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Jana Towers to be revived
05/02/2007 The Star By S. C Cheah

Purchasers of the stalled Jana Towers in Subang Jaya are finally smiling.

After months of uncertainty, purchasers are relieved that a new developer has stepped in to revive Malaysia’s first “apartment within an apartment” project.

AmanahRaya Development Sdn Bhd and PJI Holdings Bhd have agreed to jointly develop and manage the 622-unit twin 17-storey tower project with a 4.2-acre “park on the deck” that was launched in 2005 but failed to take off.

While several condominium projects in the vicinity have either started work, nearing completion or even handed over, there is nothing at the site except for a sales office at Jalan SS16/1 (near Wisma Consplant).

Hopefully all this will change now that a reputable name like AmanahRaya has taken up a 70% majority stake while PJI Holdings, listed on the Main Board of Bursa Malaysia has a 30% stake in the new deal. The latter has an impressive track record being involved in construction, electrical and mechanical engineering services and others.

More than 100 people comprising mostly purchasers were invited to witness a signing ceremony between the two companies at the site sales office on Jan 27. Under the agreement PJ Indah Sdn Bhd (a wholly owned subsidiary of PJI Holdings) will remain as the main contractor for the project with a gross development value of RM313 mil.

The presence of Antah Holdings Bhd executive chairman Tunku Naquiyuddin Ibni Tuanku Ja’far who witnessed the signing ceremony was also appropriate as the 6.9-acre freehold land was acquired from Antah Holdings for RM38 mil. PJI Holdings has acquired Everest Point Sdn Bhd, the former developer.

What stalled the project? Was it because the sales were slow or the pricing too high as rumoured?

About 100 of the 314 units in Jana 1 (the first tower) had been sold to-date. This may be considered somewhat slow. However, AmanahRaya Development Sdn Bhd senior manager for property development Abdul Malik Abbas was quick to defend the pricing.

“In fact we are the lowest in the area at only RM260 per square foot. Our existing buyers are now happy as we are now pricing our units at between RM275 to RM280 psf. This shows that their property has appreciated in value but the pricing is still below our neighbours that average RM300 psf,” he said.

The good news for existing buyers and those eyeing this unique development is that the original concepts remain intact. The “apartment within an apartment” and “zero monthly maintenance charges” concepts will remain as before.

The apartment has two main doors, one leading to a bigger unit and the other to a smaller unit that can be turned into another master bedroom, a SOHO (small office, home office), gym, study, or guest room.

A door, much like a hotel room, connects both units. I like the idea of a 2-in1 unit as you can rent out one unit and stay in the other or even rent out both units.

Unlike the normal method of calculating service charge based on the size of the unit, here you do not need to pay any maintenance charges.

The money needed to maintain the property comes from monthly rental of the car park bays that is RM160 a month for the first bay and RM120 per month for the second bay. Those who do not need a parking bay (and this is ideal for foreign investors) do not have to pay anything.

“The new management will continue to offer all promised amenities and facilities with additional enhancements. For the benefit of all unit owners and residents of Jana Towers, we will invest an extra RM4.5 mil and equip all units with two extra special systems,” said PJI Holdings chairman Datuk Abdul Rashid Ahmad. They are a centralised vacuum waste disposal system and a centralised dust vacuum system.

Meanwhile Phase 2 or Jana 2 may be launched this May and there are plans to sell this tower en bloc possibly to a REIT or fund. Jana Towers with its good location and concept offers an excellent opportunity for the newly launched AmanahRaya REIT to include part of Jana Towers’ commercial component (38,000 sq ft Jana Village) into its stable. However, Jana Village may be reviewed.

The fund initially consists of eight anchor properties such as Wisma UEP, SEGI College, Holiday Villa Alor Setar and Blocks A and B of South City Plaza.

Despite the presence of several new serviced apartments and condominiums in Subang Jaya, PJI Holdings group managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Lee Peng Joo is confident that there will be demand for Jana Towers whose 15 designs are between 1,440 and 3,125 sq ft.

Lee said there were about five developers building mostly 800 to 1,200 sq ft apartments in the area. “All their bigger units of about 1,500 sq ft have been sold. Our bigger units were also the first to be taken up. This shows that there is a demand for larger units,” he added.


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