JOHOR BARU: Set to be the tallest residential building in Southeast Asia, Astaka Padu is making good progress in its target to construct two residential towers of a staggering 65 and 70 storeys.
Taking the likes of some of the iconic towers in the world, the residential buildings will be the first phase of the 1-Bukit Senyum mixed luxury development spanning 4.80ha of land in the city.
Astaka Padu chief executive officer Datuk Zamani Kasim said that the company has engaged with world-class consultants to design the luxurious development, the first of its kind in Johor.
“We want 1-Bukit Senyum to stand out from the other developments in the state and to realise this vision, we have hired consultants including architects from Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, the American company behind many iconic buildings.
“They are currently involved in the development of the tallest building in Singapore and they also played a vital role in the designing of the current tallest structure in the world, the Burg Khalifa in Dubai,” he told The Star here recently.
Zamani added that the peak of the residential towers, named The Astaka, would be some 304.8m above sea level, as constructions start off at a hill at 32 storeys high.
“We are confident that our structure would be the tallest among other residential buildings in the region, as we have conducted studies in multiple international cities including Singapore and Bangkok,” he said.
With an estimated RM6bil gross development value including RM1.4bil for the Astaka, the 1-Bukit Senyum project would also see the development of a five-star hotel, an upscale shopping mall and office tower as well as serviced apartments.
“We have also secured a deal with the Johor Baru City Council (MBJB) to construct a new 17-storey office tower for the council, to be completed in 2019.
“The 1-Bukit Senyum, which will be developed in three phases in the next six years, is set to become a new city centre in line with the Johor Baru Transformation Plan,” he said.
Zamani also said that although the idea for the 1-Bukit Senyum was sparked way back in 2005, the entire project was conceptualised in 2012.
He noted that the success story of Iskandar Malaysia and rejuvenation plan for Johor Baru city have been some of the factors considered in conceptualising the idea of a lavish development.
“We did not want to be like other developers, building similar types of properties, medium-cost apartments or condominiums or landed properties.
“With the strategic location of this place and major developments in Johor, it gives life to our idea of having a luxurious development,” he added.
Zamani pointed out that the project would target a niche market instead of the usual mass market in view of its type of development.
“We have already recorded a take up rate of 71% for phase one, which are large suites starting from 2,207 sq ft. The progress of construction is also on schedule, from start of development, we are targeting for completion at the end of next year and for delivery in 2018,” he said.
From the sales, Zamani added that a large portion of buyers were foreigners with only 27% locals taking up the Astaka units.
“Our major foreign purchasers are from Singapore, followed by Indonesia and we have some buyers from Japan, China, Taiwan, and Brunei, showing proof of the foreign investors confidence in the Iskandar Malaysia economic corridor,” he added.
Zamani said that the company had gone to great lengths to not only offer the best of luxuries but also a comprehensive development, including in terms of traffic flow.
“1-Bukit Senyum is so strategically located that it overlooks Singapore and is just a few kilometres away from the Causeway crossing, prompting concerns over traffic flow especially since MBJB would be relocating here.
“Nonetheless, we have carried out a traffic impact assessment, going into details of the number of vehicles passing through and have identified three entry points to 1-Bukit Senyum,” he added.
He pointed out that two of the existing entries are from Jalan Tebrau and Jalan Lingakaran Dalam while plans are underway to build a tunnel connecting 1-Bukit Senyum directly to the Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine complex.
He said that the Astaka, the pride of the 1-Bukit Senyum development, is all about lavishness, from it being the tallest residential towers in the region to spacious units with fine finishing such as marble flooring, high ceiling of about 3.6m, and top range kitchen appliances.
“To sweeten the deal, we have also designed the building in such a way that buyers would have a private lift lobby besides other top notch facilities and amenities including a roof garden, wine bar and even a cigar bar.
“The roof garden will be highest in the country at 64 storeys high,” he said, adding that there will be only 438 apartment units in both the towers.