Paramount returns to Klang Valley


By S.C. CHEAH

PARAMOUNT Corp Bhd's upcoming launch of the RM1.3bil Kemuning Utama, a gated garden township in Shah Alam, Selangor, marks its return to the Klang Valley. 

Over the last few years the group, through its wholly owned subsidiary Patani Jaya Sdn Bhd, has delivered over 1,800 units of properties in the mixed development townships of Taman Patani Jaya and Taman Sutera in Sungai Petani. 

However, it is the 493-acre Bandar Laguna Merbok, also in Kedah, that has earned the group an immense reputation as a reliable and innovative developer. There it had sold 2,175 units (91%) of the 2,352 units launched as of mid-December 2003.  

“I'm very proud of our achievements so far in Bandar Laguna Merbok. It has made a very strong statement as to how a modern housing should look like in the north. We continue to maintain a market leadership in Sungei Petani,” Paramount Corp group managing director and chief executive officer Dr Teo Chiang Quan told StarBiz. 

Teo said the group's success had paved the way for its expansion into the Klang Valley, starting with Kemuning Utama. And he feels the timing is right. “We look at the interested buyers' profile and we noticed that many of them are upgrading. Those who are staying in places like USJ and Petaling Jaya are moving to the Kota Kemuning area,” he said. 

Having been in the property development business for a long time, the group cherished its brand name. It was also constantly on the lookout for a good piece of land although for the moment it was not buying any until its cash flow position was stronger, Teo said.  

Teo with a model of the Kemuning Utama terrace houses.

In line with its strategy to expand its land bank in high growth areas, it purchased the 524.7-acre prime freehold land in Section 31 and 32 in Shah Alam in January 2003 for RM169.1mil for the Kemuning Utama project, Teo said. 

He said that when the sales office in Kota Kemuning was opened recently, it drew a lot of interested buyers who liked Kemuning Utama's gated community concept as people were concerned with safety these days. 

“The response has been very good. We had a preview of our phase 1 units on Dec 16, but the night before that there was already a long line of purchasers waiting outside our sales office in Kota Kemuning.  

“From our feedback, people like our good location, pricing, specifications and track record. Paramount has been a very focused group in property development and education,” Teo said, adding that Kemuning Utama would also have the kind of quality features that had proven to be so successful in Bandar Laguna Merbok. 

He said over the past few years many major property development companies had launched projects in the area around the Kesas Highway and had enjoyed “very good success”.  

“We believe we have purchased a very nice piece of land here that is just before Kota Kemuning (if one were coming from KL). We bought the land using both internal funds and external borrowings,” Teo said, adding that he was very confident that Kemuning Utama would contribute to the group's 2004 profits. 

Teo said the group had its own in-house contractors to ensure better control over the quality of its workmanship. He said it was important that purchasers get a quality home as buying a house was probably the single largest purchase in a person's lifetime. 

“It is very painful to see some people suffer financially due to their wrong decision of buying from developers who failed to deliver as promised. Our philosophy is to ensure that we apply our financial resources and expertise to providing quality houses with good features and safety to purchasers,” he added. 

Teo said Paramount's core businesses, property and education, would contribute about two-third and one-third, respectively, to the group's revenue. 

He said the group had launched two new businesses last year. They were the Sri KDU in Kota Damansara, providing primary and secondary education, and the KDU Management Development Centre that caters to working adults who want to enhance their skills and to upgrade to a master's degree. “We are now constructing another block of classrooms on 12 acres at Sri KDU to cater to the secondary school,” Teo said. 

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