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The 2.56-acre, two-tower Maxim Risen is the developer’s third residential development in Cheras (Photo by Maxim Global)

Maxim Global Bhd is launching Maxim Risen, its third residential development in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, in early July. This would also be its first launch since March 2020.

Maxim Global managing director Datuk Seri Gan Seong Liam tells City & Country in an exclusive interview: “We obtained the DO ­[development order] a while back. Maxim Risen was planned to be launched much earlier but the MCO [Movement Control Order] and several lockdowns delayed it. Having said that, we believe that if the location is good and the price is right, a project will take off no matter when it is launched.”

Fronting Jalan Cheras in Taman Desa Aman, the 2.56-acre Maxim Risen is an apartment suites development located only 500m from Taman ­Mutiara MRT station.

With a gross development value of RM562 million, the two-tower Maxim Risen has a total of 1,236 units, with three layout options: 523 sq ft (2-bedroom and 1-bathroom); 660 sq ft (2-bedroom and 2-bathroom); and 819 sq ft (3-bedroom and 2-bathroom). The selling price starts from RM321,000, or an average price of RM623 psf, and the maintenance fee is 31 sen psf, inclusive of sinking fund. All units come with one carpark bay except for the 819 sq ft layout, which will come with two carpark bays.

“We cannot deny that Jalan Cheras is one of the most congested roads in the area, but it is part of the package if you want to stay in this mature location with good convenience and good price appreciation potential. I guess our project’s strength is the location, which is only 500m from the Taman Mutiara MRT station. As it is across from the EkoCheras Mall, residents can get almost everything within walking distance. Therefore, the traffic conditions and the one carpark bay for smaller units were not really a major concern to our potential buyers,” Seong Liam says.

His statement is backed by the strong response since the soft launch of Maxim Risen in May. As at mid-June, some 1,000 units had been booked.

Maxim Group deputy managing director Jayden Gan says: “We soft-launched the bigger units (about 1,100 units) first. Up to now (mid-June), some 1,000 units have been booked. In fact, some buyers have obtained their bank loans and will be signing their SPAs (sales and purchase agreements) with us soon. We will be releasing the smaller units (523 sq ft) shortly. We have only about 90 units.”

Although home space is becoming more important to homebuyers — with work-from-home and study-from-home being the new norm because of the pandemic — Jayden is confident that the smaller units will be snapped up, as they are more affordable.

He says: “The minimum number of bedrooms in Maxim Risen is two, even for our smallest layout of 523 sq ft. We understand that space zoning is important, as people tend to spend more time at home now. No matter the size of the home, it is good to have an extra room or space that allows you to do work or study, or to be turned into a guest room.”

He adds that Maxim Risen caters for the young professional and small family who want to stay close to the city and its amenities but are on a limited budget. As such, he is confident that the 2-bedroom, 523 sq ft layout will be well received when launched in mid-July.

“Most of our buyers are from the neighbourhood and nearby areas such as Kajang and Semenyih, and most buy to live in or for their children to live closer to them,” says Jayden.

The developer asserts that Maxim Risen is designed to stand the test of time.

“An example is the number of carpark bays. We want to encourage our residents to use the public transportation system and embrace city life,” says Seong Liam.

Although situated on commercial leasehold land, Maxim Risen is a purely residential project.

“As it is so close to the MRT station and located opposite a shopping mall, we do not see the necessity to build shoplots in Maxim Risen. Thus, we decided to make it a purely residential project, under the HDA [Housing Development Act] regulation. This will further enhance the security of the project,” Jayden says.

Common facilities include a swimming pool, multipurpose hall, gym, children’s playground, lounging area and co-working space. It also offers round-the-clock security.

Meanwhile, nearby amenities are malls, schools, a wet market, commercial hubs and shoplots, restaurants and eateries, as well as hospitals and medical centres. The project is easily accessible via Grand Saga Highway, Connaught Expressway and Kajang Dispersal Link Expressway.

Seong Liam believes the worst is over for the property market, noting that the market has been more vibrant recently.

He says: “We have received more proposals for land deals and joint ventures recently. The market is recovering, despite continuing challenges such as a shortage of manpower and spike in building material prices.

“Having said that, some building material prices have come down from their peak recently, such as those of steel bars. Once China — one of the biggest manufacturing countries — opens up, the prices [of building materials] will return to normal soon.”

As the pandemic has prompted Seong Liam not to be over-reliant on labour, he is looking at increasing the use of the Industrialised Building System (IBS) in the future.

“One of the biggest challenges now is shortage of foreign labour, and the issue will not be solved in a month or two. It is fortunate that we use some pre-fabrication in our projects. We are looking at increasing the usage of IBS or pre-fab in our future projects,” he says.

Maxim Group is looking to launch a project under affordable housing scheme Rumah Wilayah in Setapak, as well as another 10-acre project in Cheras. The masterplans of both projects are still being finalised.

“We will definitely launch one next year and are looking to increase our land bank in mature areas in the Klang Valley,” he says. “Our focus has always been urban high-rise projects. Location is key for us; so, we would be very interested in anything between 2½ and 10 acres in a good location.”

Nonetheless, Seong Liam is not ruling out the possibility of venturing into a new property segment.

“So far, all our projects have been high-rises because land is scarce in our desired locations, but it does not mean we will stop looking at other opportunities such as landed residential. In fact, we are in talks with some potential landowners to develop our first landed property in the Klang Valley. Hopefully, in the next year or two, we will announce some good news,” he says.

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