By LIEW LAI JING
THE 330-acre oil palm estate now known as the IOI Resort was part of IOI Corp
Bhd?s acquisition of Dunlop Estates back in 1990.
Serviced by a winding, rural road and far from the bustling city centre, the
sizeable tract of land bank contains a nine-hole golf course, which initially
survived on the devotion of the avid golfers who lived or worked in the
?As the nine-hole commando golf course gained popularity, IOI Corp decided to
turn it into a full-fledged golf course complete with a clubhouse and 18-hole
international golf course,? IOI Corp property director David Tan told Star
Business during an interview.
That was back in the
early ?90s before the new federal government administrative capital Putrajaya
(From left): The IOI Corporate Square, Putrajaya
Marriott Hotel and Renaissance Palm Garden Hotel in IOI Resort
When the 20,000 acres of Perang Besar estate were acquired for the
construction of Putrajaya, the little plot owned by IOI Corp at the northern
front of Perang Besar, however, was not part of the acquisition.
And as Putrajaya took shape, IOI Corp?s management envisioned transforming
its estate into a resort development on par with the standard and design set by
the architects and engineers in the making of the new city, in view of the
international visitors who would be coming to the new administrative centre and
the hub of the Multimedia Super Corridor.
?The 152 service
apartments which we built were quickly converted to the Renaissance Palm Garden
Hotel instead. It is not only popular with the night golfers but also
long-staying guests such as the expatriates who are working at the KL
International Airport (KLIA),? Tan explained.
The Beverly Row bungalows of IOI Resort
The golf course has since been expanded to accommodate 27 holes and is fully
booked for tournaments on weekends.
IOI Resort is 20km from the KLIA and accessible to major growth centres such
as Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya, Subang and Shah Alam via highways.
One of the latest structures that has opened its doors in the resort
development resembles a castle.
It is the Putrajaya Marriott Hotel, whose architecture design blends both
Mediterranean and Moorish designs; and the palm leaf motif, symbolising IOI
Corp?s core business, is also discreetly incorporated in the interior.
Its ballroom, with a seating capacity for 1,500, is believed to be the
biggest outside the Klang Valley.
?Our food and beverage prices are comparable to those offered by the hotels
in the vicinity although our room rates are higher in view of our facilities and
product differentiation,? Putrajaya Marriott Hotel general manager Otto Seeman
said in reply to questions on competition from nearby hotels.
Asked the difference between JW Marriott and Marriott, Seeman explained that
the former was reserved for hotels built in prime locations and the latter, for
hotels built anywhere outside the prime areas.
IOI Corp has also built a cluster of bungalows at Bukit Putera known as the
Beverly Row bungalows for the elite. The catch is: IOI Corp will not sell these
?These Beverly Row bungalows are for rental only. For RM12,000 a month, one
could opt to live in one of these luxurious units,? Tan said.
All 25 bungalows in phase 1 have been rented out.
In phase 2, IOI Corp would release an additional 18 bungalows for rental.
According to Tan, from the developer?s point of view Beverly Row bungalows
are designed to harmonise with the surroundings, and with high security services
incorporated in the development, no fencing is required.
But for those who would prefer to own a bungalow, IOI Corp has set aside
Bukit Puteri, the highest part of its resort development with a breathtaking
view of the entire Putrajaya city.
?We are working on the earthworks, roads and infrastructure now. When that is
done, we will open these bungalow lots for sale,? Tan said, adding that the
selling price had yet to be finalised.
The smallest lot size is 15,000 sq ft and the average size is 20,000 sq ft.
In the first phase of Bukit Puteri, IOI Corp will sell 30 lots.
IOI Corp has also planned 410 units of condominium known as the Beverly Rise
II. The units are retailed at a minimum price of RM300,000 with areas measuring
from 1,350 sq ft to 3,453 sq ft.
For those interested in having a corporate address at the IOI Corporate
Square, IOI Corp will be leasing its office space at RM2.80 per sq ft inclusive
of service charges.
?The two tower blocks are built within walking distance to the Putrajaya
Marriott Hotel. Our tenants can hold their corporate meetings or seminars or
training sessions at the hotel, or they can step out for a meal or entertain
their guests at any one of the outlets at any time of the day,? Tan said.
?For our tenants who are avid golfers, they can just tee off as soon as they
conclude a deal, be it day or night.?
The target group will be tenants who are looking for large office spaces,
such as a minimum of 7,000 sq ft. Each floor offers up to 15,000 sq ft of office
By April, IOI Corp will also be moving its headquarters to the IOI Corporate
Square in Putrajaya.