Proposed LCCT in Labu to boost Enstek value

by Surin Murugiah 

PETALING JAYA: The proposed private low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) to be built by Sime Darby Bhd for AirAsia Bhd in Labu will have a positive impact on TH Properties Sdn Bhd (THP) and boost its property values, said its chief executive officer Zaharuddin Saidon. 

He said the proposed LCC airport in Labu would further increase accessibility and connectivity, both domestic and international, to its flagship RM9.2 billion development at Bandar Enstek in Nilai, which will help boost demand of its various development components. 

“We therefore expect demand for our products to increase. Even now we have experienced increase in enquiries about our products and visits to Bandar Enstek since the news broke out,” he told The Edge Financial Daily via email. 

Zaharuddin said the value of THP’s residential units and industrial lots in the @enstek enclave had already been steadily increasing since their initial launch in 1999. 

He said the company’s single-storey bungalow in the first phase was priced at slightly over RM200,000 but had increased to RM300,000 by the time the second phase was launched in 2004. 

“When we launched the third phase known as timur@enstek in late 2006, the single-storey bungalow was already selling from RM500,000 onwards,” he said. 

He said the company’s industrial lots in techpark@enstek had risen in price from RM8.50 per square foot back in 2003 to the latest price of RM14.00 per square foot. 

“This value enhancement was attributed to our endless efforts to create Bandar Enstek as the first planned knowledge-based community where we have as part of our township masterplan, the edupark@enstek and the medicalcity@enstek,” he said. 

The edupark@enstek consists of a 28-hectare education complex by the Ministry of Education, a 120ha institution of higher learning under the Ministry of Higher Education, the 200ha Kuala Lumpur Education City or KLEC as well as the Cempaka International Ladies College. 

Meanwhile, medicalcity@esntek is a 200ha integrated development that covers the whole spectrum of the healthcare industry with focus on medical tourism, which was awaiting the final approval from the federal government, said Zaharuddin. 

He said the project was a tri-partite joint-venture between TH Properties, TSR Capital Berhad and the International Islamic University of Malaysia. 

Zaharuddin said while THP had so far developed about 30% of the 2,046.4ha township, almost the entire development had been committed for future projects including medicalcity@enstek, KLEC, techpark2, resort living, theme park and business park. 

“As such, we are already running out of land to accommodate the ever increasing parties that are interested to invest in various projects within Bandar Enstek.” 

“For this reason, we had prior to this initiated talks with Sime Darby Property to look into jointly developing their plantation land adjacent to Bandar Enstek such as Tanah Merah and Labu Estates,” he said. 

He said the idea was to let Bandar Enstek naturally expand into the surrounding areas, the developments of which could be planned to complement the key components of Bandar Enstek. 

He said as Sime Darby had a larger landbank than THP, Bandar Enstek could blend into the former’s overall planning for a mega corridor that transcended both Selangor and Negri Sembilan with KLIA and the proposed KLIA East as the major catalysts. 

He said Bandar Enstek had a head-start in terms of implemented development, and could serve as a ready hub to spur the growth of the corridor consisting of a series of state-of-the-art townships that were being planned by Sime Darby. 

“In no time, the entire area will become a new hot spot in Malaysian real estate on par with Klang Valley and Iskandar Malaysia. It will take longer time if the corridor is to be developed from the existing ‘greenfield’ sites,” 

“Therefore, we do not see this proposal as a threat at all but to be mutually beneficial to us and the various parties if we can strike a strategic collaboration that capitalises on each others’ strengths and qualities,” said Zaharuddin. 

He said the take-up rate for THP’s previous launches had been 100% and its planned projects were on track. 

“With the proposed KLIA East@Labu, the existing ERL line will be extended from KLIA passing through Bandar Enstek and KLEC. The ease of commuting from KL Sentral to Bandar Enstek will open up endless possibilities and opportunities.” 

“Even faced with a global economic recession that is expected to affect our own economy by 2009, we are still positive that we can continue to sell our residential products,” he said. 

Zaharuddin said THP had already initiated measures to reduce construction cost without compromising on the quality including via alternative construction methods and cheaper building materials.

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