Monday October 1, 2007

Bandar Raya rides on The Troika

By S.C.Cheah

Developer picks Foster and Partners to spearhead its branding abroad

BANDAR Raya Developments Bhd (BRDB) will be using “The Troika” as its brand name for some of its future high-end residential developments abroad.

Chief executive officer Datuk Jagan Sabapathy wants The Troika, the name of its very high-end condominium in the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) development, to further drive BRDB's reputation abroad.

BRDB's One Menerung 8-acre development is its last land bank in prime Bangsar and the developer is paying particular attention to details and product. The development offers buyers a choice of ultra modern and elegant living in low- and high-rise units and average price is from RM2.9mil.
“This is because The Troika is an iconic development by world-renowned architects Foster and Partners and Datuk Jagan has the vision of building a chain of Troikas overseas.

“With this famous brand name, people especially foreigners, will know that we are a serious player,” BRDB chief operating officer C. C. Pan told StarBiz in Hong Kong last week.

Indeed, the Foster and Partners name is so popular that its name conjures an image of a world-class product that is not only a market leader in terms of design, pricing and prestige but trust.

“BRDB had the vision to hire Foster and Partners which is a fantastic brand name and which sees itself as our partner. It went to the extent of placing a partner and a very senior architect at The Troika site,” Pan said, adding that BRDB was paying top dollars for this arrangement.

“We do not want to be stingy, as we want to deliver more than what we have promised to our purchasers. We are giving a 5 or 6-star product at 3-star global price when compared to countries like Singapore,'' he said, adding that BRDB is focused on delivering premium products.

Pan, a civil engineer by training, said Foster and Partners was very selective with whom it teamed up with.

“If you want to engage them, they may not accept you. They also want to check you out first.

C. C. Pan (right) with guests and buyers at the BRDB exhibition cum first overseas customers' appreciation dinner held at the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong on Sept 22.
“That's why our purchasers are very confident of us. Up till today, no other developments come close to us as The Troika is so iconic,” he said, adding that The Troika's structure was built to withstand strong tremors.

Foster and Partners founded by Lord Norman Foster, has received more than 300 awards and citations for design excellence, and won 65 national and international design competitions.

Its buildings are famous all over the world.

The Troika with a gross development value of RM840mil is slated for completion in mid 2009. It boasts of two double volume glass-encased bridges connecting the sky lobby, which spans each of The Troika's three towers. The sky lobby offers a great view of the Petronas Twin Towers.

Pan said about 70% of the units had been sold. Four of the eight penthouses have been sold to foreigners. One of them is a four-level, 21,000 sq ft “luxurious penthouse” whose current price is about RM57 mil.

BRDB's high-end project, The Troika in the KLCC area.
When The Troika was first soft launched in June last year, most of the buyers were Malaysians but the number of foreign buyers had risen rapidly.

More foreigners have heard of the project and they are also encouraged by recent incentives including the waiving of the Real Property Gains Tax in April this year.

Although Pan is upbeat on the high-end residential property market, particularly in the KLCC area, he lamented the continued “low pricing” by some of the developments.

“Sometimes, our property developers may not be doing justice to the country when they still price their products too low. Even countries that are less developed than Malaysia are more expensive than us.

“By moving up the value chain and pricing our products higher, we are also helping our nation to set fair value for its assets.”

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