Tropicana : An Empire Of Success
A collection of signature developments designed for young executives and families
Tropicana Corporation Berhad (Tropicana) was established in 1990 by founder and advisor, Tan Sri Dato’ Danny Tan when he saw a window of opportunity during the rapid growth of the Malaysian economy and property industry. During that time, Malaysians were becoming affluent and thriving to be like golfers who enjoyed to tee-off early in the morning. He envisioned the potential of property development as he purchased 625 acres of prime land, partly through his own savings and bank borrowings.
By transforming this piece of prime land, he created the Tropicana Golf & Country Resort (TGCR) in Petaling Jaya. The project made waves in the Malaysian property market then, as it was the first-ever gated and guarded resort living community in the nation, complete with a 27-hole golf course with its landscaped features, a 450,000 sq. ft. clubhouse, and even its own roads leading to this community.
Tropicana’s Executive Director of Marketing and Sales Ung Lay Ting said currently, Tropicana has in place 42 completed and 16 ongoing developments at strategic locations across the growth regions of Klang Valley, Penang, Iskandar Malaysia and Kota Kinabalu. She said, “In fiscal year 2015, Tropicana’s total assets amounted to RM6.9 billion, and as at September 2016, its land bank stood at over 1,300 acres, with a potential gross development value (GDV) of more than RM50 billion.”
Marvellous Track Record
Ung further asserted that “Clients’ needs have always been our emphasis, whereby we innovate and redefine the art of living, by creating an integrated development that incorporates residential and commercial components,”. This way, Tropicana succeeded in developing thriving townships that are strategically connected. Tropicana have recently handed over Arnica Serviced Residences, the first residential tower of Tropicana Gardens, Kota Damansara and Tropicana Avenue, Petaling Jaya to buyers, while Fairfield Residences, the first phase of Tropicana Heights, Kajang was handed over last year in 2016.
With a convincing track record, Tropicana has recently launched a slew of attractive projects, such as Sinaria the first commercial phase and Cheria Residences at Tropicana Aman, Kota Kemuning; Dianthus Serviced Residences at Tropicana Gardens, Kota Damansara; Ridgefield Residences, the third residential phase of Tropicana Heights, Kajang; Paisley at Tropicana Metropark, Subang Jaya and the sky-scraping 55-floors of The Residences at the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s city centre are all testaments to their commitment of providing greater value to homebuyers.
In fact, Cheria Residences is the third residential phase of the 863-acre Tropicana Aman in Kota Kemuning, Tropicana’s biggest township development in Malaysia so far. Tropicana Aman comes with an estimated GDV of RM13 billion in 20 phases, where 2 and 3-storey link homes offered in both phases 1 and 2 have been fully sold. Sitting on a lush 38.5 acres’ land with lush greenery, Cheria offers 272 capacious double storey semi-detached eco-friendly smart homes boasting spacious built-up areas of 3,200 to 3,670 sq. ft., with wide car porch that could fit three cars side-by-side. Future residents of this gated and guarded precinct will also enjoy their own private 4.73-acre linear garden, 3 km pedestrian and jogging track, and a dedicated community hall.
Additionally, the project will have a direct access from Kemuning Link, South Klang Valley Expressway (SKVE) and the West Coast Expressway (WCE) which is now under construction. Sinaria is the first commercial phase in Tropicana Aman, located within proximity to the existing residential phases as well as the Tenby International School. As the pioneering commercial project in the township, the 152 units of investment-grade shop offices in Sinaria will serve over 30,000 residents in the community by offering various retail and dining choices.
On the other hand, Ung said that Paisley Serviced Residences, situated at the centre of Tropicana Metropark, Subang Jaya is a collection of exclusive high-rise homes in a resort-style environment. The Batu Tiga KTM Komuter station is located just a stone’s throw away and with the upcoming direct link bridge connecting the Federal Highway to Tropicana Metropark, will ensure a fast and easy commute for residents and visitors.
Consisting of two residential blocks fronting the heart of the 9.2-acre Central Park, Paisley provides residents a stunning, unobstructed panorama of Tropicana Metropark’s green lung from the comforts of home or any of the residents-only facilities levels.
Meanwhile, Dianthus Serviced Residences is the fourth and final block of Tropicana Gardens in Kota Damansara, an integrated development with diverse components such as high-rise residences, designer office tower and a retail mall, all interspersed with lush green landscapes. The block has 27 levels offering 271 residential units, with built up area from 601 to 1,406 sq. ft.
Ung added that there will also be a sky sanctuary at Level 31 with a meditation lawn, sauna, gymnasium and sky terrace. This 17-acre development will have a shopping mall measuring at least 1 million sq. ft. below the residential towers which comes with a direct connection to the elevated Surian MRT station of the Sungai Buloh – Kajang MRT Line, which is partially in operation since end of last year. Besides, the location is also well-served by a myriad of expressways, including Damansara – Puchong Expressway (LDP), North Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE), as well as the Damansara Link and Penchala Link of the Western KL Traffic Dispersal System (Sprint) too.
