I-Bhd chairman Datuk Lim Kim Hong, is confident that i-City will succeed and he has strong reasons to back his claim as he had engaged world-renowned architect and master planner, Jon A. Jerde, to be the project architect in a well-established location such as in Section 7, Shah Alam, Selangor. Jon A. Jerde is the person behind some of the most acclaimed architectural landmarks in the US and Japan such as the Mall of America and Universal CityWalk, Freemont Street Experience (US), Roppongi Hills (Japan) and The Arcade @ Cyberport (Hong Kong). Shah Alam has a population of about 470,000 and has an annual population growth rate of 3.0%. Based on a growth rate of 3% per annum, Shah Alam is expected to grow to 500,000 by 2010.
i-City is also designated as the premier information communications technology hub for Selangor and endorsed by the Tourism Ministry as a tourist destination. To back its claim, I-Bhd, the developer, announced that it was investing RM40 million in an integrated light and sound multimedia technology for i-City’s CityWalk. The technology will give visitors a unique experience of a lifetime as it will activate the three human senses of sight, hearing and smell. It is one of the many innovations that the company will be introducing over the eight to ten years period to develop i-City.
The CityWalk, a dynamic 1,000-foot pedestrian street mall, is modelled after the famed Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles and Freemont Street Experience in Las Vegas. It will feature a varied mix of trades and three courtyards where events and promotions will be an on-going activity. The 200 units of 22ft x 75ft, 3 storey shopoffices will be located right next to CityWalk and I-Bhd planned to launch the shopoffices at one go. About 90 units will be retained for leasing and for long-term recurring income. The balance of 110 units will be for sale with about 50 units to be sold en bloc and the remaining 60 units on a stratified basis. I-Bhd expected a sale price of RM1 million per block.
At the time of this publication, I-Bhd, the developer of the RM2 billion i-City, is close to clinching an en bloc sale of the 1st phase of its freehold i-City integrated commercial project in Section 7, Shah Alam. The company was close to signing a deal comprising 44 units of three and 5-storey shopoffices on a sale and lease-back option as the company would prefer to have a controlled tenant-mix.
The anticipated rental rates for CityWalk retail units will range from RM10,000 to RM12,000 per month for the ground floor (inclusive of service charge) and RM3,500 to RM6,000 per month for the upper floors.
CityWalk will have three entrances and there will be a heritage, culture & handicraft showcase at the main foyer to the development. CityWalk will also feature both open and enclosed walkways, with canopies and covered walkways, lush landscaping and water features along the street. I-Bhd will be introducing a cooling system that will create a comfortable environment for visitors. On top of that, CityWalk will have light and sound shows, activities at courtyards and other themed attractions.
Australia’s Servcorp Ltd, the world’s 2nd largest serviced-office operator, is investing US$30million over the next 5 years into state-of-the-art concierge services for I-Bhd’s i-City project. The 72-acre integrated commercial development in Section 7, Shah Alam will be equipped with seamless wireless access, integrated information and communications technology and building networks, as well as multimedia and collaborative tools. The concierge services concept will make i-City the first real estate project in Asia where all the services are connected via one network. The network will also have super broadband redundancy and the components for Web2.0, a 2nd generation Internet development. The concierge services are divided into two areas, the human services element and the innovative technology element. They will be supported by a giga speed fibre optics network that will allow for complete connectivity and mobility while its network will have a capacity of up to 10Mbps. The human services element is provided by Servcorp whilst the innovative technology element will be provided by i-Office2 Sdn Bhd. i-Office2 is a joint-venture with I-Bhd in which Office Squared (Servcorp’s subsidiary) will hold 65% equity interest.
When completed in 2012, i-City will comprise a shopping mall, two corporate towers, corporate suites, shopoffices, serviced apartments, data centres, a 5-star hotel and an innovation centre. The shopoffices will be priced from RM400psf to RM500psf.