PUTRAJAYA is envisioned to be a balanced city that caters not only to the government, but also the private sector.
When its master developer Putrajaya Holdings Sdn Bhd (PjH) took on the challenge to build the country’s administrative capital 25 years ago while racing against time, its first task to relocate over 30 ministries and to provide housing for the government servants, was a strategic one.
PjH general manager Mhd Zaini Mohd Mukhtar said relocating the ministries and its staff first was important to speed up the growth of Putrajaya.
“If the focus was on the private sector first, the growth rate would have been slow.
“That was why we focused on building the government offices and staff quarters first, to move in the big volume of people to inject life into the new city in a short span of time.
“Back then, selling properties in Putrajaya was a feat because people could not visualise the prospects of what used to be 4,932ha of rubber and oil palm estates.
“Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s vision of an ideal intelligent city was too visionary for many, ” he said.
Mhd Zaini said the Prime Minister’s Office was the first to be completed, followed by other ministries, and people soon started to see how good it was to live in Putrajaya.
“More people started moving in and more residential units were built to cater to the influx.
“A double-storey house costing RM400,000 over a decade ago is now selling at RM1mil. That is how much the property prices have appreciated over the years, indicating a demand for it.
“We have completed our final government building in Parcel F and will now focus on the mixed and commercial developments, ” he said, adding that the parcel would see the construction of 10 office blocks.
Mhd Zaini said the unique lifestyle in Putrajaya was a pull factor that sets it apart from other cities in Malaysia.
“Our landed properties do not have fences, much like the kampung houses.
“Many people were sceptical about security, but we still have very low crime rates compared to other cities in the country.
“We wanted to create a liveable environment and one of it was to foster neighbourliness by creating an environment where people know their neighbours and still respected private spaces.
“Fences up to four feet high are allowed for safety reasons, but many do not instal any kind of fences as there is no need for it.
“People are talking about high-tech security systems, but the best security is a concerned neighbour.
“When people look out for each other, there is no need for closed circuit television cameras, ” he said.
Mhd Zaini said there were limitations on renovations that could be done to a building facade, such as the choice of colour, to ensure that it harmonised with the surrounding.
“We want to ensure that the buyer of the property gets what they signed up for and not exposed to excessive renovations.
“Having said that, we are also looking at catering to all types of people. Different people have different lifestyles. So, we have a variety of developments for the people to choose from. Ideally, we want everyone who steps into our show gallery to find something to their liking.
“For example, if you are still not convinced on the idea of a neighbourhood without fences, you can opt for a project with a gated-and-guarded or service apartment concept, ” he added.
Many would agree that the 600ha Putrajaya Lake and lush green areas added to the serene environment.
“While you can get much greenery elsewhere, you cannot get a body of water like what is found here, ” said Mhd Zaini.
“The aesthetic value appreciated very much because of this man-made lake.
“Tun M wanted the vast waterfront, which was acheived through the creation of the man-made lake and a huge core island.
“The water source upstream river was murky and we needed a sustainable solution to filter this polluted water before it is released to the main lake.
The creation of the Wetland Park served as a natural filtration system to treat pollutants coming from the upstream areas of the Putrajaya Lake’s catchment which had become a habitat for many aquatic animal species, including kelah and temoleh fishes that required clean water to live.
Now, we have Class 2b water, perfect for human contact as well as water sports.
“During the construction phase, we built the bridges on dry land to save costs, as building it on water would have cost a lot more. So with the bridges built before the water was released, many were sceptical about the whole idea.
“But now, we have 38km of waterfront and the properties overlooking the lake are considered prime real estate, ” he said.
PjH development senior general manager Hassan Ramadi said with PjH celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the company was proud to have established itself as a reputable developer by delivering its commitment to the government and was focused on commercial development to create vibrancy.
“The completion of buildings on Parcel F marks the completion of government buildings.
“Putrajaya was designed as a city to provide opportunities for retreat from the pressures and stress of modern living.
“It was planned according to comprehensive policies and guidelines for land use, transportation system, utilities, infrastructure, housing, public amenities, information technology, parks and gardens.
“The focus now is on adding vibrancy facilitated by digitisation of governance, a balanced social advancement for environmental protection and citizen well-being as well as innovation in applied technology and enhanced connectivity via public transportation such as rail services by Mass Rapid Transit, East Coast Rail Link and Kuala Lumpur–Singapore high-speed rail.
“So, in line with these strategic thrusts, PjH has planned various products across both residential and commercial sectors to serve its customers’ needs, including strategically located residential properties with good accessibility to services and facilities, as well as design and pricing to meet the target market in terms of budget, quality and security, among others, ” said Hassan.
He said future projects would support the current and future needs of the people.
“In the pipeline are new SoHo type projects that allow work-from-home lifestyle, with smart homes that include security and energy-saving features.
“New infrastructures will be able to support new communication technologies.”
He also said that commercial properties would have longer lifespan when designed to be “smarter” and more flexible to cater to various types of businesses, with layouts such as conventional large-format offices, office suites, co-working spaces and multi-functional spaces.
“Commercial properties will be built at strategic locations consisting of waterfront mixed development for an integrated life-work-play lifestyle and transit-oriented development for enhanced mobility and connectivity to cater to the high demands of urban living.
“PjH’s next flagship project is a mixed-development called Terra in Precinct 8, ” he said.
Putrajaya will soon run out of space for landed residential properties and move to stratified buildings.
“Future projects in this city will be similar to Terra, which is Putrajaya’s first premier lakeside lifestyle mixed development. It is close to natural surroundings, shopping haven with a vast choice of food outlets and lakeside residences, ” said Hassan.
“PjH’s developments aspire to cater to the current needs of its owners, occupants and users as well as to offer the best long-term investment value for future generations.
“As a developer, we also continue to be concerned with the life-cycle aspect of commercial and government buildings, hence we constantly propose collaborations with building owners to update or upgrade their properties for better performance, ” he added.