Spacious Central Parks
Regarding the posh Tropicana Heights in Kajang, Ung elaborated that, “Just a short drive away from the rapidly growing Kajang town, Ridgefield Residences is the third phase Tropicana Heights, a lovely township with 199 acres of freehold land, which features a 16-acre Central Park that comes with a 750-meter linear lake.” As many as 178 units of three storey and four-storey park villas, as well as 40 three-storey semi-detached homes (with up to 3,931 sq. ft. of built-up area) have been planned. In fact, 32% out of the 20.18 acres of land is reserved for greenery.
The three-storey park villas will have built-up areas ranging from 1,994 to 2,446 sq. ft., while the four-storey units will have between 2,419 and 2,658 sq. ft. Fairfield Residences was sold out and successfully handed over last year, while the phase 2 of Parkfield Residences is on track for completion. There will be a direct link from Persiaran Bangi, while the MRT / KTM interchange at Kajang is merely 4km away.
While in the heart of the Kuala Lumpur downtown, The Residences KLCC rises majestically to a sky-scraping 55 floors, comprising the W Hotel Kuala Lumpur on the lower floors and pure, luxurious vibrancy on the upper levels, The Residences KLCC is poised to be the centre of attraction in a happening metropolitan city.
Ung opined “Our ongoing brand-building initiatives and continuous efforts on delivering values to our customers have allowed us to remain competitive, as our continued emphasis on our DNA, such as accessibility, connectivity, innovative concepts and designs, generous open spaces, amenities, facilities, multi-tiered security and quality have successfully shaped us into what we are today.”
“For instance, we strive to provide conveniences to our residences and the public through a RM106 million direct flyover linking Federal Highway and Tropicana Metropark, Subang Jaya” said Ung. Besides, there is also the pedestrian bridge linking Surian MRT station to Tropicana Gardens, Kota Damansara. The Central Parks in Tropicana Metropark, Tropicana Aman and Tropicana Heights also offer spacious landscaped public parks for leisure and recreation.
The amenities like international schools such as Tenby International School at Tropicana Aman, GEMS International School at Tropicana Metropark and St. Joseph’s Institution International (PJ Campus) at Tropicana Indah also offer extra value to the residents.
Beat the Setbacks
While the changing market demographics, evolving consumer demands and the fluctuations in the Malaysian economy have all affected by industry, Tropicana Corporation has overcome the challenges one by one. Tropicana continues to respond to these shifting conditions by forging ahead and lining up great talents in the team to seize the opportunities presented by the market. Moreover, the company believes that with a greater determination in handling these challenges, they can successfully navigate the market.
“The local property market has gone through a challenging patch. Generally, buyers in both the primary and secondary markets have been cautious last year and will remain so in 2017, at least in the first half,” said Ung. She added that it is not due to lack of demand but other factors such as financing, a wait and see attitude and of course the question of affordability. Therefore, Tropicana believes that it is imperative for them to make informed decisions based on due diligence and careful analysis of the market supply and demand.
This giant developer has evolved to become one of the master builder of communities specialized in developing value-added properties, especially lifestyle properties equipped with great facilities, amenities, security measures, accessibility and connectivity, which allows for a more holistic and vibrant lifestyle.
Tropicana is confident that their development projects are different from others in terms of location, unique lifestyle and value proposition. As such, the current market sentiment does not affect the work-in-progress, as there is still demand from home buyers for value-added properties at strategic locations.
With such highly sought after offerings, Tropicana has emphasized on campaign offerings to attract the first-time home buyers. It aims to do this through building communities and a strong brand following. For instance, their ‘Just Bid It’ campaign saw users placing their lowest unique bids to win a Tropicana signature development at their bid price. This has proved to be an engaging digital marketing initiative which not only give the masses a better understanding about our developments, but more importantly to bring the developer closer to today’s home buyers.
“In our township developments, such as Tropicana Aman, Kota Kemuning which is positioned as a walking and biking community, we host annual walk and bike themed events which are open to the public. Over the past three events, the support has been encouraging and this fosters a tight-knit community. This year, we look forward to host more of these events and initiatives, so do stay tuned!” said Ung gleefully.
Better Prospects Ahead
Despite that, from the sales perspective, the toughest thing was not closing the deal per se, but on helping buyers, especially first time home buyers to make the right buying decisions, because for many, the first property purchased may be the largest purchase made in a lifetime. “After all, buying a home is a serious life decision; to own a home in a strategic location is a plus point but first time home buyers should always consider their financial position when it comes to buying properties, to avoid ending up overly burdened for the next few decades,” advised Ung.
Along with slowdown in the first half of 2016, the property sector has seen some changes in the recent months. However, the market has gained a gradual momentum in the second half of last year, thus we do remain a positive view on the Malaysian market.
The fact that 80% of Malaysian are below the age of 50, means that the demand for houses is going to increase as millennials surge into the workforce and will be looking for a place of their own to settle down. These factors will continue to ensure a healthy demand for properties, especially among first time home buyers and those upgrading to better homes.
“We are cautiously optimistic that a recovery is underway for the property market in 2017, as we have seen significant activity in the market across all sectors in second half of 2016, including those targeting first time buyers, as well as those that are priced over RM1 million,” concluded Ung.
The promising take-up rate indicates that consumer strength is returning and there are still demand for landed properties and integrated developments in prime locations, especially those with superb accessibility, marvellous amenities, and competitive pricing. As the British architect, teacher and writer once said, ‘Good buildings comes from good people, and all problems are solved by good design.’
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