Eco World to set up lifestyle hub in Eco Ardence
WHILE the first homes within Eco World Development Group Bhd’s Eco Ardence project will only be ready by 2019, efforts are already being made to breathe life into the township.
At the heart of the 533-acre freehold project is Ardence Labs, which the group is positioning as a pop-up lifestyle hub for the residents of Eco Ardence and the surrounding community of Setia Alam.
According to Eco World executive director Liew Tian Xiong, Ardence Labs, which fronts a lake, will comprise its show gallery, unique food and beverage and retail outlets, working and event spaces and two football fields.
“The aim is to deliver the pop-up hub before the homes are up. We want to use it as our community builder and curator.
“Totalling 27 acres, Ardence Labs will be completed by January next year. Our first phase of homes will only be ready by the end of 2019,” he tells StarBizWeek.
Liew says the reason the company wants to develop the lifestyle hub is so that its residents can experience a vibrant lifestyle once they move in.
“For the people who have bought into the first phase of our homes, they will know the exact livestyle they’re going to get the moment they move into this area.
“We didn’t want to just build homes, hand them over and let the area run itself. It’s also about how we can further curate and assist the township to come up with its own unique culture.”
But having an up-and-running amenity for its residents is but one of the reasons for developing Ardence Labs. Eco World is looking to build about 25 retail lots, with the sizes ranging between 290 sq ft and 2,000 sq ft. There will also be about 400 car parks.
“We also want to use Ardence Labs as a catalyst to build more jobs within the area,” Liew says.
He points out that one of the issues with living in the western corridor of the Klang Valley – where Setia Alam is located – is that it takes over an hour to drive to your workplace in the city.
“With the aim of having working spaces at Ardence Labs, we want to encourage more start-ups here. The in thing with today’s generation is to have their own business.
“So, we’re not just looking for people who buy and live in the (Eco Ardence) homes over the weekend. We also want them to live and work here.”
Liew says the developer is already looking into attracting retail tenants to the area.
“In Malaysia today, we have a lot of shopping malls and retail outlets. In a typical mall, you’ll find your McDonald’s, Zara and H&M. But that’s not what we’re doing here. We want to create something more unique.”
He says the company wants to position the retail outlets at Ardence Labs as a mix between a shoplot and a shopping mall.
“It’s a shoplot in the sense that it’s outdoors. You park your car outside and walk to your store. But it’s also a mall in the sense that we market it and help you manage it to attract people to the area.”
Liew says response for retail tenants at Ardence Labs has been encouraging.
“We want to create something that’s more boutique. So, it’s different from a shopping mall because when you come here, you’ll find a unique mix of people. And for those who open their stores here, it might just be their only store in the country.
“Being unique to Eco Ardence, it would attract not just people from the surrounding area, but also those from other locations as well.”
However, if the tenants do want to expand, Liew says Eco World would be more than happy to help.
“We are also hoping that the hub can be used by these start-up individuals to perhaps open up and expand their business, especially to our other Eco World townships.”
Liew says Eco World will be using large, recycled containers to develop the structures at Ardence Labs.
“Being Eco World, it’s within our mantra that we should be more environmentally conscious. Furthermore, with Instagram and social media marketing being the hype right now, interesting facades and environments will make the community want to take photos, especially given our target market for the place.”
Liew says inspiration for Ardence Labs came from popular open street shopping concepts.
“We looked at Thailand and Japan, for instance.”
The two football fields will also be used to engage the community, Liew adds.
“Everyone thought the football fields, when the idea was proposed, were for me,” he enthuses.
“But we want to have social leagues. It’s community building so that people can get to know each other. We can also have football academies run there.”
The Eco Ardence township is a joint venture between Eco World and Cascara Sdn Bhd. According to reports, Eco World has recorded a strong take-up rate of 90% for its first phase since its September launch.
The first phase comprised 432 units of Semi-Ds and bungalows, priced from RM1.3mil to RM3mil. Meanwhile, Phase 2 was launched in April.
“The project lifespan for Eco Ardence is 10 to 15 years. We acquired the land in mid-2016. The booking status for the second phase stands at 80%,” says Liew.
“In the coming months, we’ll be launching the third phase comprising landed residential units. The composition will be the same as the first phase,” he says.
Liew points out that the western corridor of the Klang Valley, where Eco Ardence sits, has a population of around two million people.
“We want to tap into this two-million market catchment. The demographic is also quite young, more than 50% are aged 55 and below, especially in Setia Alam.
“Here, there are young families and young adults who have just entered the workforce. This is roughly the people we’re targeting in Eco Ardence.”
Liew says that there are also a lot of new jobs being created within the area.
“Just south of our project lies UMW Toyota. The assembly plant is one of the most advanced in the world.
“The company is also investing further to increase the capacity of the plant, as it’s a big component of job creation.”
Liew says Ardence Labs will definitely help Eco World tap into this “job-creation” opportunity.
“With Ardence Labs, we’re not just building a community. We’re building entrepreneurship opportunities for new businesses to operate, as well as providing a platform for them to further develop and grow.
“We’re also building a place that’s unique to Eco Ardence.”