MANY landowners in Johor are trying to leverage land prices which have appreciated due to spillover effects from mega projects in Pengerang, Kota Tinggi.
While there are some who have taken the shortcut of just cashing on their plots of land, others opt to hold on to their prized assets to benefit from the rental market.
According to market sources, a piece of land measuring about 1.2ha in Pengerang can easily sell for RM1 million and is deemed to be a windfall for those willing to sell.
Pengerang-born Redzuan Rahim, who is now residing in Bandar Penawar and working as an educator at one of the learning institutions there, is among the landowners who are benefitting from the situation.
Having a piece of land nearby Kampung Gambut in Teluk Ramunia, which is within the Pengerang area, he has benefitted from leasing some of the houses built after the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development project started.
“Since last year, I’ve built two units of single-storey semi-detached houses with three bedrooms and they are being rented out for RM4,000 each. The houses are fully furnished and decent enough for the expatriates and higher-ranked staff working in the Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex (PIPC),” Redzuan told NST Property.
He added that many of his neighbours have also taken similar steps, building houses on their land using the Industrialised Building System (IBS) materials.
The IBS, Redzuan said, helps shorten the time he and his neighbours need to complete a house — to about five months.
“The houses that are being built for rental
purpose within this neighbourhood, perhaps, have the same blueprint and the same contractors who use the interlocking system bricks. It doesn’t take too long for them to be completed... soon enough we can start earning from our investment and use it for other ventures,” he said.
Redzuan said the rental price is not determined by the leasers but is based on what their tenants want.
“If companies are renting all the units for their staff on a long-term basis, we offer them a special discount. Otherwise, it is RM4,000 a month.”
Redzuan also expressed his concern about the possibility of his land being taken by the government to expand the oil and gas industry in Pengerang.
However, he is confident that the landowners, whose land may be acquired, will be fairly compensated.
“Like the rest who are still residing here, we have heard about the future plans of the government to expand the industry... probably our land will be taken, too. But as of now, we will just focus on leveraging the rental market and worry about the rest later,” he added.
NEW TOWNSHIP IN PENGERANG
There is a new mixed township project in Punggai in Pengerang, called Innocity.
The 202ha development is undertaken by Green Target Group. Its master plan boasts a full spectrum of amenities, such as housing, education, healthcare, leisure and commercial, to ensure maximum liveability. The project will have about 7,000 units of residential and commercial components.
The first phase is now being built, featuring 20 blocks of three-story walk-up apartments with a total of 480 units expected to be completed by next year. It will have four types of apartment units ranging from 844 sq ft to more than 1,000 sq ft. Prices start from RM307,000 (for two-bedroom units).
Innocity’s strategic location, which is just 20 minutes’ drive to Bandar Penawar, 15 minutes to Desaru Coast, and 10 minutes to PIPC, makes it attractive, especially for those looking to own a home in the tourism and oil and gas belt.
Innocity will also feature InnoClub, a centralised clubhouse with facilities, such as a gymnasium and swimming pool. Other highlights include the integration of bicycle lanes and covered pedestrian walkways to promote healthier alternative to residents and visitors.
Part of Pengerang’s new attraction is Desaru Coast, which will be home to four international hotels and resorts, two world-class golf courses, a water-themed park, a retail village and a conference centre.
Desaru Coast is anchored by Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark, one of the world’s biggest water parks with the largest wave pool in Southeast Asia, which will present visitors with a Malaysian fishing village atmosphere.
This fully-integrated beach-front destination will encompass globally renowned properties, namely The Westin Desaru Coast Resort, Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas, Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast and Aman Resort & Villas.
Adding to the vast array of leisure and holistic offerings is Desaru Coast Riverside, a 9.3ha water-front landscaped retail and lifestyle village located in the heart of Desaru Coast that delivers an all-inclusive leisure experience, including a range of retail, eateries and entertainment outlets.
Completing the multi-billion dollar integrated destination is the Desaru Coast Conference Centre, equipped with a multi-purpose venue and exhibition space that can host up to 1,000 people.
Desaru Development Corp chief executive officer Muhammad Zainal Ashikin said: “There has been no other projects like Desaru Coast in terms of single-development destination growth. This is the first-of-its-kind development in Malaysia. Other destinations like Penang, Port Dickson and even Terengganu, they grew over time organically. So what we are trying to do in Desaru Coast is something with a proper master plan,” said Zainal during a recent media luncheon.
He added that the company is solely creating a destination that focuses on giving the best customer experience.
In 2016, Desaru Coast opened two golf courses — the 27-hole Ocean Course and the 18-hole Valley Course.
“By end of June this year we will add on the Westin Hotel with 275 rooms, Hard Rock Hotel with 365 rooms, the adventure waterpark and the very well and tastefully designed riverside retail village. The waterpark will be Southeast Asia’s largest water park with one of the largest wave pools with a water coaster,” he said.
Zainal also said that the Pengerang development has created a new market where Desaru Coast will benefit from.
UM LAND ON PENGERANG
According to UM Land group managing director Dennis Ng, Pengerang is moving forward and is ahead of schedule.
“It is going to have its own community and lure more investors... we are looking at something like 50,000 workers... so there will be an opportunity to cater to this working community there.
“There will be opportunities for companies like us to expand in the residential, healthcare and education segment. We can expect more families will be moving there. There will be a lot of professionals such as engineers living there. Developers can target a higher tier of residential supporting services,” he told NST Property.
Ng said UM Land is not currently looking to build anything in Pengerang.
The company’s township, Bandar Seri Alam, which is considered the largest mature development closest to Pengerang, is already benefitting from developments in the oil and gas hub, he said.