UEM Sunrise Berhad, the master developer of Nusajaya in Iskandar Malaysia, has unveiled phase two of its development plans for the flagship zone, this time focusing on Gerbang Nusajaya, a massive area covering 4,551 acres (1,840 hectares) to be developed over 25 years.
Gerbang Nusajaya will command a gross development value of RM42 billion (S$15.7 billion), UEM Sunrise said at a briefing in Nusajaya.
It features a number of projects deemed "catalytic" in driving jobs creation, such as Nusajaya Tech Park, the 60:40 project between Singapore's Ascendas and UEM Sunrise; and FASTrack Autosports Pte Ltd, controlled by Singapore billionaire Peter Lim.
Nusajaya Tech Park is on track to complete its first batch of ready-built facilities by the end of the year, while FASTrack is expected to start construction once government approvals are obtained.
UEM Sunrise chief operating officer Raymond Cheah stressed how Gerbang Nusajaya - some five kilometres from Singapore's Tuas checkpoint - is shaping up as a commercial and business engine of Nusajaya through partnerships with established developers and multinational companies.
Nusajaya Tech Park has sold 73 per cent of the 21 ready-built factories released in phase one at RM380 per square foot onwards - a fraction of Singapore's industrial land prices, said Ascendas CEO for South-east Asia William Tay. Telekom Malaysia and Sanwa are among its clients.
There are a total of 43 freehold factories and 12 land plots for sale in phase one. The 519-acre (210-hectare) tech park will be launched in phases depending on market conditions. Phase two is likely to be launched in the first half of this year, Mr Tay said.
Barry Kan, director of FASTrack (Iskandar) Sdn Bhd, told reporters that once the government approvals are obtained, the motorsports hub could be completed within two years. The wait, he explained, stems from "a much longer and steeper curve" for the government as the last motorsport race track built in Malaysia was some 15 years ago in Sepang.
The 300-acre (121-hectare) motorsports city is a 70:30 joint venture between FASTrack Auto-sports - set up by Mr Lim and the Johor royals - and UEM Sunrise.
Mr Kan said that this project is expected to spur the growth of the car industry and raise the bar for skilled engineers, technicians and designers. It is also looking to attract the likes of Japanese and international manufacturers to set up a base there and use the track as a testing and evaluation facility so that they can develop special products that are suited to the environment here.
Another key feature of Gerbang Nusajaya is a mixed-use project between UEM Sunrise and Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad (KLK). This project seeks to leverage on the proposed High Speed Rail (HSR) Link which connects Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, with one of the stations in Nusajaya. Three international architects were asked to submit proposals to design the 500-acre (202-hectare) plot comprising 75 per cent residential, mainly landed properties in a resort setting.
In addition, UEM Sunrise will build freehold residential precinct known as Signature Residences. It is also building 7,735 units in Gerbang Nusantara, a housing scheme.
Brian Koh, executive director at DTZ Nawai Tie Leung Sdn Bhd, estimated that some 5,200 residential units are required annually from 2019 to 2030 in Nusajaya, given the expected job creation and economic growth.
Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) CEO Ismail Ibrahim, however, stressed that IRDA is not in a hurry to work on the remaining uncommitted land in the whole of Iskandar economic region to make sure that the types of developments that take place are "based on strong fundamentals".
At Gerbang Nusajaya, for instance, the master developer UEM Sunrise has focused on economic sectors and jobs creation first, he said.
Upon full completion, Gerbang Nusajaya is expected to create 76,000 direct jobs, 137,000 indirect jobs, and house an estimated 220,000 residents. Some 64 per cent of Gerbang Nusajaya's landbank is not yet committed for development.