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Crafting beautiful towns
MALAYSIAN developer Gamuda Land created a stir in Singapore in 2016 when it successfully launched GEM Residences, a condo in Toa Payoh with an innovative club condo concept. Over half of its 578 units were sold in a day. Buyers were drawn to how they could enjoy everyday services delivered to their doorstep, such as on-demand chefs or hotel or airline bookings. Residents were also offered weekly on-site free medical consultation and privileges at Gamuda's Horizon Hills Golf & Country Club in Iskandar Johor.
The innovative concept behind GEM Residences has won the development awards for residential high-rise architecture and residential high-rise development in the Asia Pacific 2017 category at the International Property Awards. The Singapore venture is another feather in the cap for Gamuda Land. The firm employs more than 1,100 people across Malaysia, Australia and Vietnam, and is the property arm of Malaysia construction, infrastructure and engineering group Gamuda Berhad.
With 18 developments launched over 22 years, Gamuda Land is steadily building up a track record of innovative developments and sustainable township communities across the region.
Dato' Chow Chee Wah, managing director of Gamuda Land, says the developer's unique proposition is in town-making, underscored by strong master-planning, innovative placemaking and community building.
"Gamuda Land masterplans by bringing together all the key elements - the architecture and streetscapes, how the right facilities, amenities and gathering places are laid out, how the parks and lakes open up to each neighbourhood to create a personality for the place so when people move in, they will experience a real difference and want to be a part of it," he says.
A town is all about people and diversity, he adds. "As a town maker, we are creating a place for everybody - growing families, retirees, young married couples, single adults, and busy people in the workforce. The community is important, so our planning principles, from master-planning to architectural designs, allow for the community to interact and connect with one another."
Getting the places right for the town to work
An important philosophy in good planning is to create the right places within townships to cater to the community's daily lifestyle needs, Mr Chow says.
A showcase is its 1,200-acre Horizon Hills development, a low-density integrated town with 11 precincts and 6,000 residential units. "A town that works must have all the right places, so Gamuda Land not only thinks of the home place but the work place, play place, shopping place, park place and the learning place. Organising them around a 'hub' gives the town a sense of place."
A notable feature is the golf course of Horizon Hills Golf & Country Club, a private 18-hole par 72 course by renowned designer Ross Watson. The course was ranked No 1 on Golf Digest's list of Malaysia's Top 10 Golf Course 2017.
Overlooking the course is a 150,000 sq ft clubhouse with a gym, a grand ballroom, a dance studio, racket sport courts and an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
The development also offers commercial developments like a bakery, café, grocery store, fitness studio and clinic. Local and international schools in EduCity Iskandar, Marlborough College Malaysia and Raffles American School are a stone's throw away.
As an investment, Horizon Hills has done extremely well, Mr Chow notes. Gamuda Land is the only developer in Malaysia to have won The Edge-PEPS Value Creation Excellence Award for five consecutive years.
"In 2012 and 2014, The Edge-PEPS Value Creation Excellence Award recognised Horizon Hill's growth when its properties attained capital appreciation of some 117 per cent between 2010 and 2013," he says. "The properties in our other developments such as Bandar Botanic and Kota Kemuning have enjoyed capital appreciation of between 21 to 47 per cent."
Gamuda's focus on placemaking is seen even in high-rise developments like The Robertson, a freehold, high-rise mixed development in the heart of Kuala Lumpur's Central Business District.
Mr Chow highlights the development's one acre of greenery with a nine-hole elevated putting green and panoramic view of Kuala Lumpur's city centre, along with a 50-metre infinity pool and two sky gardens. Shopping malls like Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Starhill Gallery, Lot 10, and Berjaya Times Square are within walking distance. "A premium wholesale mall is also attached to provide residents with retail therapy right at their doorstep," he says.
The Robertson is also surrounded by five-star international hotels and dining hotspots and a hospital, making it attractive to many foreign investors, Mr Chow says. It is also sustainably built, towards Malaysia's Green Building Index (GBI) Gold certification.
Listening to the land
Another aspect of Gamuda Land's master-planning involves "listening" to what the land says and working with nature to improve liveability. "By listening to the land, it allows us to create enchanting opportunities. Where there are hills and rolling terrains, we build around the natural topography of the land. We preserve and refine natural resources to create parks, lakes, waterfalls and lush, sustainable, nature-rich environments that allow people to spend quality time outdoors," Mr Chow says.
