South Koreans keen to make Malaysia home

By THE STAR

A South Korean company has bought an entire condominium block for RM64mil in Malaysia!

Well, this is indeed good news for our real estate industry as it may mark the beginning of more such sales of our residential properties to foreigners following a slew of new initiatives by the Government to boost the property sector.

Hanju I & D Co Ltd through its subsidiary Hanju Savanna (M) Sdn Bhd has bought all the 204 units in Block B of the Savanna Bukit Jalil Condominium in Kuala Lumpur from Berjaya Golf Resort Bhd, a subsidiary of Berjaya Land Bhd. The deal was signed in Kuala Lumpur on May 8.

Hanju Savanna plans to sell all the 204 units to its senior citizens residing in South Korea. Its chief executive officer T.K. Kim is confident all the units could be sold within a few months. The condominium would be redesigned to suit the tastes of the Koreans.

The 5.05-acre development with four blocks will have a gross development value of RM121mil. About 80% of Block A has been sold while Block B has been sold to Hanju. Block C will be 32 high-end condo villas while Block D will have 309 units in an 18-storey block.

Kim said many of his countrymen were keen to make Malaysia their second home and, to meet this demand for Malaysian properties; Hanju is negotiating to buy Block D as well.

The en bloc sale of Block B has boosted not only market confidence but is seen as an endorsement of the Malaysia My Second Home programme that the Government and the private sector have been trying so hard to promote to foreigners.

The Savanna project will be the first Korean residential enclave in a condominium and managed by the Koreans themselves. Foreigners such as the Japanese tend to group together and there had been instances where foreign tenants relocate en bloc.

The fact that it was Hanju who approached Berjaya to buy the block and not because it had any prior business dealings with Berjaya, was all the more laudable as it showed that the Savanna project must have a certain appeal.

So why did Hanju picked Savanna Bukit Jalil?

The answer as Hanju Group president Choi Jung-Ik said was the Malaysian government’s recent announcement to encourage foreign investment in the property sector.

“We are also very impressed with Berjaya’s diversified businesses and are confident that this tie-up will be the beginning for both Hanju and Berjaya to work together in the future,” he added.

Of course it is not just a “marriage” of business convenience only as the Savanna project has something the Koreans love most: lots of greenery and it is next to the 400-acre Bukit Jalil Golf and Country Resort with an 18-hole golf resort, and surrounded by about 80 acres of Bukit Jalil International park.

“We are impressed with the greenery surrounding this project,” Choi said, adding that Malaysia’s economic stability and multi-racial community were also factors contributing to Hanju’s first investment in Malaysia.

The freehold Block A and B will feature 408 units housed in two towers of 22 floors each. They are priced from RM238,880 to RM435,880. There will be five levels of parking podium and a clubhouse, with residential units from the sixth floor up. Most of the units face the golf course with some units either facing Kuala Lumpur, the swimming pool or the stadium and Cheras.

It has full condominium facilities and multiple security checkpoints. Its infinity pool and the “glass” gymnasium overlook the golf course. The Bukit Jalil Station and Sri Petaling Station (STAR LRT) are within walking distance and it is easily accessible via major roads and highways.

Berjaya Golf Resort had successfully launched and sold all of its properties in the Bukit Jalil vicinity, namely the Greenfields Apartment, Arena Green Apartment and Green Avenue condominium.

Shopping centres like Endah parade, Mines Shopping Fair, IOI Mall, Tesco, OUG shopping complex and Pearl Point shopping centre are a few minutes drive away.

Meanwhile Berjaya Corp Bhd executive director Datuk Robin Tan said many Koreans were golf enthusiasts and Berjaya as a lifestyle group fulfilled a lot of their needs.

Tan said the Berjaya Group has 16,000 acres of land in Berjaya Hills (formerly Bukit Tinggi Resort) and about the same acreage in Batang Berjuntai, Selangor.

Both groups have hinted at forging a closer collaboration including in property development.

Hanju’s businesses include tourism, property development (in Vietnam), information technology, trading and forwarding.

“We may have a Korean village in Berjaya Hills,” Tan said, adding that there were many opportunities to unlock the values of Berjaya Hills.

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