ARC, Austin Heights, Johor Bahru

  • Michael Mendez
  • 28 January 2016

Green, green grass of Home

Green, Green Grass of Home

ARC in Johor Bahru, another quality development by Andaman Properties, is a 3-block, 34 and 35-storey development set in the affluent residential enclave of Austin Heights. The Serviced Apartment is built over 5.11 acres of prime freehold land which directly overlooks the scenic 18-hole championship Austin Heights Golf Course and Country Club, yet remains a stone’s throw from the myriad amenities of the surrounding matured neighbourhoods. Set at amazingly affordable prices, seldom will one come across such a value buy.

Project Name: ARC, Austin Hills. Johor Bahru

GPS Coordinates: 1°33’11.4″N 103°45’50.8″E

Address: Jalan Sagu 36, Taman Daya, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia

Website: http://www.austinjb.com.my

Developer:  Casa Andaman Sdn Bhd (under Andaman Property Management Sdn Bhd), No: 19, Jalan USJ Sentral 3, USJ Sentral, Persiaran Subang, 47600 Subang Jaya, Selangor

Tel:  03-8023-3366   Fax: 03-8023-7128   Website: www.andaman.com.my

Sales Gallery: 201 & 203, Jalan Sri Pelangi, Taman Pelangi, 80400 Johor Bahru, Johor        Tel:  07-330-1888  Fax: 07-338-2228  tollfree: 1700-81-8118

Property Type:  Serviced Apartments

Land Title: Commercial

Tenure: Freehold

Total Land Area of Whole Development: 5.11 acres

No of Towers: 3

No of Storeys: Tower A ─ 34 floors, T-shaped Tower B ─ 35 floors, Tower C ─ 34 floors

Residential Units start from: 8th Floor

Facilities Podium: 7th Floor Podium

No of Units in Total: 1,843

Unit Types and Built Up: 

  • Type A: 2R+2B – 650sq ft
  • Type B: 3R+2B – 850sq ft
  • Type C: 3R+2B – 900sq ft

Units Per Floor: 22 units for Blocks A and C, 26 units for Block B

No of Lifts per floor: 4 lifts for Blocks A and C, 5 lifts for Block B

No: of Car Parks given per unit: 1, but selected 2 bedroom units come with 2

Parking Bays: 6 floors of carparking housing 3,336 bays. Extra bays can be purchased

Price per sq ft: average: Average RM420psf

Listed Price: Between RM237,000 and RM450,000

Maintenance Fee: RM0.253psf including sinking fund

Expected TOP: Q1 2019

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Facilities Podium

  • BBQ Pits
  • Cafeteria
  • Japanese Garden with Koi Pond
  • Special landscaping
  • Multipurpose Hall
  • Day Care/Kindergarten
  • Laundry Room
  • Gymnasium
  • Olympic-size Pool
  • Sauna
  • Squash Courts
  • Outdoor Sky Garden / Wellness Garden
  • Wading Pool / Kids Splash Pool
  • Children’s Playground
  • Perimeter Fencing with 24 hour CCTV at strategic locations
  • Guard Patrols
  • Personal Access Card
  • Singapore TV channels for residents
  • Satellite Master Antenna Television (SMATV) Point Provided

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Unique Selling Points:

  • Below Market Value: Lowest selling price among 12 other properties in the same vicinity at RM420psf. (Scroll Down to Analysis Section to see Market Survey Price Comparison Chart*)
  • Only RM1K additional for every floor
  • Overlooking Golf Course: Only development in Austin Hills that boasts front seat view of Austin Heights Golf & Country Club. It’s a premium location
  • Solid Developer (Scroll to Analysis section)
  • True Affordable Housing for Family: Even the smallest, lowest-priced units at 650sq ft feature two rooms and two baths as they are designed to accommodate a growing family
  • Consideration for Residents: All blocks built at one go and completed so that residents who have moved in are not inconvenienced by construction debris and noise caused by the building of later phases
  • Central Location: Situated 10 minutes away from the Kempas Toll and 17 minutes away from the CIQ in lively and modern Mount Austin. Connected to 6 highways: 1. North-South Expressway, 2. JB Parkway, 3. Skudai Highway, 4. Coastal Highway, 5. Eastern Dispersal Link Expressway and 6. Tebrau Highway
  • A Beautiful, Classy Home to be Proud of: Stunningly contemporary with Full Glass Glazing façade, ARC comes complete with Full Condo Facilities as well (see Facilities above)

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just above amenities video map

