment room. 

Earthwork has started. It is scheduled for completion in two years. 

Like the other gated communities, Prima Villa will also have a security system that includes security guard patrols (with clocking system at strategic points), panic buttons in the master bedroom, perimeter fencing with sensor wire and CCTV cameras at the guardhouse to record the movement of visitors and residents. 

The maintenance charge is RM300 plus RM30 sinking fund per month. There will be car park bays for visitors inside and outside the project. Instead of clay tiles for the roof, metal deck roof will be used. It is more expensive but more durable. 

As Beneton Properties marketing & sales director Mary Lam said, robbers would have difficulty trying to prise open the metal roof unlike roof tiles that can be easily removed. She said there would only be a road in and out of Prima Villa, thus ensuring better security control.  

Meanwhile, in line with the company's objective of doing niche projects instead of townships, it is looking at several pieces of prime land in Johor Baru and the Klang Valley. 

Unlike many companies that are heavily in debts, Beneton Properties uses its internal funds for Stonor Park, Prima Ukay as well as its project in Johor Baru.  

“We've been in the (property development) business for the last 20 to 30 years. We do not believe in diversifying. We've been doing very well as we have stayed focused,” said Leong. 

On Stonor Park, Leong said this was its first high-end and high-rise condominium project. The two-tower condominium with 71 units priced around RM730 psf, was launched this April. To-date it has netted RM58mil in sales. The freehold land was bought in 1996 and was originally meant to be a commercial project but following the mid 1997 economic downturn, the plan was shelved. 

A special feature is that there are only two units per floor with its own private lift lobby. Each block is served by three lifts. Standard unit size is from 2,314 to 3,218 sq ft. The duplexes are 4,400 sq ft while the four units of three-level penthouse (one unit left) is very large with 6,000 sq ft to 7,000 sq ft. All units face the KLCC Park. 

Beneton Properties' other current projects include Taman Tampoi Indah 2 (a 1,300-unit residential development at Tampoi, Johor Baru) and Taman Setia 2 in Balakong (comprising four semi-detached units and 60 terrace houses. Phase 1 had been sold off). 

Its freehold Prima Ukay comprises townhouses, apartments and 112 semi-detached houses that were initially priced from RM428,000 (Phase 1) to RM632,000 (Phase 4).  

Phase 4, launched in 2001, was handed over last year. The larger units have 3,400 sq ft built-up area, 40ft x 85ft land and car porch that can park three cars side by side. 

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