JOHOR BARU: The Johor government plans to develop Sedenak, a small town just outside Johor Baru, into a thriving data centre.
Property developers are predicting demand for houses and commercial space to benefit from the availability of high-paying technology employment in the area.
“This will be a catalytic project that will definitely accelerate growth in the state, especially in south Johor,’’ Johor Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) branch chairman Hoe Mee Ling told StarBiz.
Mentri Besar Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin recently announced that about 20,000ha in Sedenak would be developed into a data centre similar to Cyberjaya in Selangor.
The state government, he said, was currently holding talks with several foreign companies on setting up their respective data centres in Johor. The data centre in Sedenak, Khaled said, would be launched by mid-year.
It is not immediately clear how many companies have committed to the project, although previous unconfirmed reports had linked Microsoft as among the potential investors.
Johor Rehda’s Hoe said designating Sedenak as a data centre would attract new investments in technology infrastructure such as high speed Internet connectivity.
This, in turn, she said would create positive economic spill-over spurring job creation and attracting local and foreign talents into the area.
“So, we can expect Johor-based developers and those outside the state to start looking for land in Sedenak and nearby areas for housing projects,’’ she said.
Sedenak is located about 50 km north-east of Johor Baru City Centre and in the district of Kulai, within the Senai-Kulai zone of Iskandar Malaysia.
Senai-Kulai is one of the five flagship development zones in the country’s first economic growth corridor launched on Nov 4, 2006 – spanning 2,217 sq km. Iskandar Malaysia is three times bigger than Singapore and twice the size of Hong Kong.
The other four development zones are – JB City Centre, Iskandar Puteri formerly known as Nusajaya, Eastern Gate Development Zone and Western Gate Development Zone.
Meanwhile, KGV International Property Consultants (M) Sdn Bhd director Samuel Tan Wee Cheng said developers with housing projects in Kulai and Senai areas would benefit from the upcoming Sedenak data centre.
He concurred with Hoe that developers would look for land in Sedenak for housing development projects to provide housing needs for workers and investors there.
Tan said the data centre must be able to attract the world’s top companies to set up their operations, adding that Sedenak had the potential to developed into a back-up site for regional data centre.
Daiman Development Bhd property development general manager Heng Song Teck said the data centre would benefit the small and medium enterprises in the support industries.
He said there would be demand for commercial and industrial properties to support the multinational corporations operating at the data centre.