Amenities, in an arc around the ARC

Amenities Education, Hospitals, Shopping and Entertainment

Within 5km

  • Sunway College
  • Austin Heights Private and International School (primary and secondary)
  • KFCH International College
  • Foon Yew 5 Primary Chinese School
  • Austin Heights Golf and Country Resort
  • Ponderosa Golf & Country Club
  • Fairview International School6
  • Econsave Hypermarket
  • Austin Heights Water Theme Park
  • Hospital Sultan Ismail
  • AEON Terbrau City
  • Tesco Tebrau City
  • AEON Big Johor Bahru
  • Econsave Taman Daya

Within 15km

  • Johor Bahru City Square
  • CIQ Complex
  • Singapore
  • Starhill Golf & Country Club

Within 20km

  • Johor Premium Outlet
  • Senai International Airport

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Project Details

1aa Opening pic under Project

If you weren’t told that the unit you were viewing was a mere 650sq ft large, you wouldn’t have guessed it just by standing inside.

Fitted within dimensions normally reserved for single-room studio units, ARC’s smallest units at 650sq ft (Type A) accommodated TWO spacious bedrooms and TWO sizable bathrooms along with a decent sized hall, a kitchen and even a yard to boot!

Now that’s neat magic.

Where did they find the space to fit all this in you may wonder?

Fortunately, Datuk Seri Vincent Tiew, developer and managing director of Casa Andaman, the creator of ARC, was on hand to answer.

Apparently most architects will approach a design from outside in, from door to room, he revealed, but, “Our architect designed ARC from inside out ─ meaning from room to door.”

Zone Architect were the people behind the magic.

ARC, said Tiew in many of his interviews on air and in print, was designed from the outset for the young family just starting out in life and seeking their first ‘easy-on-the-wallet’ home buy. Thus, there are no studio units despite the smallish sizes. Furthermore, prices are set in such a way that ARC genuinely answers the call for quality but affordable housing. It isn’t often that one can find luxury apartments set in a prime location starting at the figure 2.

You can judge from the pictures below whether or not these units provide space enough for the young family to manoeuvre and grow comfortably.  This is the Type A unit at 650sq ft.

Showroom unit: 2R2B Type A 650sq ft

This is the view you see as you step in from the entrance

This is the view you see as you step in from the entrance. Note the clever combination of dining with kitchen

Another view of the kitchen, the island counter, the fridge and the counter top with hood and hob and window placement

Another view of the kitchen, the island counter, the fridge and the counter top with hood and hob and window placement

Yet another view of the hall and dining and kitchen taken from their 360 view from their website at austinjb.com.my

Yet another view of the same hall and dining and kitchen taken from their 360 view from their website at austinjb.com.my

Here is the Master Bedroom

Here is the Master Bedroom. It is not at all cramped. This view offers a sneak peek of the entrance to the attached bathroom

Here is the 360 view of the other side of the bedroom. Pic captured from their website austinjb.com.my

Here is the 360 view of the other side of the bedroom. Pic captured from their website austinjb.com.my

Here is the Master Bath

Here is the Master Bath

This is the 360 view of the same Master Bath

This is the 360 view of the same Master Bath

This is the 2nd bedroom. Again note, it fits a nice queen-sized bed

This is the 2nd bedroom. Again note, it fits a nice queen-sized bed, wardrobe, side table and shelves!

And here is the SECOND bathroom! It is not at all constricted

And here is the SECOND bathroom! It is not at all constricted

Here is the 360 view of the same 2nd bathroom

Here is the 360 view of the same 2nd bathroom

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1a beauty never felt so close to home

Landmark V, T and A?

But let’s start talking about the project from the top.

There are three blocks to 34 and 35-storey ARC, with altogether 1,843 units housed in towers A, B and C, with each one shaped and oriented differently to catch engaging views of different parts of Austin Heights.

There is also probably some meaning or coincidence to the blocks being shaped like initials to a name. What do you think?

Now you see it

 

Bird's Eye View of ARC

Bird’s Eye View of ARC

As can be seen from this picture, Block C overlooks the golf course directly over Holes 16 and 17 where you tee off, the section of the game said to be the most exciting

As can be seen from this picture, Block C overlooks the golf course directly over Holes 16 and 17 where you tee off, the section of the game said to be the most exciting

Block C is V-shaped and has the best view of all. It directly overlooks the 18-hole Austin Heights championship Golf Course. Or specifically, “Over Hole 16 and 17 where you tee off,” as Tiew enlightened.

Ah!

The other side of the V-shape provides a vista of Austin Heights with a view of some of the schools, the F&B outlets, Aeon Big, the Hockey Stadium and so on.

Apart from the great views, Block C comes fully furnished as well and is sold at a very reasonable flat rate fixed price before discounts.  (For a full list of the furniture and fittings, please scroll up to the Intro section).

