Fresh boost to property sector


THINGS are looking good for new property developer Eco World Development Sdn Bhd which makes its foray into the Iskandar Malaysia property market.

Judging from the overwhelming response received for the launching of its maiden project in Iskandar - EcoBotanic – on Sept 22, the company is here to stay.

“We are ready to compete with other players and make an impact in the property sector in the southern region,’’ chief executive officer Datuk Chang Khim Wah told MetroBiz.

He said the Iskandar property sector was big enough for developers to benefit from as the country’s first economic growth corridor was progressing well.

Located in the southernmost part of Johor spanning over 2,217 sq km, Iskandar is three times bigger than Singapore and two times the size of Hong Kong.

Buyers waiting for their turn to sign the sales and purchase agreement documents at the launch pf EcoBotanic project by EcoWorld Development Sdn Bhd on Sunday at its sales gallery in Setia Walk, Taman Bukit Indah, Johor Baru.
Lining up: Buyers waiting their turn to sign the sales and purchase agreement at the launch of EcoBotanic project at the sales gallery in Setia Walk, Taman Bukit Indah, Johor Baru.

Launched on November 4, 2006, it is divided into five development zones – the JB City Centre, Nusajaya, Eastern Gate Development, Western Gate Development and Senai-Kulai.

Since 2006 to end of June 2013, Iskandar has recorded cumulative committed investments of RM118.93bil, and RM53.73bil or 45% of the committed investments have been realised.

Chang said competition in the property segment in South Johor would be good as it would help to raise the standard and quality of products offered by developers.

He said long before the inception of Iskandar seven years ago, many saw the property sector in South Johor was “not that vibrant” but the scenario has changed now.

“Now, every developer, be it locals or foreigners want to be in Iskandar, we also want to be part of the thriving and growing economic region,’’ said Chang.

He said the presence of more developers in Iskandar was good as at the end of the day, customers have better choices in term of product offerings.

EcoWorld Development Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Chang Khim Wah (right) with divisional general manager Phan Yan Chan.
Looking at it: Chang (right) with divisional general manager Phan Yan Chan checking out the brochure.

Chang said the Malaysian property sector was still the buyers’ market and customers were the ones determining the success of a property development project.

Despite its status as a new kid in the block, the company has been the subject of much talk in the industry following its RM604.65mil acquisition of four tracts of land in Kuala Lumpur and Johor earlier this year.

But, the status has not stopped buyers from giving their vote of confidence to its EcoBotanic with 500 units of the non-Bumiputra houses from the 624 units in phase one were sold in just six hours.

Over 6,000 registrants were received for the project and sales were conducted through ballots on September 22, also in conjunction with the opening of EcoWorld sales gallery in Bukit Indah.

Days before the launching date, top management officers of the company were featured in newspapers including their working experiences at SP Setia Group Bhd.

“Frankly speaking, it helps us in one or another as buyers have confidence in us due to our years of experience in SP Setia which is known for its quality homes,’’ he said.

However, Chang was quick to point out at EcoWorld was the mirror image of SP Setia and would thrive and succeed based on its on own merits and capabilities.

For the record, Chang joined SP Setia in 1994 and been instrumental in setting up its property division in Johor Baru, he was the vice-president in charge of the southern and northern property divisions.

Coincidentally or not, its sales gallery located at the one end of the same building with SP Setia Bukit Indah sales office just a few metres away from EcoWorld’s.

“As a new player in a highly competitive market, that is why we need identity and have to differentiate ourselves from others.

So, every one of our projects will have an eco theme and sustainability elements for the benefits of our residents in years to come,’’ explained Chang.

He said the company would look at things related to the environment enhancing ventilation, keeping the original contour of the land, allowing natural lights into the houses.

Others include how to trap construction water, solar panels for energy conservation, smart rainwater harvesting system and so on.

“We are not an expert in green projects but we can play our role by developing projects for the benefit of our buyers and their future generation,’’ added Chang.

He said this was epitome in the company’s tagline – Creating Tomorrow and Beyond – and its commitments to develop the eco-theme projects for all to benefit from.

Back to EcoBotanic – the project on a 108ha site is located next to the EduCity – the region’s upcoming premier education hub.

It is easily accessible from major highways such as the Second Link Expressway and the New Coastal Highway.

The project with a gross development value of RM3bil will keep the company busy for eight years with 1,200 and 1,500 units of landed and high-rise residential properties.

Phase one of the project comprising of 624 units of cluster houses and semi-detached houses priced between RM900,000 and RM1.3mil, and RM1.8mil and RM2mil respectively.

The cluster houses houses with 32ft by 70ft and 30ft by 80ft, with built-up area between 2,400 sq ft and 3,100 sq ft, while the 40ft by 80ft semi-detached houses have 3,4000 sq ft floor area.

“EcoBotanic has a botanic theme with gardens and parks and there houses are inspired by colonial-era architecture. There is a butterfly-shaped lake as its centerpiece and the 7.2ha central park,’’ said Chang.

He said in Chinese butterfly or hu tia meaning “good luck and prosperity”, hoping that its maiden project in Iskandar would bring success to the company in the future.

Chang said the company would be launching its 246ha township project in Tebrau area in Iskandar in the second-quarter of 2014.

EcoWorld Sales Gallery is located at S2-0118, Indah Walk 3, Jalan Indah 15, Taman Bukit Indah, Johor Baru. For more information please call 07-238 2525 or visit www.ecoworld.my

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