THE DAYS of dreary-looking industrial estates and factory buildings are numbered as modern-looking industrial buildings are now more in demand than ever.
As Malaysia progresses towards becoming a developed nation by 2020, the development of industrial parks in the country has also evolved over the years.
The last three or four decades have seen the mushrooming of industrial estates in Malaysia as the country moves from a resource-based economy to industrialization.
In earlier decades, industrial estates especially in Johor, Selangor and Penang, were built to cater to demand from multinational corporations and local businesses setting up their operations in the country.
“In the old days, industrial parks or factory buildings were built on a rather ad-hoc basis, but now they are more well-planned,” AME Group managing director Kelvin Lee Chai tells Metrobiz.
He says developers are now becoming more and more creative and innovative in offering industrial properties to prospective buyers.
Lee Chai says competition is becoming more intense as buyers expect more than just buying factories, like house buyers that who more than just houses.
He says the popularity of the gated-and-guarded concept in housing estates has also prompted many developers to introduce a similar concept for their industrial property projects.
“The clean-and-green concept is now also the main feature for industrial parks to cater to demands from clients,’’ said Lee Chai.
AME Group launched its flagship industrial park, i-Park@Indahpura in Kulaijaya, located in Iskandar Malaysia’s Senai-Kulai zone in 2012.
Once fully completed the 42.49ha park will have 73 units of semi-detached and detached (standalone) industrial buildings with an average built-up areas ranging from 10,000 sq ft to 200,000 sq ft.
The average selling prices are between RM230psf and RM340psf and the project with a gross development value of RM600mil is expected to be completed by the end of next year.
AME director Simon Lee Sai Boon says 80% of the clients at the i-Park@Indahpura comprise multinational corporations (MNCs) while 20% are local small and medium-enterprises.
He says 50% of the MNCs are from Singapore, 7% from Australia and Japan, 4% from Germany, Switzerland and the US, and 2% from Denmark and Holland.
The industrial park caters for manufacturers involved in the high technology, precision engineering, oil and gas-related support activities and good manufacturing practices.
“The park is developed through a sustainable development plan by applying low-impact construction methods and landscaping,’’ says Sai Boon.
He says, while the green-and-clean concept was unheard of in the past, the landscaping within i-Park@Indahpura creates a green working environment for its tenants.
Other features include “passive” building designs to reduce heat gain and enhance natural ventilation, rain water harvesting and stringent water and waste management standards.
Sai Boon says the dormitory complex adjacent to the park, which features facilities that can accommodate between 4,000 and 5,000 workers, is another advantage for companies operating in the park.
“By having their accommodations nearby, workers can walk or cycle to their workplace, hence it creates minimal carbon footprint,’’ Sai Boon says.
As a result of its efforts the company won the Star Outstanding Business 2014 gold award for best brand. Lee Chai says the recognition will spur the company to work harder to better serve its existing clients and attract new clients along the way.
He says the win enhances the company’s branding as a reputable developer of clean and green industrial parks in the country.
“Our next target is to win SOBA awards for the corporate social responsibility initiatives and programmes. We have to set our mission from now to win the category,’’ Lee Cha says.