Precept Asia takes hands-on approach
Joseph Wong 
An artist’s impression of Residensi Millenia, a high-end project with a GDV of RM38 mil

Fledgling property developer Precept Asia Group founder and managing director Walter Chew is taking a hands-on approach with its first project Residensi Millenia, a low-density gated-and-guarded high-end project with a gross development value (GDV) of RM38 mil.

Our houses will have the best security measures, says Chew

Chew, formerly head of corporate finance and corporate recovery at a leading accounting firm, believes the approach is crucial to ensure the success of his new undertaking.

Comprising only eight units of six-storey houses on a 0.2ha site in Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur, a private launch will be held for the exclusive project.

Chew says the project is developed by GCI Development Sdn Bhd, where he is the executive director.

“The project will be completed within two years. The first unit has been completed and serves as the showroom,” he tells FocusM.


Elevator with a view

There are six levels, namely the basement, four levels of living space and a roof terrace for entertainment and recreational purposes, he says.

“Each unit will have five bedrooms with en suite bathroom, wet and dry kitchens, as well as dining, living and family rooms. What’s different about our master bedroom is that it is like an apartment unit on its own with a walk-in wardrobe,” says Chew.

“Each unit comes with a glass elevator so occupants and their guests can enjoy a view of the city as they ride in the elevator to the roof terrace.”

With prices starting from RM4.3 mil each, the units have a built-up of between 5,403 and 6,540 sq ft.

“There is a pre-launch special for the villas with built-up of 5,403 sq ft. The discount is without compromising on any quality standards. We are still using high-end finishes like marble flooring in the living area and solid timber flooring in all family areas and bedrooms,” says Chew, who is the third generation of a line of contractors.

“This is our first project so we want to ensure that our first buyers will be happy with their homes,” he adds.

Each unit will come with a signature kitchen, tempered glass shower screens, and Bosch kitchen appliances including the washing machine and dryer.

“We use branded products like Bosch. Our elevators are by Schindler and sanitaryware by Toto,” Chew says, adding that the windows are double-glazed and ultra-violet tinted.

And the basement can accommodate four to five cars.

To ensure security, apart from the deployment of guards, the enclave will have a 6ft perimeter wall topped with electric-fencing, off-site CCTV monitoring by Ademco (M) Sdn Bhd and security services by Secom Malaysia Sdn Bhd, says Chew.

“We want to ensure that the buyers of our houses will have the best security measures,” he says.


Future projects

Precept Asia Group is set up as the holding company for his projects.

“I am consolidating our companies under a brand which already has a good reputation in the construction industry. A brand is everything. My own company has the properties under it but the company is new to construction,” he says.

GCI Development has completed four projects – Casa Meya, D’Kenaris, Costa Este and Residences @ limau - but these projects are in Singapore, he says.

Chew says he had been looking to acquire a reputable construction company and was lucky to come across one which had worked with big companies like Tan & Tan Development Bhd.

“The owner was planning to retire so this was a good move for both of us,” he says.

“I have an agreement to acquire Precept Construction Sdn Bhd. At present we have a strategic collaboration pending shares takeover which will be completed next year when certain conditions are fulfilled.”

After Residensi Millenia, Chew has two other projects lined up in Johor, targeting two distinct market segments.

Millenia Grand Central, which has a GDV of RM250 mil, will be a mixed development located in Kempas, Johor Bahru while the RM40 mil Millenia Villa is located near Thistle Hotel, also in Johor Bahru.

“We expect to start the Johor projects next year,” says Chew.

Millenia Grand Central, sited on 1ha freehold land, is located next to the Johor Bahru integrated transport hub, he says, adding that the public transportation will link the property to Singapore.

The development will comprise two residential towers with units offering built-ups from 900 sq ft. It will also host a podium of two-storey retail space.

“We can only realistically target Malaysian purchasers because we are priced at the affordable end of the spectrum (for this project). Malaysians working in Singapore, in particular, will find this property interesting because it is directly in front of the railway station from where they can board the train to Singapore,” says Chew.

He is hoping to change the masterplan to pitch one of the residential blocks at a more affordable range similar to that of a 1Malaysia People’s Housing Programme (PR1MA) property.

As for Millenia Villa, it is modelled after Residensi Millenia. To be built on 0.2ha of freehold land, this high-end project will have built-ups from 2,500 sq ft.

Located less than 4km from the Johor Causeway, the project is expected to be launched next year.

Taman Desa sits on a good location

For many, Taman Desa in Kuala Lumpur is a good location. “It is a matured neighbourhood. You have to love the location and its proximity to Mid Valley and Bandar Malaysia. It is fundamentally a strong location with high owner occupancy,” says property investor, speaker and author Ahyat Ishak.

“Taman Desa is an affluent and established suburb, which is strategically located,” former banker and 92Five Group managing director Mark Chua concurs.

Taman Desa is an affluent and established suburb, says Chua


“Sometimes, we tend to pay too much attention to ‘hardware’ factors like shopping malls, commercial areas or LRT (light rail transit) or MRT (mass rapid transit) stations. We tend to neglect the ‘software’ or people factor of the locality concerned,” he says.

Based on anecdotal evidence, the average household income of Taman Desa residents is about RM10,000 per month, which bodes well for potential price appreciation of their properties, Chua adds.

“For property prices to be progressive, household incomes have to track upwards as well. The pride of ownership in the Taman Desa community remains high, and appeals to many buyers who are occupiers.

“The older condos in Taman Desa like Faber Ria, Faber Heights and Desa Villa may be nearly 20 years old, but they remain very well maintained, with strong resident associations,” Chua says.

Many families with young or teenage children also love the educational options available, such as SJK Taman Desa and SMK Taman Desa, he adds.

This article first appeared in Focus Malaysia Issue 257.