Axis aims to be top builder of commercial properties


BY SABRY TAHIR

Menara Axis in Petaling Jaya.

AXIS group of companies, the property development group that built the RM72mil Crystal Plaza in Petaling Jaya, is upbeat about becoming a leading developer of commercial and industrial buildings in Petaling Jaya and Shah Alam. 

It only constructs commercial and industrial buildings and is now a landlord with assets comprising offices and warehouses worth some RM390mil in these cities. The group is already one of the largest owners of commercial and industrial assets in Petaling Jaya. 

“We differ from other developers in our foundation and background as we have no residential property. In fact, we haven't started one since we formed the group,'' Axis Development Sdn Bhd executive director Stewart LaBrooy told StarBiz in Petaling Jaya. 

He said Axis focused on “specialised” buildings that catered to all needs of anchor tenants and aimed at making every new project an improvement over the previous one.  

“We sign up with the anchor tenants before we start on anything. We don't take the risk of erecting a building that ends up without anchor tenants,'' LaBrooy said. 

According to LaBrooy, Axis assists its tenants by providing them with right packages, right space and rental at the right time and location.  

It is hard to find these days developers that stick to this house rule, especially with persistently bleak outlook for office space and commercial property, but according to LaBrooy, this is a good time to invest in these properties.  

“You don't chase something when everybody is after it,'' he quipped. 

Stewart LaBrooy

LaBrooy said it paid to go niche and be focused for many years, with backing from banks that had confidence that you knew what you were doing. 

The Axis group is actually made up of a set of developers who pool together so that they can use a common brand name and, more importantly, the expert team who are employees of Axis Development, the project management company handling the group's projects. 

They are Prestigious Landmarks Sdn Bhd, Kasturi Gemilang Sdn Bhd, Infinite Centre Sdn Bhd, Academy Resources Sdn Bhd, Crystal Properties Sdn Bhd, Lifetime Resources Sdn Bhd, Baiduri Kemas Sdn Bhd, Able Heights Sdn Bhd and Great Avenue Sdn Bhd.  

Shareholders of the companies include Datuk Abas Carl Gunnar Abdullah, Lim Kian Thiam, Stephen Tew, Tan Kim Chuan, Haw Beng Wah, Eddy Cheing and Mazlan Mohamed. The group outsources all its construction jobs. 

Axis' maiden project was the development of an industrial building for APV Hills and Mill in Shah Alam in 1989. The group now owns in excess of 1 million sq ft of prime office and industrial properties in Petaling Jaya and Shah Alam. The group collected some RM35mil in rental over the last two years. 

Among the buildings the group has built and owns are Crystal Plaza, Menara Axis, Infinite Centre, Axis Plaza, DHL Building, Axis Business Park and Wisma Academy, all located in Petaling Jaya.  

“The companies which are separate entities all together pay certain fees to Axis Development for its expertise,'' he said. 

Axis Development director Stephen Tew said its target tenants were mainly multinational companies, whose businesses had expanded and needed a bigger space, as well as trading firms based in Kuala Lumpur that were looking for a cheaper location.  

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