Property
Masteron targets young buyers
Ang Hui Hsien 
Aurora Residence is the first component to be unveiled in Lake Side City
advertisement[x]

THROUGHOUT its 20 years in property development, Masteron Sdn Bhd has carved a reputation as a builder of high-rise residential units targeted at purchasers below 40 years old.

This was a direction it had decided on from the first day of its foray into the industry.

Managing director Datuk Choy Wai Ceong explains the group has always been clear of its positioning when it comes to this type of properties, which is within the RM400,000 and RM600,000 range.

The company has embarked on two mixed developments in recent years, which he estimates will keep the group busy for the next 10 years.

Unlike other players who strive to cater to every segment, Choy says their focus remains in building high-rise units for the Gen-Y and millennial buyers.

“We do not build link homes. If you have RM1 mil and are looking for a gated and guarded link house, that’s not us,” he declares.

“The group has always been clear of its positioning in the high-rise residential market,” says Choy

 

Masteron currently owns some 59ha of one of the last big pockets of land in Puchong, which is being developed into Lake Side City.

With an estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM3 bil, the mixed development also sits on one of the few remaining land fronting the biggest lake in the area.

“Many people are concerned about their units’ views being blocked by other developments but what we have here is a lakefront with a vast expanse of space,” says Choy.

He adds Lake Side City also suits today’s buyers who want to stay near public transportation but still maintain a reasonable distance from the noise.

“The Puchong Prima Light Rail Transit [LRT] station is about 500m away, which is within walking distance but not too close.”

Raine & Horne International Zaki and Partners Sdn Bhd partner James Tan agrees public transportation ranks high among today’s homeowners, and the extended LRT line in Puchong has increased the area’s attractiveness.

“It has greatly enhanced the accessibility of this whole locality in addition to the presence of the few highways that pass through like the Damansara-Puchong Expressway, Shah Alam Expressway and Sungai Besi link,” he adds.

Lake Side City will consist of both commercial and residential components, and the first phase to be unveiled is four blocks of serviced condominiums called Aurora Residence.

The first two towers, comprising 37 floors, were launched three years ago and have achieved a 95% take-up rate to-date.

The remaining two blocks, which stand slightly lower at 27 storeys, were opened for bookings this month.

Priced from RM510,000 onwards, Choy reveals they are targeting 60% take-up for the units over the next six months.

The first phase of Lake Side City will be subsequently followed by the launch of Cirrus at the end of next year.

“Phase Two will be very small studio apartments starting from 450 sq ft to 600 sq ft. Similar to the previous phase, they will be targeted at the Gen-Y,” says Choy.

Raine & Horne’s Tan believes the market for high-rise residences in Puchong remain robust among younger buyers, who are drawn to these properties’ facilities.

“There is no doubt there are many high-rise residential properties in Puchong but the demand is still there as the pricing is still fairly affordable and the area has good accessibility.”

He adds that such properties are particularly attractive to millennials who currently live in Puchong.

 

A revived project

Choy reveals that Masteron is also being kept busy with a second mixed development called South Central City which has an estimated GDV of RM1.5 bil.

The project occupies more than 12ha in Petaling Jaya fronting the New Pantai Expressway, and will consist of residential and commercial units as well as some industrial and a sports centre.

Choy believes South Central City holds much promise due to its proximity to Sunway and Bangsar, especially as the former becomes increasingly known as an education hub.

“Sunway is pretty packed, and this development is the nearest parcel of land to that area,” he says.

He recalls having to bring the image of the place up when they first acquired the land as it was occupied by an abandoned project.

Appointed to revive the project in 2008, Masteron took over and completed what is known today as Villaria Condominium. “After a 17-year delay, more than 300 buyers received the keys to their units in a handover ceremony held last year,” says Choy.

Following the completion of the project, the developer then held a soft launch for two towers of 35-storey condominiums called Verando Sky Terrace.

Priced from RM480,000 onwards, more than 200 of the 1,055 units have been booked as of last month.

 

Setting up base

Initially incorporated as a construction firm in 1981, Masteron only made the move into property development after its construction activities were parked under Pembinaan Masteron Sdn Bhd in 1997.

Despite its two-decade long history, the developer has remained under the radar – something which Choy says was not deliberate.

Although it had its maiden project in Menara Choy Fook On in PJ, it was the availability of development land that eventually led the group to Puchong.

Choy remembers the locale, sandwiched between PJ and Putrajaya, was just starting up about 20 years ago and plenty of land was still available then.

Today, Masteron has a total land bank of close to 121ha, all of which are in Selangor and mostly in Puchong.

Although its upcoming plans include developments in other states, Choy says they are content with focusing on Selangor and KL.

Describing the Klang Valley as “the centre of the universe”, he explains it is the number one market for attracting young people because of the abundant job opportunities.

“In terms of property, it is a magnet as it offers the highest and fastest returns regardless if you are an occupier or investor. Both the primary and secondary markets are strong,” he says.

Hotel projects on the horizon

DESPITE its focus in building high-rise residences for Gen-Y and millennial purchasers, Masteron Sdn Bhd’s portfolio also includes a number of completed and upcoming commercial and hospitality developments.

One of this is a RM305 mil office building called J Tower located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.

 

J Tower is targeted at smaller firms and SMEs

Slated for launch in the first half of next year, it is also categorised as a transit-oriented development due to its proximity to the Bandaraya Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Bank Negara Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) Komuter stations.

 

Starting from RM1,200 to RM1,500 per sq ft, the offices are being targeted towards professional firms as well as small and medium-sized enterprises.

Marking its first venture into the hospitality segment, Masteron is also in the midst of constructing a Four Points by Sheraton hotel on Petaling Street, KL.

In addition, the group also plans to develop two Radisson Red hotels at Brickfields and Jalan Yap Kwan Seng in KL as well as a Wyndham Grand hotel in Melaka over the next five years.

Masteron managing director Datuk Choy Wai Ceong reveals the decision to go into the segment is backed by Federal Furniture (M) Holdings Bhd, which has common shareholders with the Masteron group.

“The ventures are a combination of Masteron’s skillset as a property developer and Federal Furniture which is one of the leaders in hotel fit-outs in Malaysia,” he says.

Choy reveals a wellness city in Bentong, Pahang is also in the pipeline, though he remains tight-lipped about details and will only reveal more when the time comes.



This article first appeared in Focus Malaysia Issue 250.