Berjaya Group is targeting to build 3,000 landed homes in Berjaya Hills, Pahang with an estimated gross development value of around RM900 million.
Its founder Tan Sri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun says Berjaya has close to 16,000 acres of remaining development land in the highlands.
Tan said the group plans to realise the full potential of land at Berjaya Hills, which would boost the overall value of the resort development.
He said the majority of the newly-build homes will be single-storey units and they will be priced affordably at around RM300,000 each.
The final price, however, would depend on many factors such as the total build-up area, design, and concept, he told NST Property.
"We find this an opportune time to build homes in the highlands. The homes would be ideal for anyone and the price will be reasonable. I feel this project will do well as we have a big piece of land not too far away from Kuala Lumpur and we can build almost anything there. We invested a lot many years ago but we didn't do well back then. It doesn't matter as it is the value we create as we build more homes and there is population growth," Tan said.
Tan said Berjaya has submitted its plan to the state government to build 3,000 terraced homes with a flat roof.
He said the project will also offer two-storey units for those looking for a bigger place to stay.
Tan said the single-storey homes will have a staircase at the side that leads to the rooftop.
"The idea for this is so that the homeowners can do gardening or organic farming at their rooftop. There will be cost involved as we have to waterproof the top, which is about 1,000 sq ft, but we figure out it is worth it. Let's say the build-up of the house is 1,000 sq ft, they will get another 1,000 sq ft at the rooftop. They can do anything they like such as building an extra room but they have to get the approval from the relevant authorities," Tan said.
Tan said barring any unforeseen circumstances the group may build the homes in several phases starting this year.
He believes the homes will do well as people no longer look at Berjaya Hills as being too far from Kuala Lumpur, thanks to all the major highways developed over the years.
"We can start developing Berjaya Hills and we believe there will be demand. We understand there are many people who live in Seremban, Klang, Bentong, and they travel to Kuala Lumpur daily to go to work. From Berjaya Hills to come down to Kuala Lumpur, it would take about 45 minutes to one hour. So it is possible to live in a scenic hilly area with nice forest, vegetation, fresh air, and cool breeze, and yet get to work on time in the city," he said.
Established in 2000, Berjaya Hills (formerly Bukit Tinggi Resort) is set amidst lush tropical rainforest at 2,500 feet above sea level in Pahang. Perched 820 meters high on a mountain ridge, the highlands provide pleasant breaks and refreshing retreats, especially from the hot and humid climate all year round.
Calling Berjaya Hills home is Colmar Tropicale, a French-themed resort comprising The Chateau Spa & Organic Wellness Resort, a Japanese village, and Berjaya Hills Golf & Country Club.
The integrated resort development is modeled after the 18th-century city of Colmar in Alsace, France, and houses quaint French eateries, art galleries, and lively street performances.
There are also hillside bungalows, villas, and apartments in Berjaya Hills developed more than a decade ago.
Tan said besides the new landed homes, Berjaya Group may develop a commercial centre to serve the residents.
"There will be shophouses and medical clinics. With 3,000 homes, I am sure there will be demand for various types of businesses," Tan said.
Tan said if there is demand, the group may also consider building a hotel or resort, and other tourism-related products.
"Because of the interstate travel restrictions, business is low at Colmar Tropicale. During good times the resort area is bustling with local and international tourists. We are currently open but running at low occupancy. It is a terrible time for all of us in the hotel industry. Many hotels are closing and many more are foreclosed by banks as they can't pay. We have to stay strong and weather the storm," he said.