OIB (Oriental Interest Bhd) Group has stayed true to its goal of designing and manufacturing products for genuine home buyers, according to its managing director of business development Wendy Lim.
“That might be why we’ve barely been hit by Covid-19 in the last couple of years,” she says.
Lim tells City Country that the group recorded its highest turnover in five years during the financial year 2021 (FY2021) ending in August 2021. “We close our FY2022 this month [August] …and our revenues and profits continue to grow.
While the pandemic has affected OIB’s construction progress and halted new project launches like any other player in the industry, Lim points out that housing demand does not appear to have faltered, as evidenced by the good commercial performance of the group’s ongoing projects in the past. a few years.
“Covid-19 has actually been kind to us,” she says. “It gave us the opportunity to demonstrate the strengths of our ongoing projects, including our land holdings, as everyone was looking for a bigger space during the lockdown.
“We take pride in every project we launch, as we invest a lot of time and effort in designing for the local market. Alea Resi-
la dence is another project we designed for Puncak Alam, which is dominated by landed houses.
Alea Residence is an uncommon laminate apartment project as the 7-storey, low-rise, low-density development offers an equal level parking concept design, similar to living in a house. Situated on 5.92 acres of leasehold land in the Myra Alam township development in Puncak Alam, Alea Residence consists of five free-standing, interconnected low-rise buildings: four are residential blocks and one is a parking podium. The five buildings have seven floors.
Alea Residence offers only 364 apartments distributed equally over the four residential blocks. Each floor of the four blocks is connected to the parking podium via a suspension bridge. Each unit comes with two side-by-side parking lots, which are allocated on the same level as the unit.
Builds range from 861 to 1,055 square feet, and there are four layout designs to choose from. Prices start from RM394,000. The development has a Gross Development Value (GDV) of RM138 million.
“Buyers from Puncak Alam and surrounding areas such as Rawang and Ijok mostly stay in [houses] and they are used to the way of life. The last plot of land in Myra Alam is not very large and the rectangle shaped land has a plot ratio of 60 units per acre.
“We thought about [building] townhouses, as most of our target buyers live in single-family homes and prefer to stay in single-family homes for reasons such as space, parking at their doorstep, low density, etc. And townhouses could offer something similar to land ownership.
“However, we eventually opted for low-rise apartments. Taking inspiration from Australia’s low-rise courtyard apartment, we decided to have something similar, but localized.
“In Malaysia, we definitely need more parking lots. This is where the 7-storey freestanding parking podium comes in and it actually serves as a focal point when planning the entire project. Every decision we make, such as number of units per floor, layout and size of units, always brings us back to the parking lot podium. That’s the heart of the whole project,” Lim shares.
For example, she says, to keep the walking distance between the car park podium and the furthest unit within 100m, or about a three-minute walk, each floor has only 13 units, or six or seven units on each side of a block.
Also, with the car parks on the same level, it reduces the use of passenger elevators, so each block only has one passenger elevator.
Alea Residence offers three themed courtyards located between the residential blocks: Gala, Serene and Kinetic.
“Having three courses means buyers have different views to choose from. Those who are more active can opt for Block B or Block C, with the Serene Courtyard in between. The courtyard houses a gym, swimming pool and paddling pool. Meanwhile, families might prefer a unit in Block C or D as Kinetic Court offers a children’s play area, daycare, reading room, and badminton court. The Gala Courtyard, which is located between blocks A and B, has facilities such as a laundry bar, barbecue pavilion and a function room,” says Keith MacFarlaine, general manager of guest experience at the OIB.
Other facilities such as a futsal court, jogging track, landscaped pond and lawn are located on the open ground next to the inner road of Alea Residence, opposite Block A. The three courts are connected by covered walkways at ground level, as well as from the car park podium. Residents share all facilities. Maintenance costs including sinking fund will be 25-30 sen psf.
“The distance between each block is 80 feet [24.38m], and the balcony of each unit is partially covered with a brick wall to provide some privacy as most units face other units due to the courtyard design. However, we have a few units that face major roads if buyers prefer a more open view. We make sure there’s something for everyone,” MacFarlaine shares.
He adds that there are ground floor units with parking lots right next to them for those who want both the convenience of living on land and a wide range of facilities. “We also have four units designed for wheelchair users. These units are designed with wider doors, floor drops have been replaced with ramps and there is a handle in the toilet. These are wheelchair and elderly friendly units.
Alea Residence opened in August and the response has been encouraging. The group is looking to officially launch the project this month.
“You don’t see this kind of project every day and everywhere. I think our target buyers are happy with the concept. Some know our business as we have been here [in Puncak Alam] a few years. The most asked question [about Alea Residence] that’s when it’s finished,” MacFarlaine says with a smile. “It will be ready in 2025.”
Prepare for more launches
Lim shares that the first phase of Myra Alam, with an occupancy rate of around 80%, has been handed over to buyers. The remaining units will be ready for delivery by the end of next year.
With the launch of Alea Residence, OIB’s total launch GDV for FY 2022 is close to RM900 million.
“For the remainder of calendar year 2022, we hope to launch a new phase of our Kundang project, as well as projects in Sepang, Nilai, Bandar Baru Salak Tinggi, Subang Bestari, Cyberjaya, Desa Pinggiran Putra in Putrajaya and Sungai Merab. in Bangi. .”
The OIB is optimistic about the overall real estate market, as housing demand has always been strong, regardless of the circumstances.
“Now the biggest challenge we face in getting a deal is final financing. We have to go the extra mile to help our buyers get the loan. Our booking conversion [to sales] the rate is around 70%, which is still manageable. Otherwise, I think the market is bullish. We plan to launch more projects or new phases in the coming years,” Lim shares.
Currently, the developer has a portfolio of 1,060 acres with an estimated GDV of RM5 billion, which could be sustained until 2025.
An enthusiastic Lim says, “We are always looking for more land, especially in the Klang Valley and the northern region. So watch this space because the OIB will soon announce new projects! »