By Gemaine Yen
Setia Alam is one of the fairly recent townships that emerged in the Greater Kuala Lumpur. Located in Section U13 Shah Alam, this 2,500-acre township is fast rising in ranks as one of the most sought after addresses in Klang Valley even though it was only launched in April 2004 by SP Setia Bhd.
The development of Setia Alam was the result of SP Setia’s decision to acquire a 4,000-acre oil palm plantation once known as the North Hummock Estate in 2002. According to reports, there were many in the property industry that were skeptical and questioned SP Setia’s wisdom in purchasing such a large piece of land. Many felt the purchase was too large a scale for the size of the developer at that time. They had nevertheless gone ahead to buy it with cash of RM600 million or about RM3.49 per sq ft with plans to develop it into a township. Ten years down the road today, SP Setia is now yielding a total GDV of RM20 billion, backed by the success of Setia Alam and its sister township Setia Eco Park.
For the uninitiated, property prices in Setia Alam currently commands the same or comparable to high-end residential areas such as Damansara, Petaling Jaya and Subang Jaya. A quick check on current property listings reveals that land prices are already asking at above RM250 per sq ft. This is a prime example of how development can influence the appreciation of property prices.
But why is Setia Alam so successful within such a short time? Here are some key points of its success:
• Setia Alam is an award-winning, wholesome integrated and self-contained township with nature-inspired sanctuaries. Setia Alam was the gold winner in the 2013 FIABCI Prix d’Excellence Awards in the Master Plan category, thrusting this township into the limelight as the township to consider investing or living in.
• Strategically located in Shah Alam and is accessible via many route options such as the Federal Highway, NKVE (New Klang Valley Expressway), and the newly built NKVE-Setia Alam link which connects to adjoining townships:
◦ 8 minutes to Subang Jaya
◦ 10 minutes to Damansara
◦ 20 minutes to Jalan Duta
◦ 30 minutes to Kuala Lumpur International Airport
◦ Connects to Jalan Meru at 7km north of Klang to NKVE at KM3.2
• The developer of Setia Alam did not compromise on the quality of its security features such as single entry point to every neighborhood and beefing it up through installations of various security equipments in its homes.
• The eco-friendly feature is exceptionally prominent in Setia Alam’s master plan, aiming to give and encourage its residents to live a healthier and greener lifestyle.
• The presence of Setia City Mall and Setia City Convention Center in Setia Alam caters to the leisurely and business needs of its community. Setia City Mall for example is the very first mall in its township and has a net lettable space of 700,000 sq ft while Setia City Convention Center has more than 355,000 sq ft to host various meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions events.
• Setia Alam’s success can also be attributed to the strong brand name of SP Setia, commonly referred to as one of Malaysia’s top property developers. The brand name itself promises quality and such reputation has translated to a big following of investors.
• The success story is also birthed out of the dynamism of its people, led by its very own President and CEO Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin, together with his trusted partners of Datuk Voon Tin Yow, the chief engineer of the project and Datuk Teng Leong Seng who oversaw the company’s finances.
From a company’s standpoint, although there’s already a shift in its top executives of Tan Sri Liew moving on to EcoWorld Development Group Bhd as a Non-Independent and Non-Executive Director with Datuk Voon taking over at the top as the President and CEO in transition at SP Setia, the township of Setia Alam will remain a proud history in Malaysian real estate – where a young township marveled everybody with its astute and visionary leadership at the top, creating a long lasting brand and address that is the envy of many.