17 November 2014

Sunway values relationship with the communities

  17 November 2014

KUALA LUMPUR: The holistic, organic and long-term development model championed by Sunway Group founder and chairman Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah, AO, has catapulted the property and construction group to become one of the most successful and versatile community builders in the country.

Cheah, the visionary patriarch of Sunway Group, has inspired the building of holistic, integrated, socially and economically vibrant townships that serve the multi-cluster communities to ensure they enjoy self-sustaining growth momentum in the future.

The successful rehabilitation and development of the sprawling 800-acre former mining land in southern Petaling Jaya into a bustling sought after residential and commercial address in the form of Sunway Resort City shows the extent of work and efforts expended by Sunway, stamping its mark as a visionary and value-building developer.

After 40 years of building townships and a multitude of mixed use projects and infrastructures, Sunway still adheres to the core values of integrity, humility and excellence that has encapsulated the Sunway brand as a quality and revered community builder.

Beyond building townships, Sunway cultivates wholesome and vibrant communities by building in elements for a holistic, liveable and progressive environment of growth and development.

Cheah’s daughter, Sarena, who is Sunway property development division joint managing director said while Sunway had learned to build and sell award-winning properties with good value, trust remained the essence that brought the heart and soul of the company to life. It has built and delivered some 40,000 homes across the country with the majority in the Klang Valley.

“In the last four decades, Sunway has weathered various challenges, but what sets us apart is our willingness to be transparent in our journey. Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah, has with great foresight, encouraged that we own up to our failures, learn from them, and share them publicly so that others can learn too. It is the relationships we have built that matters most at the end of the day, and one certain way to build this trust is to continuously do great things for the communities we serve,” Sarena told StarBiz.

In each of the township it develops, Sunway starts out with a purpose, which is to create an eco-system that cohesively integrates social stability, healthy and versatile environment, world-class education, global culture, excellent infrastructure and progressive healthcare, so as to pursue a better and sustainable future for the many generations to come.

“We pay particular attention to these six community game-changers and integrate them into every township and project we build. These multi clusters of communities make up the heart and soul of our developments. The organic development model, community-centric focus and diversified customer base we serve all add up to make the places we build vibrant, happening and holistic places to live and thrive in. The round-the-clock synergistic components support one another and drive activities and people to the area whether it is day or night,” Sarena explained.

While providing the hardware of the buildings and infrastructure is important, she said of no less important is the software part of the equation that comprises a holistic and conducive environment, convenience, good accessibility, security and economic opportunities for the people to thrive in.

“The focus is on building up a good rapport and relationship with the communities we serve. They make up the hearts and souls of the various precincts in our townships – residential, offices, retail malls, hotels, universities/colleges, hospitals, and theme parks. The whole idea is to create values that will attract people to our townships,” she added.

Sarena said Sunway’s business model was based on a fully integrated real estate value chain that provided it with the capability and capacity to build, own, and manage the communities it built.

“The build-own-operate business model promotes community growth and assures the stakeholders that we have a lifelong commitment to grow together with them, as we are co-investors in the communities that we build. When the community gains, we gain – it creates a symbiotic relationship that can only become stronger and better as we progress together,” she added.

Going the distance

The development model has helped propel Sunway to be the biggest investor of investment property in the Sunway townships. For instance, it owns seven million sq ft of gross floor area of Sunway Resort City, of which about 70% of the space is parked under the Sunway REIT.

With the ongoing efforts to add value to the townships, property buyers will be assured of lifelong value creation from the well-managed, well-planned property products, facilities and infrastructure. The shareholders and the public also stand to benefit from the strength of the business model.

A case in point is the building of Malaysia’s first elevated Bus Rapid Transit-Sunway line, that runs on a dedicated lane which will ply seven stations linking the Setia Jaya KTM station and the LRT station in USJ 6, that will benefit some 500,000 commuters with its commencement in 2015.

Sunway property development division joint managing director Ong Pang Yen said the Group’s development pursuits have always been guided by holistic and sustainable aspirations.

“Our business model has a crucial impact on our business – because we have a continuous presence in our communities, our communities know us, and trust us, hence choose to grow, progress and invest in us. Some 40% of our buyers are repeat buyers who have continuously supported our developments.

“In the property industry, many things are measurable, the construction materials, the land and project cost. But 40 years into the business, we have realised the trust we have gained through our community-building efforts although is immeasurable, has unparalleled importance in promoting brand loyalty and awareness,” Ong said.

New milestone

He said each Sunway development has brought on new milestone and achievement for the Group as a whole.

“In each of the four decades, we pursue a new goal to progress together with our communities. In the first decade, Sunway started out by building homes and in the subsequent decade, it built townships. In the third decade we grew our communities by strengthening infrastructure networks and community programmes, and currently, in the fourth decade, we are building on sustainability,” Ong added.

Sunway Resort City is home to a population of more than 200,000. Its communal infrastructures such as schools, colleges, hospitals, hotels, theme parks, and a plethora of some RM12bil worth of commercial assets offer a total gross floor area of seven million sq ft.

The building of Sunway Resort City has taken more than 20 years with only 50 acres left to be developed.

Sunway City Ipoh has also mature with some RM700mil of projects developed, of which RM500mil are residential property and RM200mil investment property. To be completed in the next seven to eight years, it will have a gross development value (GDV) of around RM2bil. Sunway is also behind a number of mixed use developments including Sunway Velocity, Sunway Nexis, Sunway Putra Place and Sunway Damansara.

It is now planning the 1,800-acre Sunway Iskandar, offering a world-class city in harmony with nature, making it “Nature’s Capital City”. Sunway Iskandar will have a potential GDV of RM30bil.

~ By THE STAR

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