|It was on an early Thursday morning that we arrived at Senai International Airport in Johor after an hour-long flight from Subang in Petaling Jaya. After 15 minutes on the road, we arrived at UEM Land Holdings Bhd’s office in Nusajaya. The area around Nusajaya, within Iskandar Malaysia, is buzzing with construction activity.
Directly opposite UEM Land’s office is a new 23-storey condominium called Ujana Executive Apartments while on its right is the 275-acre East Ledang residential development that was launched in 2008.
The gated and guarded project, comprising mainly 2-storey superlink and 2-storey semi-detached houses, is being developed in seven phases. A 20-acre forest is the highlight of the project, expected to be fully completed in 2015.
Just across from the main entrance to East Ledang is a clubhouse called The Ledang, which also houses the luxurious Angsana Spa, run by Banyan Tree Group.
An aerial view of Puteri Harbour, which is envisioned as an international urban integrated waterfront and marina development
We also visited Puteri Harbour, envisioned as an international urban integrated waterfront and marina development, offering three marinas and 306 berths. Described as the jewel of Nusajaya and spanning 688 acres, it is located just beside the first phase of the 274-acre Kota Iskandar — the Johor government’s new administrative centre. Buildings in the completed first phase create an impressive skyline.
A boat ride along the Straits of Johor provides a different view of the harbour front. One can see the Traders Hotel and an indoor theme park that are under construction.
Nusajaya is strategically located just 15 minutes away from the Second Link to Singapore and less than an hour away from both the Senai International Airport and Singapore’s Changi Airport.
Another 10-minute drive away from UEM Land’s office is the 2,230-acre mixed-use development Medini Iskandar Malaysia.
Nusajaya in Iskandar Malaysia is quickly taking shape and as it grows, so are property prices.
Residential development East Ledang was launched in 2008
Meanwhile, in East Ledang, 2-storey four-bedroom semidees with built-ups of 3,378 sq ft in the first phase were recently transacted at RM1.6 million. They were sold in 2008 for RM885,888.
The second phase of semidees was launched in 2010 with prices up by 30% at RM1.16 million to RM1.4 million. Superlink homes in the first phase with built-ups of 2,581 sq ft were sold in 2008 for almost RM500,000. These recently changed hands at RM700,000, an increase of 52.5%. When completed, East Ledang will have about 860 residential units.
The nearby Ujana Executive Apartments, launched in 2009 at prices starting at RM291,888 or RM320 psf, is almost completed.
The Impiana Resort Apartments, launched more recently in September 2011, saw selling prices start at RM301,888 or RM491 psf, a 53% increase from the launch price.
Nusajaya recently added another feather to its cap, coming out tops in the Regional City Master Plan category of Fiabci (International Real Estate Federation) Prix d’Excellence Awards 2012 on May 15 in St Petersburg in Russia. It was the first international Fiabci award for Nusajaya.
The first phase of Kota Iskandar
UEM Land managing director and CEO Datuk Wan Abdullah Wan Ibrahim tells City & Country in an email interview that the company could not be more proud. “Yes, this is our first international Fiabci award. Previously, our Puteri Harbour and Kota Iskandar (Phase 1) projects were runners-up at the Fiabci Prix d’Excellence in 2010 and 2011 respectively. This time around, our flagship development Nusajaya finished first in the Master Plan category. This recognition provides us not only with positive affirmation of our efforts but also spurs us to continue to innovate and offer market-driven and sustainable products that create value for our customers.
“We are especially pleased with Nusajaya’s progress as we approach our ‘tipping point’ stage of development at the end of this year, when all of the necessary ingredients of this ‘World in One City’ will be in full force and Nusajaya will truly come alive,” he says. World in One City is the tagline for Nusajaya.
To recap, Nusajaya is one of the five flagship zones of the massive 547,830-acre Iskandar Malaysia. The other four are Johor Baru City, Western Gate Development, Eastern Gate Development and Senai-Skudai. Nusajaya encompasses the state administration, entertainment and recreation, education and medical tourism, finance as well as biotechnology projects.
It has been almost 10 years since the revision of the Nusajaya Master Plan was approved (in 2003), following the takeover of UEM Group by Khazanah Nasional Bhd, the government’s investment holding arm. UEM Land Holdings is the flagship company for the real estate investment and development businesses of UEM Group.
