-Buyers are optimistic about the potential growth in value of their investment in the new Malaysian city on Singapore's doorstep
Mr. Liu, a new homeowner in Country Garden's Forest City, had traveled a long way to take possession of his new apartment and was highly appreciative of the warm reception that he received from the property management's staff. He said, "I didn't expect to receive the key so soon." He did not believe it when he had been told at the time of purchase that he would receive his new apartment in just one year. He remained doubtful of actually receiving the key to the new apartment until he showed up on the premises and used the key to open the door for the first time.
The site of the building containing the residences was originally underwater, and was transformed though landfill into a new area with much promise and potential, due to the location. A wide range of support facilities, including a transportation center, a five-star hotel, a commercial thoroughfare lining the oceanfront and a beach park, have already opened and are in full service.
Homeowners are taking possession of the first completed residences at Country Garden Fengqi Apartments, located on the grounds of Forest City Phoenix Hotel. When completed, new homeowners will occupy 132 apartments with gardens looking out onto the sea, a rare find. The new owners will also have access to 24/7 hotel and steward services, assuring a maximum of convenience in their new surroundings. They praised the speed at which construction was completed and expressed their confidence on the expected increase in value of their new purchase.
Forest City, the new 20-square-kilometer city located in the Johor Iskandar Development Region, is at the forefront and center of where most of the new action is taking place in Malaysia's economy - in the cities and towns that border nearby Singapore. The project's features include three-dimensional stratification in terms of the layout of transportation routes, vertical greenery and a finely-tuned integration of residential and commercial, with a focus on the development of tourism, education, health, finance and e-commerce. The city, which has received approval as a duty-free island, is a model for future such developments. Country Garden invested heavily in the project and teamed up with a lineup of first-class international firms, among them Sasaki, Accenture, Arup and Greenerg, in creating and executing the project.
In addition to the support facilities that have already been put into operation, other firms and organizations that have recently signed to come on board include Taiwan-based MJ Group, a leading healthcare management firm in Asia, with plans to build a health management facility that will open within this year; Shattuck-St. Mary's School, established over a century ago as a coeducational boarding school based in Faribault, Minnesota, with plans to begin recruitment in August and open a school in the city next August; as well as a duty-free shop set to open in July.
In March, Country Garden signed the contracts for the next stage of the project, Forest City Phase Two, on the heels of the signing, last December, of contracts with 36 firms who will cooperate in the construction of a city that, in large measure, will serve to promote cross-border cooperation in industrial development. Phase Two calls for the construction of three 18-hole golf courses, a five-star hotel and low-density residential buildings on an 8 square-kilometre segment of the larger project. Construction of the hotel as well as of the first golf course, designed by Jack Nicklaus, one of the world's leading golf course architects, will commence in May with plans to open for business by the end of this year.
At an event in Hong Kong promoting the use of the spare capacity available in factories around the world, as part of a Chinese government initiative to promote just such kinds of cross-border collaborations, Forest City was cited as a model. Forest City chief strategy officer Yu Runze said at the event that the Forest City project is entering a new phase focused on attracting investments from companies engaged in a wide range of industries.
Forest City's latest progress has been recognized by its owners.
The aforementioned Mr. Liu, one of the new homeowners and an investor by trade from Hong Kong who witnessed the rise of Shenzhen, said, "I am very optimistic about the future of Forest City as the residential project is located adjacent to Singapore, in an arrangement that is similar to the role played by Shenzhen, the southern Mainland Chinese city bordering Hong Kong." He added that he didn't want to miss the opportunity of buying a Forest City home in Malaysia given the superior location of the project.
Ms. Shuhana, a Malaysian woman who traveled quite a distance from Langkawi off the northwest coast of Malaysia to Forest City to buy a house for her family of seven, said, "Forest City, a project located in Malaysia and close to Singapore, is an appropriate investment option for us."
Forest City's homeowners hail from 23 countries worldwide, including Malaysia, Singapore, China, Indonesia, Japan, the US, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Russia and Australia. As a Forbes Global 500 company, Country Garden Holdings has strategically expanded beyond its home market into the international arena, with a focus on Malaysia, Australia and Indonesia. Country Garden currently has over 700 development projects worldwide, serving over 3 million homeowners.
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1. The first group of homeowners from around the world take possession of their new residences in Forest City
2. Homeowners in Forest City inspect their new abodes
3. A sign awaits the new homeowner: Welcome Home
4. Ms. Shuhaha and her family inspect their new home