Gamuda Gardens, an 810-acre town development a 15-minute drive from Kuala Lumpur, features five cascading lakes integrated into a 50-acre park with a majestic waterfall and a mixed-terrain jogging and cycling trail that connects the whole town.
At Kundang Estates, a nearby 89-acre boutique residential development that embodies modern countryside living, Gamuda Land offers four differently themed, interconnected parks. There are community gardens that allow residents to grow their own edible plants, a flying fox for children, an extreme bike trail for adrenaline seekers, and Lakeside Gardens, which has a biking and jogging trail around a picturesque lake.
In its Ho Chi Minh City 203-acre Celadon City development, Gamuda Land devotes almost 40 acres of land to lush greenery. The private park in the town is the largest private park in the city, featuring over 2,000 mature trees and three lakes.
"By working with what nature provides, Gamuda Land cleans existing water bodies and refines them into lakes that can be enjoyed by the community," Mr Chow says. "Trees were cultivated and transplanted at Gamuda City to create Yen So Park, the biggest park in Hanoi."
Looking ahead, the firm plans to continue to develop and market its current landbank, which comprises 3,800 acres and a balance Gross Development Value (GDV) of RM55 billion (S$18 billion) over the next 15 to 20 years. "We will keep a vigilant eye for new opportunities, both in Malaysia and overseas, especially in strategically located areas with high growth potential," Mr Chow says.
Among its latest launches is twentyfive.7, a 257-acre avant-garde town in Selangor targeting millennial home-seekers. A vibrant quayside area will have some 110 retail outlets including a cinema and a marketplace, a lakeside promenade, and a central park. In the pipeline for a 2018 launch is Gamuda Cove, a 1,530-acre satellite city to the south of Kuala Lumpur.
Meanwhile, Gamuda Land's latest overseas venture is 661 Chapel Street in Melbourne, Australia. "Featuring over 1,000 sq m of lifestyle facilities such as a spa pool, exclusive use of private dining rooms and a sculptural mini theatre for entertainment, 661 Chapel St allows the community to interact and connect with each other," Mr Chow says.
The firm's focus will still be on Malaysia, which is a rapidly developing economy in Asia. "We are in no rush as we have the luxury of picking and choosing from strategic landbanks that present great potential to become value-creating assets."
Mr Chow is upbeat due to the unique propositions offered by its developments. "As a town-maker, we create places that people will call home, places that people will grow up and grow old in."
- GEM Residences in Toa Payoh is a high-rise development with a novel club condo concept. Services are delivered to residents’ doorsteps, from events and exclusive reservations to everyday services: On-demand private chefs, hotel or airline bookings, on-demand laundry services, gourmet food delivery and private event planning. The leasehold development sits on 12,154 sqm of prime land offering 578 exclusive residential units in two 38-storey blocks, ranging from one-bedroom to five-bedroom units, and two penthouse units. Other facilities include a 50-metre lap pool, a clubhouse with a gourmet kitchen, a pet pool, an edible garden and urban farming, and eight outdoor cooking areas, including a sky dining area with a BBQ and Teppanyaki grill.
- Built on naturally undulating terrain and surrounded by lush greenery, homes at Horizon Hills offer panoramic views of the award-winning Horizon Hills Golf & Country Club at the heart of the thriving Iskandar Malaysia region. Horizon Hills is a 1,200-acre low-density integrated town with 11 precincts and 6,000 residential units on freehold land. It boasts a 150,000 sq ft award-winning clubhouse as well as a private 18-hole par 72 golf course designed by Australian Ross Watson, one of the world’s most acclaimed golf course designers. It is accessible via the Coastal Highway, the Malaysia- Singapore Second Link, Perling Expressway, Pasir Gudang Highway, Skudai Expressway and the North-South Highway.
- Located in Kuala Lumpur’s Central Business District, The Robertson is a mixed development comprising two residential towers with a total of 793 units, three-storey retail shop lots and a commercial retail mall spread across three acres of prime freehold land. Amenities include a nine-hole elevated putting green with a panoramic view of Kuala Lumpur’s city centre, a 50-metre Olympic length infinity pool, an outdoor and indoor gym, a yoga deck and a sky lounge. A short walk away is Bukit Bintang, the shopping and entertainment district of Kuala Lumpur, with malls like Pavilion KL, Starhill Gallery, Lot 10, and Berjaya Times Square. The area also includes five-star international hotels, award-winning restaurants and a hospital.
Add: Menara Gamuda, PJ Trade
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