According to UEM Land, Nusajaya, the key driver of Iskandar Malaysia, was conceptualised as an integrated city, sustainable and sensitive to the environment, while blending business, living and leisure with its signature developments such as Puteri Harbour, Kota Iskandar, EduCity Iskandar Malaysia, Afiat Healthpark, Medini Iskandar Malaysia and its residential components.
Some 11,000 acres of the 24,000-acre Nusajaya have been sold to several co-developers, including
Says Wan Abdullah: “Our efforts over the last few years are starting to bear fruit with all of the signature developments in Nusajaya’s Development Master Plan now well underway. Today, Kota Iskandar, the Johor government’s new administrative centre, is already operational with 2,200 personnel working there. Construction work is also underway on the Family Entertainment Centre, Traders Hotel, Sommerset Serviced Apartments and Imperia residential tower in Puteri Harbour.” The Family Entertainment Centre and Traders Hotel are targeted for completion soon.
The four-star Traders Hotel, to be operated by Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, will offer 286 rooms. The Family Entertainment Centre is an indoor theme park by Themed Attractions and Resorts Sdn Bhd, the operational and management company of Khazanah’s leisure and tourism division.
Other catalytic projects in Nusajaya undertaken by Iskandar Investment Bhd are also progressing well with key components such as the Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia campus and the 90-acre Marlborough College, a boarding school. The Duchess of Cambridge, the wife of Prince William — a former student of the college’s British campus — will reportedly officiate at its opening at the end of the year.
Legoland Malaysia will also be opening then.
“We will continue to offer new phases of 2-storey terraced homes in Nusa Bayu for entry level homes. We are also looking to introduce the first high-rise mixed-use development under the Sunrise brand in Nusajaya when we launch the development of Parcel CS2 in Puteri Harbour, which is targeted for the middle of this year,” he adds.
Sunrise Bhd is now UEM Land’s wholly-owned subsidiary following a corporate exercise. The project on parcel CS2 is a 10-acre mixed-use development of condominiums, offices, serviced apartments and retail units.
An artist’s impression of Imperia at Puteri Harbour
UEM Land has a total of eight ongoing residential projects in Nusajaya — East Ledang, Impiana, Imperia, Ujana Executive Apartments, Nusa Bayu, Nusa Idaman, Horizon Hills (JV with Gamuda Bhd) and Somerset Puteri Harbour (JV with UM Land Bhd).
Nusa Idaman is a mid-market mixed-use development spanning 250 acres while Nusa Bayu is a medium-cost residential project. Horizon Hills is a 1,200-acre residential and golf course development.
Somerset Puteri Harbour was launched in February, developed on a 50:50 JV basis with UM Land. The serviced apartment project offers fully furnished studios and 3-bedroom units. The 5 and 6-storey serviced apartments with built-ups of 764 to 1,711 sq ft fronts the public marina. It has a GDV of RM221 million and will be managed by The Ascott Ltd under the Somerset brand. Of the 168 units launched, almost 85% have been taken up so far.
Wan Abdullah says the profile of the purchasers varies according to the product and market positioning. “For example, buyers for the mid-market projects, such as Nusa Idaman and Nusa Bayu, are mostly Malaysians while our upmarket projects, such as East Ledang and Horizon Hills, are very popular among foreigners. Most of the foreign buyers are Singaporeans but we also have buyers from countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia, South Korea and the Middle East.”
UEM Land, together with Iskandar Investment, collaborated with Cisco last year to jointly develop an information and communications technology services smart city master plan for Nusajaya, known as Smart + Connected Nusajaya. “We intend to establish Nusajaya as a world class benchmark for the design, building and operations of an international smart city. Smart cities are master-planned communities with seamless public safety and security, smart transport, education, retail, commercial office, leisure and tourism,” says Wan Abdullah.
Some of those in the pipeline include Gerbang Nusajaya (Nusajaya Gateway), a 4,500-acre integrated development, which will be the first encountered by visitors entering Malaysia from Singapore through the Second Link, and D’Estuary, a new eco-themed upmarket residential precinct adjacent to Puteri Harbour, he adds.
The developer is targeting to complete the development of Nusajaya as a whole by 2025. With the appreciating property prices coupled with the comprehensive and integrated development of Iskandar Malaysia, it will be interesting to see how Nusajaya contributes to the growth of Johor and the nation as a whole.
Danny Chua’s HP: +601128769911
This blog is about the rapid developments in Iskandar Malaysia for residential, commercial and industrial buyers and investors to receive updated information. Helps you to make discerning decisions about allocating partial assets into this Iskandar region for good appreciation in the years to come. Do contact me for any enquiries.
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