THE “architect” of the Mines Golf Resort, Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew, is set to launch a spate of themed residential developments in the South Lake precinct of the award-winning resort.
The RM2bil, 230-acre South Lake project, themed “South of the Mines: Venice of the East”, will be undertaken by Mines Golf Resort Bhd, in which Lee has a substantial stake.
Lee, who is the managing director of Mines Golf Resort Bhd and the Country Heights Holdings Bhd, has spent more than RM50mil on South Lake's infrastructure including the completion of the canals and landscaping. He even built several lovely award-winning show bungalows and a show complex.
This “Build the environment before building” concept is Lee's commitment to purchasers. Just like his unique Mines Shopping Fair that boasts the world's first shopping mall with a canal passing through it, Lee has come out with his own ideas for the South Lake project and some input from what he saw during his travels abroad.
“The South Lake will contribute a lot to Selangor and even the country. It will be a melting pot of architecture from various countries,” Lee told StarBiz.
He said the various components of this mega development would reflect the culture of different countries. For example, the show complex will have a Swiss design, the Mirage service residence and 6,000-seat amphitheatre will have an Islamic flair. Heritage service apartments will draw on the Baba & Nyonya style, and the 1,022 units of Spanyol townhouses and condominiums would be distinctively Spanish. Each town villa will have at least two car porches and three to four bedrooms. Each parcel will have its own leisure swimming pool and clubhouse facilities.
In the Street of Dreams precinct, one can build one's dream bungalow for a mere RM500,000 (excluding land). Lee said some people had offered to buy some of his show bungalows for a few million ringgit. “I hope people will come to study our development. I want to tell them that you can be your own developer and build your bungalow for RM80 psf.”
About 50% of the 237 bungalow lots have been sold.
On the Mirage, he said it had been one of his “dreams” to build an indoor amphitheatre where first-class live entertainment could be staged, while the Venice of the East shopping mall would have a 24-feet wide corridor where one could stroll and shop or dine while enjoying the beautiful view of the lake. He hopes to launch it in 2005.
All the shop units will be for lease, just like the Mines Shopping Fair. Lee does not believe in selling all or part of a shopping centre as this “neither here nor there” concept had failed in Malaysia and other parts of the world.
The 200-room, five-star Bali Island Resort will be built on a man-made island surrounded by water canals. It would feature health and spa facilities and chalets along the perimeter of the island with spacious open courtyard for outdoor activities.
The Australian International School Malaysia (AISM), developed by award-winning property developer Sunrise Bhd, has been completed and is the country's first Australian school.
Other components would include The Angels (six blocks of mixed commercial and residential units conceptualised from the Spanish architecture); The Care (a 10-storey family medicare centre); De' Paris (a luxurious waterfront service apartment) and the Swiss (a European cottage style, luxurious lakefront condominium with 250 units and full amenities).
When completed, hopefully over the next five years, the South Lake project (the property development side of the Mines Resort City) will provide ready catchments for the existing RM2bil North Lake components comprising the five-star Palace of the Golden Horses, Mines Shopping Fair, Mines Beach Resort and Spa, Mines Waterfront Business Park, Mines Golf Resort, Mines International Exhibition and Convention Centre, and the Mines Wonderland, a very popular theme park.
“We could have done it (South Lake project) long ago if not for the financial crisis (in 1997). After this crisis, I feel that the property business is still a good business and that is why I am now concentrating on property development as compared to the North Lake that is for property investment.”
“I've sent my architect to look at the Belagio project in Las Vegas. It has a Spanish theme where they do everything artificially. They built a small lake but I've a big natural lake with crystal blue waters. I don't show people plans but you can see it (landscaping, canals and infrastructure) now,” he said, adding that he had changed the planning and design concepts of the South Lake many times.
His vision is to make the South Lake a place where one would be proud to come home to and, where all the amenities like medical, educational, shopping, entertainment and sports facilities are at their disposal.