By THE EDGE
With the busy lifestyle cityfolks lead, many would welcome a life reminiscent of that in a laidback traditional kampung. As the sun sets, enjoy a relaxing cup of tea on the front steps of your home as soft evening breezes blow and fruit trees sway.
Bayou Water Village, the latest development in Mulpha International Bhd’s Leisure Farm Resort Residences in Johor, is developed with exactly that concept in mind.
Mulpha International property division general manager Ronn Yong says the homes feature the “Kampung Ku” concept that brings to mind the traditional tropical themed homes and lifestyle of the olden days.
The cluster of 213 low-rise 2-storey residential units that make up Bayou Water Village is spread out over 22 acres of undulating hills. In all, there are five bungalows, 46 semi-detached homes and 162 courtyard-terraced homes
“The houses, which are built on stilts fronting the waterway or in small clusters in certain sections, are nestled within nine acres of parks, 2km of canal waterways, and fenced-up gardens and ponds to ensure the quality of water is well maintained,” he says. The homes are linked by five bridges over the canal.
All units have three bedrooms with built-ups ranging from 1,630 to 2,234 sq ft. They are priced from RM488,000, which includes full interior décor with kitchen cabinets, bedroom wardrobes, air-conditioners, ceiling fans, alarm systems and iron grilles.
The Village is part of Leisure Farm Resort Residences’ Canal Precinct, or the Body centre, that is intertwined with D’Rimbunan, the sales and information centre, and the Balé Equestrian & Country Club.
Yong adds that the Bayou Water Village offers an eco-friendly and natural environment where living space is not confined to the home.
But “amidst such simplicity, it offers double-gated security with 24-hour patrolling and a single point entry for better monitoring. Streets are designed to reduce traffic flow and to enhance the country-like feeling,” he tells City & Country.
The homes exude a Malaysian tropical feel and are designed with deep overhangs, large windows and lanais, and balconies.
“Landscaping and planting will be carefully clustered to provide maximum screening, privacy and shade,” he says. A residents’ clubhouse, located at the edge of a peninsula, features a lap pool, wading pool, BBQ deck, terrace gardens, children’s play area, multipurpose hall and an administration office.
Bayou Water Village is expected to be completed by the end of 2008 and has an estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM126 million.
Leisure Farm Resort Residences is an exclusive gated residential resort development spread over 1,765 acres of freehold land in Gelang Patah. Its take-up rate is currently 60%. Leisure Farm comprises seven bungalow plot precincts, namely Merbok Springs/Victoria Meadows, Palm Grove, Admiral Heights, Polo View, Bayou Bay, Bayou Grove and Pendas Creek, and has a total GDV of RM1.8 billion.
Besides Bayou Water Village, the developer’s other strata-titled properties include Pinggiran Bayou, Garden Court, Linear, and Link 25.
Located just a 15-minute drive away from Singapore via the Second Link and a 10-minute drive from the Port of Tanjung Pelepas, Leisure Farm has easy access to metropolitan Singapore, Johor Baru city and Sultan Ismail International Airport via the Second Link, JB Parkway and North-South Expressway.
Yong says the Iskandar Development Region (IDR) has generated a lot of interest in Leisure Farm Resort, as it’s the earliest development in the area and closest to the core of IDR’s administrative centre.
“Leisure Farm is positioned as a mature development within the IDR with established infrastructure and facilities which give a good perspective of what to expect from future developments here,” he continues.
Leisure Farm Resort has attracted many foreigners, with people of 18 different nationalities to date purchasing properties there.
Among the biggest group are Singaporeans, and the developer’s aim is to attract more of them to buy a second home across the Tebrau Straits.
The Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme, which was relaunched by the Tourism Ministry in April 2006, has helped many foreign residents make Leisure Farm their home, be it on a short or long-term basis.
Bayou Water Village, which was launched in January, has seen a take-up rate of about 40%, with 18 of the 45 units sold.
“The majority of our buyers are from Singapore who see it as an investment opportunity or for the pleasure of owning a weekend home,” he says. A one-stop centre set up in D’Rimbunan also provides additional MM2H services.
Different from other developers
Yong, who describes Leisure Farm Resort as a residential development with resort facilities, says its low density of four units per acre and huge open outdoor space set it apart from its competitors.
“Leisure Farm Resort has a double gated environment with 800 acres allocated for open spaces for recreation purposes,” he says. Its foundation master plan was guided by Sanctuary Cove Covenant as part of Leisure Farm Resort’s planning guidelines. The former is the latter’s sister project in Gold Coast, Australia, where public buildings and facilities are designed with Green Architecture in mind — which goes for maximum reliance on natural resources for lighting and cooling.
As examples, Yong points to “the D’Rimbunan one-stop centre’s high double roof system and Bale Club’s high conical grass thatched roof which allow maximum lighting and capturing of cross ventilation. All of our water feature ponds use recycled rain water”.
The buildings comply with the American Disability Act (ADA), with ramps to provide access to the disabled.
“The village homes are designed with children’s safety in mind with textured driveways, meandering roadways and pinched points to reduce vehicular traffic and give priority to the pedestrians,” Yong says.
The properties in Leisure Farm Resort are among the highest priced in Johor. Prices range from RM30 to RM50 psf for bungalow lots and RM380,000 to RM1 million for strata chalets.
“Leisure Farm has been the market leader and has benchmarked the pricing level within this region. We want to maintain the high standard and exclusive lifestyle in Leisure Farm Resort,” Yong says. Its 15 themed show villas were sold at between RM1.8 million and RM3.2 million.
“Which other developer would spend RM3 million a year on maintenance, landscaping and upgrading?” he asks.
Award-winning natural attraction
Leisure Farm’s Kayu Manis Orchard and Nursery recently won an award from the Institute of Landscape Architects Malaysia for its resort landscape design.
The 22-acre Kayu Manis Orchard and Nursery allows residents to appreciate various types of fruits, spices, herbs and vegetables that are organically grown. It is part and parcel of the 380 acres of green space within the master-planned residential community of Leisure Farm.
“Phase one of the orchard has already been completed, with development of phase two expected to start at the end of next year. Our main focus for now is to cultivate and nurture the plants,” he said.
Leisure Farm is also the winner of the Fiabci Malaysia award in 2005 (Masterplan category).