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MIPIM Asia: Kuala Lumpur project is attracting international buyers

19 November, 2008, By Kevin Brass, International Herald Tribune

International buyers are playing a key role in the early growth of Kenny Heights, an 88-acre site which hopes to develop as a Beverly Hills-like suburb of Kuala Lumpur. Since the first phase of the development went on sale in April—49 villas designed by Kengo Kuma, priced between $1.3 million and $1.6 million (RM 4.6 million-RM 5.8 million)—more than 40 percent of the buyers have been from outside Malaysia, according to Dato Jeff Yap, executive director of KH Land Sdn Bhd, the project developer. Although he declined to say how many units have sold, the international buyers have been from Australia, the U.K., Korea, Japan and the Middle East, he said.

Kenny Heights Estate

The developer, a subsidiary of Dutaland Bhd, is “unveiling” the master plan this week at MIPIM Asia, the industry event in Hong Kong. Dutaland also developed the K Residence, the tallest luxury condo development in Kuala Lumpur. Kenny Heights will be developed over 15-years, including an array of commercial and residential space designed by such architects as Foster + Partners, Adjaye Associates, Conran and Partners and Zaha Hadid Architects. In addition to the 3.7 acres of Kenny Heights Estate, the first phase will include a nine acre site with condominium towers, including two towers under Sir Terence Conran’s brand, plus a 10-acre site for a hotel, retail space and apartments. The master plan calls for the various elements to be connected by an extensive green belt, gardens and “intimate walkways.” The development is adjacent to the site of the new national palace.

Kenny Heights site

“Kenny Heights will be Kuala Lumpur’s new midtown that offers a gateway development embodying the capital’s growing design awareness, as well as its aspirations for a better quality of life,” Yap said. Government tax breaks and incentives have helped spark the international market, Yap said. Malaysia’s program allowing foreign buyers to easily gain permanent resident status, Malaysia My Second Home, is also a strong selling point, he said. Coupled with the abolition of a real estate gains tax last April, the measure helped Kuala Lumpur real estate values jump 30 percent over the last 12 months, he said.

 


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