A picture of the 3D model of ARC. The T-shape of Block B can be clearly seen here. Block B is the tallest Block at 35 floors. Although the development has around 21 units per floor, there are 4 to 5 lifts (depending on which block) serving the units.

A picture of the 3D model of ARC. The T-shape of Block B can be clearly seen here. Block B is the tallest Block at 35 floors. Although the development has around 21 units per floor, there are 4 to 5 lifts (depending on which block) serving the units.

Block B is interestingly T-shaped. It provides three views for residents ─ overlooking the residential enclave of Taman Daya, overlooking the Olympic-sized swimming pool below and overlooking the landscaped garden for Tai Chi, the outdoor gym and so on. Of course, there are views of the golf greens in the horizon.

Block A is a straightforward block. On the one side, it overlooks the Olympic-sized swimming pool below while the other side provides a panorama of the serene expanse of Taman Daya as well as Taman Setia Indah.

Apart from golfing views and opportunities, ARC also offers a true Olympic-sized swimming pool

Apart from golfing views and opportunities, ARC also offers a true Olympic-sized swimming pool

Floor Plans and Types

There are three types of floor plans for all three blocks. All of them regardless of size, incorporate practical features and adequate living space designed for growing a family.

This is because ARC’s target market, as Tiew explained, would be young individuals and young families, especially those looking for their first homes. This is also why there are no studio units.

Type A at 650sq ft has two bedrooms and two bathrooms, a workable kitchen and even a small yard.

Type B at 850sq ft has three bedrooms and two bathrooms, a good sized kitchen and a yard.

Type C at 900sq ft has three bedrooms and two bathrooms, also a good sized kitchen and a yard.

Ideal for starting up a family, this plan features 2 rooms and 2 bathrooms over 650 square feet of space

Ideal for starting up a family, this plan features 2 rooms and 2 bathrooms over 650 square feet of space

A larger variant for a bigger family, the plan features 3 rooms and 2 bathrooms over 850 square feet of space

A larger variant for a bigger family, the plan features 3 rooms and 2 bathrooms over 850 square feet of space

For that little extra room for the family, the plan features 3 rooms and 2 bathrooms but over 900 square feet of space

For that little extra room for the family, the plan features 3 rooms and 2 bathrooms but over 900 square feet of space

 

For the details, please studythe Specifications Chart given above

For the details, please studythe Specifications Chart given above

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Facilities

The Facilities Layout at a glance

The Facilities Layout at a glance

Despite its affordable price tag, ARC gives due consideration for you and your family’s wellness and wellbeing and thus comes with the full range of condominium facilities that supports this philosophy.

facilities girl and guy

Nothing soothes the mind like a great view of beauty and serenity

“If you’re looking to keep yourself in shape, head to the gym. If you’re looking to let your worries float away, dive into the swimming pool. If you’re in need of a place to chill with friends or family, get together at the outdoor sky garden,” says ARC’s website.

The following pictures show some of these facilities.

A tranquil Zen pond filled with Koi

A tranquil Zen pond filled with Koi

BBQ, Day Care, Game Room, and Cafeteria on a landscaped garden

BBQ, Day Care, Game Room, and Cafeteria on a landscaped garden

3FACILITIES indoor Gym

A Ful-Fledged Gym for your workouts

5FACILITIES playground for children as well as adults

A Playground for children as well as adults

6FACILITIES Swimming Pool Sauna Squash Courts Outdoor Gym

Yes, it is really Olympic-sized

7FACILITIES security perimeter fencing guard patrols CCTV

For your peace of mind — Perimeter Fencing and Guard Patrols, not to mention CCTV surveillance

8Facilities Welcoming lobby

A posh, welcoming lobby to usher you home

4Facilities Kindergarten

Day Care and Kindergarten Services in safe, secure surroundings

ARC is a joint venture between Andaman Group and Majlis Bandaraya Johor Bahru (MBJB). It is an upscale development sold at midrange prices, something that the group is known for  ̶  that is, selling at 20% lower than the nearest competition  ̶  which is totally in keeping with their business philosophy.

Andaman’s homes targets those in the ‘tween RM5,000 to RM10,000 household income bracket looking for homes they not only can afford, but that also promises good ROI in terms of appreciation and rental yield.

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Location

1ARC opening pic under location

Austin Hills of Johor Bahru has been likened to Bangsar of Kuala Lumpur and in many aspects, you’ll find that correlation.

Certainly it’s affluent, certainly the neighbourhoods are matured with plenty of restaurants and banks and perhaps the only difference one might observe is that Austin Hills has the rolling land and space that Bangsar nowadays hasn’t.

