To­day, mixed-use de­vel­op­ments are de­signed to be self­con­tained res­i­den­tial pock­ets in which res­i­dents have most ser­vices they might need in daily life within reach in the same devel­op­ment.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Southern Property -

T INK of a farm and its func­tion­al­ity. A fam­ily makes its home in the main build­ing, a barn houses live­stock raised for food and labour, the fam­ily man­ages a crop or two on the land, and con­sumes or sells their pro­duce for sub­sis­tence and main­te­nance of the farm. To them, the place they call home is where they sleep, ob­tain food, en­ter­tain and work. Mod­ern ap­pli­ca­tions of this con­cept in the same terms is a mixed-use devel­op­ment.

Early forms of mixed-use de­vel­op­ments were towns, where mul­ti­ple ameni­ties were con­cen­trated into one area for prac­ti­cal­ity. In south Malaysia, these towns grew around main trans­porta­tion, trade and in­dus­trial hubs such as early ports in Malacca and Jo­hor where res­i­dents en­joyed the con­ve­nience of be­ing able to eas­ily travel be­tween work and home. To­day, mixed-use de­vel­op­ments are de­signed to be self-con­tained res­i­den­tial pock­ets in which res­i­dents have most ser­vices they might need in daily life within reach in the same devel­op­ment.

It takes a vil­lage

Due to the con­fine­ment of mul­ti­ple ameni­ties in one area, pro­nounced ef­fects abound from mixe­duse de­vel­op­ments over time. An ob­vi­ous one would be the al­most-in­stant cre­ation of com­mu­nity within a devel­op­ment. In mod­ern res­i­den­tial p home­own­ers usu­ally form a rep­re­sen­ta­tive com­mit­tee that func­tion to ease in­for­ma­tion trans­fer from de­vel­oper to fel­low res­i­dents.

These com­mu­ni­ties evolve into some­thing more close-knit with their mem­bers work­ing to­gether on mat­ters con­cern­ing the neigh­bour­hood and cre­at­ing a prac­tice of look­ing out for each other, giv­ing res­i­dents a sense of be­long­ing, and pro­vid­ing them with an at­mos­phere of home.

As afore­men­tioned, mixed-use de­vel­op­ments are es­pe­cially use­ful around public trans­porta­tion hubs as the co­ex­is­tence of res­i­den­tial, in­dus­trial, com­mer­cial, cul­tural and in­sti­tu­tional func­tions can ben­e­fit from in­creased con­nec­tiv­ity and reach. Sim­i­larly, public trans­porta­tion hubs can ben­e­fit from in­creased traf­fic the mixe­duse de­vel­op­ments bring to them. Ac­cess to ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions is im­por­tant for most fam­i­lies, thus mak­ing ar­eas around schools choice picks for mixed-use projects as well.

With at­ten­tion fo­cused on the mixed-use devel­op­ment in an area, un­de­vel­oped or en­vi­ron­men­tall­y­sen­si­tive land in the , sac­ri­fic­ing the com­mu­nity’s need for res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial space. Mixed-use de­vel­op­ments en­hance the walk­a­bil­ity of an area due to co-lo­ca­tion of ameni­ties and can re­duce the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact of auto-trans­port use. Dis­tances be­tween dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions within the same mixe­duse de­vel­op­ments are typ­i­cally walk­a­ble, thus re­duc­ing the de­pen­dency on cars and mo­tor­cy­cles as well as mak­ing the area more pedes­trian- and bi­cy­cle­friendly.

South­ern jewel

The re­gion of Iskan­dar Malaysia in Jo­hor Baru – es­sen­tially a vast mixed-use devel­op­ment – boasts an ar­ray of res­i­den­tial, com­mer­cial, in­dus­trial, cul­tural and in­sti­tu­tional fa­cil­i­ties. The en­tire re­gion cov­ers the Se­nai In­ter­na­tional Air­port, an ex­ten­sive net­work of high­ways and con­nec­tions, in­clud­ing both roads into Sin­ga­pore, and presents an ad­van­tage for busi­ness own­ers to ex­pand their reach into the other coun­try.

Typ­i­cally, de­vel­op­ers would find in­vestors first be­fore kick­ing off a project. Iskan­dar Malaysia, how­ever, was de­vel­oped first with at­trac­tive in­fra­struc­ture, ar­te­rial roads and util­i­ties to bring in po­ten­tial in­vestors. A ma­jor lo­cal health­care provider has set up pres­ence in ac­cess to med­i­cal at­ten­tion and care. The avail­abil­ity of med­i­cal care would then be at­trac­tive to fam­i­lies with el­derly or ail­ing mem­bers due to greater prox­im­ity be­tween home and hos­pi­tal.

