The development of townships is crucial in any development in any country and essential for developers to keep their engine running at full speed to convert their master plan into reality.
Any property game player can put their hands into developing a township, provided they have the confidence, financial capacity and the resources to build one. However, to build it up and become a successful one is a different matter altogether.
So, what makes a township successful? What are the key points which differentiate them from the rest – the crème de la crème in the property industry?
This township started out as an 800-acre derelict tin-mining land where Sunway Group’s founder, Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Jeffrey Cheah, bought it when he took over the British mining company with an investment of only RM100,000.
According to an interview with The Edge, “Cheah enthusiastically explained what a great spot this (land) would be for a town,” while he was overseeing the land he bought in the 1980s.
With the vision and ambition he had, Sunway Integrated Resort City (widely known as Bandar Sunway) has become Sunway’s flagship integrated development and is now one of the top and internationally recognized townships in Malaysia housing over 500,000 residents. It has also won many international awards including the recognition of being the world’s best leisure project by FIABCI in 2002, and the first green township in Malaysia as recognized by Green Building Index.
Currently, land price in Sunway itself is already commanding between RM350 per sq ft to RM450 per sq ft and it will go even higher with further developments within this resort city. As it is, this city itself contains an astounding seven million sq ft of nett lettable space in Klang Valley alone.
But how did Sunway Integrated Resort City become a success?
• This township is strategically located between two major suburbs of Greater Kuala Lumpur i.e. Petaling Jaya and Subang Jaya. It only takes five to ten minutes drive to Subang Jaya, USJ, Puchong and other suburbs and townships of Petaling Jaya as well as 20 minutes’ drive to Kuala Lumpur city via the New Pantai Expressway.
• It is also located right smack in the middle of Petaling Jaya, Kuala Lumpur and Subang Airport.
• It is introduced as Malaysia’s first “Resort Living within the City” and the first property developer to adopt the business model of “Build, Own, Manage”. This is the major key point which made Sunway Integrated Resort City reaped in huge success.
• Its property developer believes in maintaining what it has built and to-date, Sunway Property remains as the largest co-investor in the township continuously committed to enhance the township features according to community needs and growth such as its security features, accessibility and quality infrastructure is what made Sunway what it is today.
◦ For example, Sunway Property has invested a large amount of money to build the Canopy Walk connecting Sunway University, Monash University, Sunway Campus and Sunway Pyramid.
◦ The developer also proved that it takes security seriously to fiercely safeguard its community by engaging 250 Auxiliary Police personnel to patrol the township 24 hours a day, seven days a week, installing state-of-the-art CCTVs around its township as well as mobilizing mobile units to assist with keeping the crime rate down.
◦ Sunway Property also took the initiative to build the first ever Selangor Tourist Police Service Center in Sunway Pyramid to provide quick solutions and advice for tourists within its vicinity since Sunway Integrated Resort City is also known as one of the top tourist spots in Malaysia.
• This township is in the spotlight again for being the very first township to host an elevated Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) connecting Sunway Resort City to Setia Jaya KTM Station and future USJ 6 LRT Station.
• Sunway’s developer is also extremely Eco-conscious by continuously looking for ways to enhance its green features and promote healthy and sustainable living. The developer took the initiative to provide free shuttle buses for its people in hope to promote the use of public transport and reducing air pollution.
• Being an integrated township itself also made Sunway a successful township. Sunway Integrated Resort City has an extensive portfolio of residential, commercial, hospitality, retail and leisure properties to cater to various needs of the community for living, learning, working and leisure:
◦ Healthare: Sunway Medical Center
◦ Retail: Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall
◦ Leisure: Sunway Lagoon
◦ Hospitality: Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa, Pyramid Tower Hotel, The Duplex and The Villas
◦ Education: Sunway University, Monash University Sunway Campus and Sunway International School
◦ Commercial: The Pinnacle
◦ Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing, Exhibitions: Sunway Pyramid Convention Center
• It is extremely accessible to get into and out of Sunway via six major highways: Federal Highway, Shah Alam Expressway, New Klang Valley Expressway, New Pantai Expressway, North-South Expressway Central Link as well as Damansara-Puchong Expressway.
If I would to sum up the success of Sunway Integrated Resort City in a nutshell, I would say its developer place its priorities in the right places, with a mindset of serving its residents first with quality service and quality products.