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Commercial Stealth

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Text: EUNICE NG

The Sunsuria Group of Companies’ property development ventures have brought them far and wide. Steadily growing for more than two decades, from its first ever sports complex in Ampang to establishing its roots in Kota Damansara, Shah Alam and Setia Alam, the Group is now even making headways in China. What Sunsuria Group of Companies has done wonderfully is to cleverly mix all components pertinent to a successful development into a winning formula.

If you are one of those who trail their track frequently, you would be sure to notice a trend in most of their mixed developments. It mostly comes in a combination of a sports complex, shop offices, office lots and sometimes a hotel. Of course, these are not their only offerings.

“We have created a wide range of products in the same development with different product pricings. That enables anyone to afford any of our properties,” says Simon Kwan, Business Development Director of Sunsuria Group.

The recent handover of Sunsuria Avenue units in Kota Damansara in May, 2010 is stellar proof it experienced tremendous take-up rate with all units sold off by 2008 from the official launch of its first phase shops early 2007.

Its future development Suria Jelutong in Bukit Jelutong also receives overwhelming response. A mixed development project, the 4.5-acre site consists of shop lots, shop offices, boutique retail lots and serviced suites with prices ranging from RM235,000 to RM660,000.

The Core, another 17-acre sister project in Kota Damansara entices with a smart collection of commercial units. Only RM120,000 is needed to invest in a small office of (built-up) unit. It varies to about RM1.6 million for an intermediate shop lot and RM4 million for a corner one.

Comprising two-, three- and four-story retail offices, the construction of this contemporary office, retail and entertainment hub is already 50% underway.

With most units sold, investors are waiting for The Core II, a sequel with a more exciting storyline – mix of shop offices, a neighborhood mall, hotel and condominium.

Location – Where?
Looking at Kota Damansara, it was a jungle just a decade ago. But properties here have caught on like wild fire in recent years.

“While people would normally expect an increase, no one predicted that it could jump as much as three to four times the value.”
On average, the prices for other three-story shop lots within the vicinity started about RM700,000 to RM800,000 in 2000. In 2007, the average price increased to approximately RM1.5 million. Now, they hover around the region of RM2.8 million. At the point of entry of The Core in 2009, the intermediate units priced at RM1.3 million to RM1.4 million were already 45% higher than the other commercial units on the average.

“Despite the pricing, we know that they (purchasers) are able to make it. And there’s a certain trust that they have in us, and surely the results show.”

Purchasers now enjoy almost 100% capital appreciation within a few years where the current asking price trends between RM2.5 million to RM2.8 million. The Core’s ground floor units now rent out at RM8 per sq ft, and the rent could come up to about RM6,000 per month. Supported by a good development concept matched by security and abundance of car parks, value and rental rates can go up even higher.

The success of the commercial development in Kota Damansara is due to the synergy created within its environment – the right combination of products and the businesses operating in the area. The availability of parking bays, food and social recreation contribute to a conducive atmosphere for the office crowd.

However, not all locations are able to adapt to the same mixed development formula. It has to be a combination of what you feel works and what is not there says Simon.

“From here, it is how we make them (purchasers) successful. From quality of the product to whether the property is able to sustain, appreciate and to rent out.That’s why we have a certain group of loyal followers, which is getting bigger and bigger.”

Sunsuria has plans to develop a green project possibly in KL in the near future and Simon predicts “it will be a new breed of investors who would really go for that (green and sustainable developments)”.

“There’s a greater awareness and emphasis on green developments. Although prices may be a little expensive as far as green technology and materials are concerned but we expect prices to drop due to mass production in years to come.”

And he stresses the government’s important role in supporting this green agenda. While currently an exemption on corporate tax is given, a further tax break on green materials would be an added advantage, so as to encourage manufacturers and suppliers to be drawn into a cohesive direction.

Property investment is for long term and is invariably open to external factors, says Simon.

“You just have to be on the lookout, especially when the government has announced its plan to raise our GNI (Gross National Income) per capita from US$6,700 (RM20,338) to US$15,000 (RM45,533) by 2020. Prices of properties will rise in tandem, notwithstanding the influx of people coming into the city creating the ever ready demand for properties.”

Behind Sunsuria’s unprecedented success as a developer is the company’s core philosophy of ‘Customer Success’, where it builds towards the success of its customers, first.

“As a developer, we hold on to our belief, that when we build something that is meaningful, people will buy.”

Commercial Tips

  • Location, to look at the surrounding and upcoming developments in the vicinity
  • Developer’s track record
  • Development concept, the demand will come from the maturing younger generation, look into the trend and lifestyle of the young people

Highlighted Future Developments

  • Suria Jelutong, Bukit Jelutong, mixed development of shop lots, shop offices, boutique retail lots and condominium
  • The Core II, contemporary shop offices, sports complex and a hotel
  • Sunsuria 7th Avenue II, Setia Alam, mixed development
  • Garden Villa Semi-Detached, Section 7 Shah Alam
  • Sunsuria Apartments, Setia Alam
  • Bungalows, Setia Alam
  • Nanning, China

The Core

  • Mixed development comprising 2-, 3- and 4-story retail offices
  • 17 acres
  • Estimated completion – 2011

Sunsuria Avenue

  • 7-story signature mixed development comprising shop lots, offices, sports complex and a hotel
  • Completion -2010