[Paid Review] Today, we have with us the person behind Grace Residence, Annie the MD for Nova Mulia. We will look at all the WHYs for Grace Residence, from before it happened to when it was happening and what’s up today and future too.
The Story of Grace Residence @ Jelutong, Penang
Annie, first of all, how did you decide on the name? What does it mean?
The development is in Jelutong. It’s a busy area neighbouring Greenlane, Gelugor and Unesco Heritage City, Georgetown. What we have in mind was also to build a home with quality, for the family and with a luxury feel. I felt the name should reflect all these attributes. I wanted a sophisticated name. Then one day, I was browsing through a book with names in a bookstore. I prayed and I opened the page and the first name which caught my eyes was Grace. I closed the book, randomly flipped open again and I saw the same page again. This time, I read through the meaning of Grace and I realized this is the name I was looking for.
Grace meant smoothness of elegance in movement. Grace also meant courteous goodwill. I knew then that I need to ensure everything I put into Grace Residence must reflect both these positive meanings. When you drive in, when you drop by the gym and even when you walk along the corridors, everything should be on a logical flow and the materials used must project elegance.
I also know that many buyers of my previous projects will be buying this one too. I must give them the benefit of doubt. I must give them goodwill. That’s how we decided on the name for Grace Residence.
Currently, where are most of your buyers come from? Who are your targeted owners?
Many are Penangite families but we have a big group of owners coming from out of Penang too. For example, from Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Kedah and even as far as Johor. Many said that Penang is the best place to retire and for now, the best place for a weekend getaway. For Penangites, many of them may have a landed home but Grace Residence gives them the flexibility to have a staycation anytime and to host their friends whenever needed.
They did not buy Grace Residence because they wanted to do AirBnB or short term stay business. If it’s for this purpose, there are a lot more higher density places and cheaper overall price too. This is why when you buy a unit in Grace Residence, you are buying into a community, a small and friendly one since there are just over 300 units here in Grace Residence.
We also have buyers who were staying in older landed homes here in Penang who wish to have a contemporary and spacious home. This is a home they could drop by anytime they like or even make the move to a home higher up and this comes with a view. In fact if the property which was bought many years ago has appreciated in price, it is possible to take a refinance, rent out that old unit and buy into Grace Residence as an upgrade too.
Grace Residence is in Jelutong, Penang. Could you tell us a little more about this location?
Jelutong has been an area for residential for a very long time. Grace Residence is a freehold development within Jelutong. What has happened in the last 10 years or so is that Jelutong has now become an ideal place to stay and perhaps to raise a family too. It’s neighbouring Greenlane, Gelugor and Unesco Heritage City, Georgetown. An owner with a home in Jelutong could basically be anywhere within Penang island and even mainland within less than half an hour. Whether it’s going to work in the Bayan Lepas Industrial Area or to bring friends for a stroll in Georgetown city centre or even to catch a flight via the Penang International Airport, Jelutong gives you that convenience in location.
Briefly, it is near enough to all the places one may want to go and yet you get tranquility because it’s not beside a main road with lots of cars or too near a place where hundreds and thousands of tourists would pass daily. I am a very friendly person but I still need a home sweet home to come home to everyday after a busy day.
Let’s not forget all the delicious food one could get within minutes and if really needed, you could walk to the food places too. Just need to remember, in Malaysia, it’s summer the whole year round.
How has Covid-19 affected Grace Residence thus far?
I do think that COVID-19 has changed a lot of things. Everyone knows that a mask is necessary. Social distancing is now a norm and it may be a norm for years to come. It has changed how people view the need for space, for social distancing and yet have the access to some creature comforts and not just get cooped every day inside the home.
Grace Residence fits this need. For example, our units are large-sized and every floor has just 12 units. That’s not all because that corridor space between the door to your unit and the unit opposite to you is 24 feet. This gives everyone the space they need. We want to smile and have conversations with all our friendly neighbours but space has now become a necessity.
From the beginning, Grace Residence’s focus was on the owners and thus we set out to maximise the space which owners could enjoy. Beyond just wide corridors, we make the corridors airy and bright to give that cozy feeling as we walk back to our unit.
Beyond just the corridors, we made sure there were enough lifts to cater to owners. Access to the floors are via 5 lifts. This helps tremendously because social distancing is also needed when it comes to using the lifts and the more lifts, the faster you could get to your unit too.
When owners step into their unit, they would feel that their unit looks bigger too. The reason is because instead of the typical 9 ft or 10 ft ceiling like most high-rise units, Grace Residence units come with 11 ft ceiling which is really a luxury to have. If a developer provides 10 ft ceiling instead of 11 ft, then they could build an extra floor every 10 floors. Grace Residence decided that 11 ft is a better benefit for our owners.
When it comes to security, we take this seriously. The card access only allows the owner to go to their floor. All these helped in minimizing the need for lots of contacts which is really what everyone is trying to do currently.
Besides yourself, how big is the team supporting you?
We are considered a boutique developer. We are very focused on every project we do. I have a young team who gives me lots of good ideas as they are the future generation. Many of them are in the sales team. At the same time, I have many established industry partners whom I work closely. They have lots of industry experience and this is very vital because we want the best for Grace Residence. These are the partners whom I have been working together for a very long time.
Tell us what are your thoughts about Penang for the future?
In my personal opinion, Penang is the best state in Malaysia. It’s small and it’s vibrant. Everything you need, you have it and you could have access to it within a short time. That’s convenience and accessibility.
When it comes to the state economy, we are an E&E hub, we are Malaysia’s top destination for medical tourism and when it comes to career, we have a lot to offer too. From multinational corporations down to the local SMEs, they are all working in-tandem here in Penang. We have a very healthy expat community here in Penang too.
Based on location, Penang is in the central location within South East Asia. Penang’s North Butterworth Container Terminal (NBCT) has been gazetted as a free commercial zone (FCZ) effective Feb 1, 2021. This is another positive development and according to a report, within 2021 itself, the NBCT will achieve a transhipment throughput of 50,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) this year. This is only for the first year. Depending on the floor you are in at Grace Residence, you could see the port too. From the balcony, we could see the significant growth and expansion progressively.
Penang is also a favourite place for Malaysians when it comes to holiday and before COVID-19 wreaked havoc, we welcome foreign tourists in the millions every year. It has been known as the Pearl of the Orient for a very long time but these days, it’s known as a UNESCO Heritage city too.
You can see, whether economically, socially and even geographically, it’s hard to go wrong with Penang. When it comes to investment, I think Penang has it all. I need to add that Grace Residence is a freehold property too. Technically, you own it forever. This is the same whether you are a Malaysian or a foreigner.
Last but not least, Grace Residence is a project started and completed with vision, mission and determination. My wish is for all our owners and potential owners of Grace Residence to enjoy what we have set out to do for Grace Residence. I offer this quote which has guided me. “When there is a will there is a way. Never lose faith and never give up to make your dream come true.”
Thank you Annie for this frank sharing session.
Interested to learn about the potential lifestyle if you stay in Grace Residence? Read it here: Grace Residence: There’s no place like home sweet home (????????)
If you are interested to secure a viewing appointment below are the contact details:
Address: 1-02-02, Jalan Ahmad Nor, Pusat Perdagangan Nova, 11600, Penang
Call us @ +604 – 282 0577 / +6012 – 421 1376
Email us: email@example.com
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