Driving in from Senai International Airport, about 26km or half an hour or so away, you will first see miles of undeveloped land and then hectares upon hectares of Semi-D and Bungalow townships such as sprawling Bandar Dato Onn, the 1,474-acre self-contained city of 90,000 residents located along the Tebrau Corridor, then Adda Heights, and then Taman Daya, the main township of Tebrau.

Taman Daya  ̶  known for its schools, banks, mosques, shopping centres, golf courses, water themed park and the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium  ̶  is where ARC is located. The contemporary-looking, glass-encased Serviced Apartments, is on Jalan Sagu 36 to be precise, and is in the enviable centre of all things Austin Heights

The big picture, showing Bandar Dato Onn, Taman Austin Heights and Taman Mount Austin surrounding Taman Daya. ARC is located on Jalan Sagu 36.

The big picture, showing Bandar Dato Onn, Taman Austin Heights and Taman Mount Austin surrounding Taman Daya. ARC is located on Jalan Sagu 36.

The name Austin Heights thus encompasses the schools, the lifestyle, the entertainment, and glorious vistas of the entire locale of suburban Taman Austin Heights, Taman Mount Austin, Taman Delima, Taman Bukit Mutiara, and so on. Take a look at the map below.

Snapshot of ARC in the centre of it all. Pic taken from its website austinjb.com.my

Snapshot of ARC in the centre of it all. Pic taken from its website austinjb.com.my

Another map showing the location of ARC. Pic taken from its website austinjb.com.my

Another map showing the location of ARC. Pic taken from its website austinjb.com.my

Austin Heights is a vibrant metropolis by day but it has a veritable night life too, filled with all manner of dining, coffee joints, health centres, gyms, shopping and everything else in between.

There is a sizable Japanese and Korean community who have called Austin Heights their home. As evidence of that, there are whole business clusters, shoplots, and even residentials that cater to these communities.

Austin Heights by day ─ a scene of one of the roads. Notice there are no jams?

Austin Heights by day ─ a scene of one of the roads. Notice there are no jams?

Austin Heights by night ─ There is a huge array of shops that cater to every whim and fancy, including this very famous coffee bar called MyRail Coffee that locals say is patronised by the Johor royal family

Austin Heights by night ─ There is a huge array of shops that cater to every whim and fancy, including this very famous coffee bar called MyRail Coffee (see right of photograph) that locals say is patronised by the Johor royal family. It serves GREAT coffee too!

There are many Japanese and Korean restaurants in Austin Heights. Here is one  ̶  Jeju Korean BBQ Restaurant. This branch is found along the same row of shops as the above picture on Jalan Austin Height 8/7. Notice the many gold rods hanging from the ceiling? Take a closer look at the Inset. They are probably exhaust hoods used to suck up the smoke from the barbeque

There are many Japanese and Korean restaurants in Austin Heights. Here is one ̶ Jeju Korean BBQ Restaurant. This branch is found along the same row of shops as the above picture on Jalan Austin Height 8/7. Notice the many gold rods hanging from the ceiling? Take a closer look at the Inset. They are probably exhaust hoods used to suck up the smoke from the barbeque

Here is a jaw-dropping advertising gimmick employed by the gym and fitness centre! Guaranteed to stop you in your tracks and gawk, which exactly serves the objective of its placement

Here is a jaw-dropping advertising gimmick employed by the gym and fitness centre. Guaranteed to stop you in your tracks and make you gawk…thus serving its purpose!

ARC@Austin Hills is surrounded by many educational institutions such as Sunway College, KFCH International College, Fairview International College, Foon Yew 5 Chinese primary school and others. In terms of shopping there is Econsave, Aeon Big, AEON Tebrau City and Tesco Tebrau City, and if supermarket foodstuff is not your cup of tea, you can always head for the largest morning market in Taman Daya and Taman Mount Austin instead.

Every amenity is within an easy distance from the other as can be seen with educational institutions.  Austin Heights Private International School here provides both primary and secondary education

Every amenity is within an easy distance from the other as can be seen with educational institutions. Austin Heights Private International School here provides both primary and secondary education

Turn around from standing in front of the international school and you will see these rows of shops about 20 steps away across the road

Turn around from standing in front of the international school and you will see these rows of shops about 20 steps away across the road

Sunway College, located just 280m or 3 minutes away from Austin Heights Private International School. See Inset for map

Sunway College, located just 280m or 3 minutes away from Austin Heights Private International School. See Inset for map

In terms of sporting activities, there is of course, golf ─ not just from the Austin Heights Golf & Country Club of which ARC has a front seat view, but also from other golf courses nearby, such as the Ponderosa and also the Starhill Golf and Country Clubs  ̶  but also other fun activities such as the Austin Heights Water and Adventure Park which opened its doors on December 19, 2015.