Although the pos­si­bil­ity for over­hang is high, the boom of health­care and res­i­den­tial fa­cil­i­ties, and the mar­ket in­flow from Sin­ga­pore­ans seek­ing prop­erty in Jo­hor Baru reg­u­lates the sup­ply and de­mand fac­tor.

Moder­nity in his­tory

A highly am­bi­tious project in progress in­volv­ing a rare mixe­duse devel­op­ment not cen­tred around res­i­den­tial prop­erty, Me­laka Gate­way is set to re­claim the state’s glory of old by cre­at­ing ar­ti­fi­cial is­lands and con­nect­ing them to the main­land as the state’s next huge tourism hotspot.

Me­laka it­self at­tracted al­most 13 mil­lion tourists last year, giv­ing the Me­laka Gate­way ac­cess to some of the state’s tourist traf­fic. Pu­lau Me­laka, which is a part of the project is al­ready con­nected to nearby pri­vate and in­ter­na­tional schools, and ma­jor health­care providers on the main­land. This is in ad­di­tion to ex­ist­ing in­dus­trial busi­nesses on the port, which gives Me­laka Gate­way some ameni­ties to rely on for the time be­ing while its own ameni­ties are be­ing erected.

A link­age of mul­ti­func­tional fa­cil­i­ties will lend Me­laka Gate­way the abil­ity to be fo­cused pri­mar­ily on tourism, cul­tural, in­dus­trial and trade prac­tices in en­vi­ron­men­tally con­serv­ing and pre­serv­ing ways that are ex­pected to cre­ate more than 15,000 jobs when com­pleted. This vast devel­op­ment re­flects the ex­tent to which a mixed-use devel­op­ment may be cap­i­talised on when milked to its full po­ten­tial.

Value and con­ve­nience

Ne­gri Sem­bi­lan is no stranger to mixed-use de­vel­op­ments, with a fair few dot­ted within the state in Seremban. Data from iProp­er­tyiQ. com re­vealed Ne­gri Sem­bi­lan’s Res­i­den­tial Sales Key Per­for­mance In­di­ca­tor (KPI) to be sim­i­lar to the coun­try’s best-sell­ing state – Se­lan­gor. The state’s prop­erty me­dian price per square foot was also about half of the na­tional me­dian price per square foot, which lends to its de­sir­abil­ity in the prop­erty mar­ket.

This mixed-use re­gion also houses re­puted ed­u­ca­tional and health­care providers – an im­por­tant con­sid­er­a­tion for fam­i­lies when look­ing to pur­chase homes. IMU Clin­i­cal School uses Hos­pi­tal Tuanku Ja'afar for its train­ing, and Ma­trix Global Schools and Kolej Tuanku Ja'afar (KTJ) are also lo­cated in the state. These pro­vide res­i­dents with ease of ac­cess to hous­ing, ed­u­ca­tion, health­care and com­mer­cial ameni­ties all in one well-con­nected re­gion.

Prop­erty in Seremban has ac­cess to some of Se­lan­gor’s valu­able ameni­ties, with­out the hefty real es­tate price tag at­tached to the lat­ter. More a mixed-use re­gion like Iskan­dar Malaysia than a sin­gle devel­op­ment, more young pro­fes­sion­als are pur­chas­ing homes in Ne­gri Sem­bi­lan while work­ing in Se­lan­gor or Kuala Lumpur, mak­ing use of the quick and ac­ces­si­ble modes of trans­porta­tion to the cap­i­tal.

Look be­fore you leap

Pulling peo­ple from sur­round­ing ar­eas into a con­cen­trated pop­u­la­tion could in­crease af­ford­able hous­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties due to high de­mand and mixed-use de­vel­op­ments also pro­mote ef­fi­cient use of land and in­fra­struc­ture, es­pe­cially with high-rises. A res­i­den­tial area with com­mer­cial lots built in cre­ates job op­por­tu­ni­ties and in­creased hous­ing choices. How­ever, there could be some short­com­ings to mixed-use de­vel­op­ments like over-sup­ply, so look be­fore you leap. There is much to be gained in in­vest­ing in the South and with care­ful con­sid­er­a­tions of these great de­vel­op­ments, it could well be the jewel in your prop­erty crown.

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