Many property gurus travel to Melaka to speak about Melaka property market. More often than not, they do not stay in Melaka. Most of the time in property fairs in KL or Penang or even JB, it will be tough to pitch Melaka properties especially when people regard it as a secondary city when it comes to property investment. Today, let us listen to someone who’s not just familiar with Melaka but has developed a successful project there. We have views from Mr. Lim Boon Keong is the CEO of First Avenue Partners (Asia) and its group of companies.
1. Mr. Lim, in Malaysia, there are a few key and primary property markets. Melaka is not yet one considered one. Tell us why Melaka? What are the main advantages of property investment in Melaka?
It has good tourism appeal and the fact it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site together with Georgetown, Penang. Cost of land is still relatively cheap and not overly inflated. This meant there are lots of growth potential.
Location is another very important points. Melaka is midway between Singapore and KL and soon it will be even more accessible when the high speed train starts operating.
In conclusion, three key reasons; tourist appeal, still affordable and lots of growth potential.
2. There are not many huge tracts of lands left in prime areas in Melaka city centre. Melaka Gateway will be on two man-made islands. Since you are not the master developer of Malacca Gateway, tell us what are your thoughts about Melaka Gateway and the significance that it will bring to Melaka.
Once it gets underway Melaka Gateway will bring about growth, employment and higher living standard for the locals. Once completed, this would be multiplied many folds which is very important. The truth is, the appeal of Melaka should not just be confined to whatever we have today. It has to be constantly refined, upgraded and maintained. With Melaka Gateway, many developers would benefit as well because all of us can co-exist and compliment it. Growth benefits all and not just the master developer.
3. Both Melaka and Georgetown, Penang were recognized as UNESCO Heritage cities. Within the island itself, Penang’s property has become a little unaffordable. Do you think Melaka property prices are also moving towards that direction? What is the typical prices per sf today in Melaka and your thoughts about it moving forward?
Eventually, Melaka may reach the prices of Penang today. However, current prices remained very attractive. We must always note that value is obtained when we invest in potential. Chasing ever higher prices is not a healthy trend. Today, the price per sf for commercial units are around RM750psf. The prices has been inching upwards for the past few years.
4. You are helming a small developer company. Some call these developers as boutique developers. What are the advantages of buying properties from some of the more reputable boutique developers?
Our philosophy is always about creating value for our customers. Our projects are unique and one of a kind. I guess that is also one of the few reasons why we have many repeat customers. The advantage of buying from boutique developers is the overall personal experience. The customer knows the developer personally and the after sales service is good too. The other advantage is quality control. If the project is too big, you have to make sure your product must appeal to everyone. This is difficult to achieve if the project is going to stand out from the crowd. We put a lot of effort in design and construction. I think we are the only developer who has the knowhow and the ability to construct the property using traditional craftsmanship. Example, the Peranakan tiles we use are not available anymore and so we custom make them. It took us lots of effort to persuade the retired and old master craftsman to come out of retirement and do it for us.
5. What is the next project for First Avenue Partners (Asia) Group after your successful Porto Historia? Tell us a little about the project. Who are you targeting as buyers and why?
Our next project will be The Riviera Melaka. It’s a luxurious waterfront development located at the door’s of Pulau Melaka. It is the only development boasting an unobstructed view of Melaka City Centre. The Riviera Melaka is set to be a hallmark of timeless beauty – combining Renaissance-inspired architecture, fastidious attention to details, fabulous location and great investment value. We’ve already started selling and response has been very positive and we will be starting construction very soon. Prices start at RM646 psf for serviced suites and RM600 psf for shop units.
Our target buyers are both local and overseas. Investors who are looking for a well priced, unique one of a kind development. You may visit our official website here: therivieramelaka.com.my
About Mr. Lim Boon Keong
Mr. Lim Boon Keong is the CEO of First Avenue Partners (Asia) and its group of companies. He is a Chartered Accountant and is a member of MIA and ACCA and has vast experience in the banking industry. Its property development group specialises in creating unique, innovative and heritage lifestyles concepts. The pursuit for perfection and originality is embedded in our values and it is this driven passion and culture that has allowed us to develop the loyal connection and bond with our discerning clientele.
Our unique heritage design, superior quality and unrivalled craftsmanship define us as one of the most unique developer in Malaysia. The key highlights of our portfolio is the sold out Porto Historia, a first of its kind heritage development in Melaka, Malaysia. First Avenue Partners (Asia) – Redefining The Art of Building.
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