Pic taken from the Water Park's Facebook page

Pic taken from the Water Park’s Facebook page

The location of ARC was deliberately chosen for that premium of being next to a golf course and only 15 minutes away from the Customs Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex and the Johor Bahru city centre.

Iskandar Development

Austin Heights falls under the Iskandar Development Flagship Zone A  ̶. The financial and business zone. To read more about Iskandar and the various zones, see below:

Iskandar zones

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Analysis

Developer Cover vid

Andaman Property Management Sdn Bhd was established in 2005 as a property development company. Under the helmsmanship of Dato’ Sri Dr Vincent Tiew, they have since rapidly evolved to become a well-known, multi-award winning property developer with developments in Perak, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Johor – the `happening axis’ in Peninsular Malaysia. Their residential and commercial developments at Kota Damansara, Subang, Bangi, Serdang, Cyberjaya, Slim River, Batu Pahat and Ipoh are testaments to their successful strategies.

Tiew was instrumental in steering the company to its present standing today, mostly through their guiding principle of ‘Generating Value, Creating Wealth’  ̶  a line which they have embraced as their own tagline and company philosophy.

How they think, plan and act are explained in their own website at http://www.andaman.com.my/en/setting-our-sights, excerpted below:

“Blue Ocean” Strategy – Smart Property Investment

“While GRR or Guaranteed Rental Return has been in the market, we at APM simply work harder at ensuring ours deliver outstanding results.

Right at the start, even before our project hits the ground, we strive to secure an appropriate anchor tenant (such as a well-known college or university so that our prospective purchasers or investors can be assured of a steady rental income.

The way we formulated our GRR comes with better peace of mind and a higher assurance of success for our clients and customers. By doing the hard yards first have been how we have always delivered guaranteed returns, long-term rental tenure with consistent returns and capital appreciation.

Property buyers are rewarded an average capital appreciation between 15%-30% yield on investment while GRR averages 8% rental returns.

We currently manage close to 2000 units for GRR.”

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The list of Andaman Properties in the Northern, Central and Southern regions include:

  • Upper East@Tiger Lane
  • Taipan@Ipoh Cybercentre
  • Taipan Festival Mall@Ipoh
  • Taipan@Slim River
  • Taipan 3
  • Sentral@Bangi CBD
  • Cova Square@Kota Damansara
  • Cova Villa@Kota Damansara
  • Casa Subang@USJ
  • Kota D’Sara Signature Park
  • Casa Residenza@Kota Damansara
  • Evo Soho Suites@Bangi
  • Diamond Residence@Serdang
  • Diamond Square@SerdangAcademia@South City Plaza
  • The Arc@Cyberjaya
  • ARC@Austin Hill, JB

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*Market Survey Price Comparison Chart among 13 Properties in Austin Hills

Table A project name, address, distance to golf club, category, completion and tenure

Table A analysis chart

 

Table B project name, price per sq ft, built-up, price of units, maintenance fee

Table B of analysis chart

Rental Yield: The current indicative asking rent for non-landed in Austin Hills is RM1.80psf to RM2.20psf

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Summary

p-18-liberty

Probably the only thing that one can critique about ARC is that it’s a little on the high density side, what with having 22 and over units per floor. There are of course, 4 to 5 lifts serving the floors.

And when residents move in, along with those moving in to other nearby highrise condos, traffic might get a little congested during rush hour.

But Johor Bahru, on the whole, including its town areas and especially in Austin Heights, is seldom frenetic or clogged with traffic, unlike other areas like Kuala Lumpur. The pace of life is at an even tempo and generally speaking, the roads are wide everywhere. Most of all, according to a Johor Bahru taxi driver at least, JB’s town planning is one of the best anywhere in Malaysia as there is often forethought before implementation.

One more thing that might be of consideration to the buyer is the significance of the tower shapes.What significance might there be, you may ask? Well, think. Of course, one may argue that all developers will put in their utmost and take pains over their projects but for one to actually endorse it, means that there is the investment of that bit of extra pride, passion, care and attention to detail so that what is eventually presented is worthy of the name and the reputation it bears. That, in itself, fetches a premium of immeasurable value and the least it will do, is that it will protect your investment.

So all things considering  ̶  the present, the future, the price, the facilities, the location, the amenities and the investment value ─ tangible and intangible ─ that it is offering, is ARC a winning Hole-In-One? You be the judge of that.

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Eric Wong

Michael Mendez

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