27 October 2022
It is a sunny afternoon when the TH Properties Sdn Bhd team ushers City & Country into the developer’s office and introduces us to its new group CEO, Azman Ibrahim, who took the helm on Jan 3. Azman has a wealth of experience in property development, having worked as a project manager in Bahrain, general manager in Dubai and senior operations manager in Qatar at the start of his career.
Prior to his current post, Azman was the senior general manager of Berjaya Land Bhd. He was also the senior vice-president of property at Tradewinds Corp, senior general manager of Tropicana Corp Bhd and project director of Sutera Harbour Resort Group.
He explains his vision and plans for TH Properties. “Our main objective is to try to turn things back around, and go back to what they used to be, where we can see improvements in the overall cycle,” he says. “Nonetheless, we do find that buyers are also becoming more cautious in their spending.
“We are looking at ways to improve and develop better, affordable products. The price increase of raw materials does leave us with a dilemma about whether we can deliver the same product [in the same price range]. It’s a Catch-22 situation — as a developer, we are looking to make a profit but, at the same time, we are also looking at whether our target market would be able to afford our products,” he says.
“It is a matter of trying to strike a balance. For our projects, we are targeting young families or even families that are originally from the area.”
Azman holds a Master’s in International Project Management from the International Academy of Business and Financial Management, and a Certificate in Project Management and Contract Administration from Teesside College of Advance Education, the UK.
He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Environmental Design) in Architecture from the University of Tasmania, Australia, in 1988. He is also a member of the Malaysian Institute of Personnel Management (MIPM).
The construction and property arm of Lembaga Tabung Haji, TH Properties is a diversified business conglomerate in property management, construction and facilities management.
Notable projects by the developer include Warisan Puteri 2 in Seremban, Pesisiran Residences in Kuantan, Pristine, Techpark 1, Techpark 2 and the upcoming Techpark 3 in Bandar Enstek, Negeri Sembilan.
The group’s bread-and-butter projects are a mix of 2-storey terraced units, other variations of landed units and industrial factory units catering for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and businesses.
For FY2022, the group intends to focus on its ongoing, highly anticipated projects in Bandar Enstek: Pristine 1 and Pristine 2, which are sold out; Pristine 3, which is 94% sold; and the upcoming Pristine Premier (formerly known as Pristine 4). The entire Pristine collection has a total gross development value (GDV) of RM95.03 million.
“Prior to Pristine Premier, we launched the 2-storey units of Pristine 3 in Bandar Enstek in January,” Azman says. The units in Pristine 3, which has a GDV of RM20.26 million, have built-ups of 1,584 to 1,774 sq ft and are priced from RM576,000 to RM592,800, he adds.
The upcoming Pristine Premier has a GDV of RM29.77 million and is due to be completed in 1Q2025 (Photo by TH Properties)
“Tierra in Warisan Puteri 2 in Seremban, which was also launched about the same time, comprises freehold, 2-storey terraced units that measure 20ft by 60ft and have built-ups of 1,698 sq ft to 1,838 sq ft. So far, the take-up is 79%.
“In terms of our land bank, we have more than 5,000 acres in Bandar Enstek. There have been several offers, but we are studying the market carefully before we get into joint ventures [JVs].”
Focusing on industrial, Pristine Premier in Bandar Enstek
TH Properties will focus on launching industrial projects in the coming financial year. Azman says the group has recognised its untapped potential and hopes to roll out more of these projects at its existing technology parks.
He says, “There is certainly demand, based on our observation. Most of our target market are from the existing catchments and are professionals and families who work in the technology parks. The feedback has been encouraging.
“As at March 2022, for Techpark 1, we had a total saleable area of 336.44 acres with 326.57 acres, or 97.1%, sold (two plots). Meanwhile, for Techpark 2, we have a total saleable area of 307.34 acres, with 263.78 acres, or 85.53% sold, and a balance of 43.56 acres, or four plots, available.
“Targeted to be launched between 4Q2022 and 1Q2023, our upcoming project, Pristine Premier, will be the last one in our Pristine collection,” says Azman.
Pristine Premier has a GDV of RM29.77 million and is due to be completed in 1Q2025. The 2-storey units with land sizes between 20’x80’ to 22’x90’, will have an indicative price of RM571,295 to RM863,160.
In FY2023, TH Properties plans to launch Techpark 3, which has a total GDV of RM1.37 billion and a total of six phases — Phases 1A, 1B, 2, 3, 4A (commercial) and 4B (commercial) — and a developmental period of more than 14 years.
“For the coming year, we are also exploring going into more JVs and launching a higher-end product in the central region, although details are still being firmed up,” Azman says.
Azman says the developer will put its efforts into its industrial parks, which have been doing well so far.
“We would like to focus predominantly on our tech parks; they are our signature products, and we have experienced a level of success with the previous launches.”
According to him, the tech parks have attracted several SMEs and corporations such as Coca-Cola, Ajinomoto and Dutch Lady.
“A few F&B-related industries have made a positive impact in the area; it is a stimulus for us to move forward with our tech park launches with the demand.
“We are known as one of the halal hubs [for business] in Malaysia, where the halal bodies and development corporations are being recognised. Among the incentives are income tax exemption over a period, import duty exemption and so on.”
Azman highlights the accreditation of the halal corporations, or HALMAS. “For the HALMAS eligibility requirements, the applicants must play an active part in the halal industries such as F&B, cosmetics and personal care, halal ingredients, pharmaceuticals, modest fashion and medical tourism.
“They can also be in the medical devices and appliances and Muslim-friendly hospitality, logistics services, Islamic finance and vaccines,” he says, adding that the group is also looking to bring in more of the clean and green industries.
In the long term, Azman says, TH Properties aims to roll out more projects in the central region in a bid to ensure the group’s profitability and relevance. Banking on tech parks and supporting halal corporations seem to be the first steps towards achieving that goal and more.
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