I-BERHAD will stand committed to meeting Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s call to take the i-City development in Seksyen 7, Shah Alam in Selangor to a whole new level and attract local and international investors.
Anwar — who is Parti Keadilan Rakyat de-facto leader — visited i-City on the eve of the 61st National Day and encouraged the developer to take the project to new heights.
I-Berhad executive chairman Tan Sri Lim Kim Hong told NST Property that the group aims for the RM9 billion integrated development to transform into the new central business district (CDB) for Shah Alam.
“The project (i-City) is entering a new wave of development as we speak to international investors who are looking to relocate to Shah Alam. Currently, i-City is only mid-way developed. We are building a lot more assets. Today, 10 towers stand in i-City. We will be adding another 20 towers or so over the next 12 to 15 years.
“We have done our due deligence and are building what the market wants,” said Lim.
Planned by architect Jon A. Jerde, i-City was designed as a fully integrated intelligent city comprising residential, leisure and corporate components, such as a one million sq ft regional shopping mall, office towers, Cybercentre office suites, hotels, apartments, data centres, and an innovation centre.
Anwar flagged off the development of the former oil plantation land in 1997, when it was owned by Lim’s private vehicle Sumurwang Development Sdn Bhd, with the belief that it would contribute to development of the Selangor capital city.
At that point, Shah Alam was seen mainly as an administrative and industrial centre for Selangor, and the idea of the city being part of Greater Kuala Lumpur was still in its infancy.
Lim, better known then as the Mattress King, bought the land in 1993 for RM4 per sq ft. The 1997/1998 Asian financial crisis had dampened his plan to develop the land.
Via Sumurwang, he acquired a controlling interest in Sanyo Industries (M) Bhd in 1999 as he was bullish about the electronics business, and changed the company’s name to I-Berhad.
But due to the competitive nature of the electronics home appliances business, he turned to property development.
The 29.14ha i-City was conceived in 2005 by I-Berhad as a RM1.5 billion township development with about five million square feet of approved built-up area. Today, it is a RM9 billion ultrapolis with an approved gross floor area (GFA) of 13 million sq ft.
Apart from the 10 towers, it has data centres and a theme park that attracts some 90,000 visitors a week. Soon-to-complete is Central i-City Mall, a joint venture with Thailand’s largest retail property development and investment company Central Pattana.
On the eve of Merdeka Day, Anwar flagged off Frasers Place residences, the first service apartment development by Frasers Hospitality Group in Shah Alam, and another groundbreaking development in the capital city of Selangor.
Anwar hoped that his “home-coming” visit to i-City would accelerate the development of its other components, such as The Jewel, so that i-City will play its role in the development of Greater Kuala Lumpur.
The Jewel, an Athens-like building, will set a benchmark pricing for Shah Alam when it is launched next year.
“I am confident that with its twin tourism and property development visions, i-City will spur the development of Shah Alam very much like how the tourism and property development of KLCC has been a catalyst in the development of Kuala Lumpur,” said Anwar.
Today, i-City is listed by CNN Travel as one of the world’s 25 most colourful and brightest places.
In 2011, i-City entered into a Management and Development Agreement with Selangor and Shah Alam Municipal Council. Under the agreement, i-City is permitted to have leisure, night tourism and other cosmopolitan lifestyle outlets and activities under 24/7 operation.
i-City also obtained the Temporary Occupation License for its garden landscape planning on about 12.14ha of buffer zone surrounding its township.
The development continues to be at the forefront of technological advancements, being the first developer to offer fibre-to-unit connectivity and Internet of Things-ready homes to solidify its position as the country’s first-recognised Technology City and among the nation’s first Smart Cities.