(File pix) A view of Sunway City. Pix courtesy of Sunway Group

THE Sunway City Kuala Lumpur project started in the 1970s and it is now more than 90 per cent developed.

Sunway Property and Facilities Management chief operating officer Cheng Jew Keng said it would take Sunway Group another eight to 12 years to fully develop the multi-billion ringgit township.

There are several investment assets under construction in Sunway City KL, including Phase 2 of Sunway Monash University Residence, extension of Sunway Medical Centre and Sunway International School.

These assets would be ready between next year and 2022, Cheng told NST Property.

“The combined value of these assets are RM1.34 billion. New launches in Sunway City KL include Sunway GEOLake townhouses, which are worth RM100 million,” he said, adding that every development would focus on sustainability.

“In Sunway Group, we are fortunate to have our founding chairman himself drive sustainability efforts. Today, Sunway continues to be committed to game-changing the way urban spaces are built, owned and operated to solve the greatest urbanisation challenges,” he said.

Cheng said a Sunway Sustainability Taskforce has been set up to bring together resources across Sunway’s real estate value chain to research, develop and implement solutions, including urban mobility, energy, waste and water management, to transform Sunway’s townships into Smart Sustainable Cities.

The taskforce reports to Sunway Group’s executive commitee (exco) and is responsible for developing Sunway’s overarching sustainability framework as well as setting key performance indicators and targets for 2030, he said.

THE FACE BEHIND SUNWAY CITY KL

Sunway Group founding chairman Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah has been driving sustainability efforts for decades.

Cheah grew up in a small town which was also a mining settlement called Pusing in Batu Gajah, Perak.

Post-mining days, the environmental, social and economic degradation in Pusing was apparent and he witnessed the impacts of the mining activities on the town.

When the miners left, all the town was left with was a scarred landscape where nothing could grow and very little economic activity, leaving families in poverty with no way to pursue good health or education — no means for social mobility.

It was very clear to Cheah that business had the power and potential to either destroy the environment and make families poor or, if built and operated in a sustainable manner, help the people, planet, and economy prosper, said Cheng.

The first city that Cheah built is Sunway City KL and it was a transformation of a mining land into the thriving township today, he said.

Cheng said mining activities change the physical, chemical and microbiological properties of soil. One of the biggest challenges to bring back productivity to

the land was restoration and revegetation.

“In the 1970s, Tan Sri (Jeffrey Cheah)’s team had to even bring back the earthworms to the land. Today, from barren land, Sunway City is habitat to more than 150 species of flora and fauna.

SUSTAINABILITY MAKES A CITY STAND OUT

Cheng said Sunway’s unique approach to community master-planning— which is centred on a sustainable business model of build, own and operate—essentially encompasses a full real estate value chain that also ensures perpetual growth for the communities.

“Sunway remains in its townships as the largest stakeholder with a 40 per cent ownership. If you have invested here, you can be sure that Sunway is committed to the lifelong growth of the communities it has built, and it is our interest to recycle capital into the townships to ascertain sustainable growth.

“If you look at Sunway City, we reinvest in our community by building connectivity and ensuring safety and security, continuously enhance for environmental sustainability and run community-events which translate to sustainable capital appreciation.

“Everyone who lives here is just a walk away from everything they need for quality living, such as shopping, dining, entertainment, education and healthcare. It is a better place to work as the integration has brought about unparalled dynamism and convenience. There are free shuttle buses and a BRT (bus rapid transit) system which can bring you anywhere else around the city and connect you to the main train network,” he said.

For Sunway City, there are about 7,000 people working, 200,000 people staying, 60,000 students and 42 million visits yearly.

Sunway City is also “40 per cent green” and home to more than 150 species of flora and fauna, 100 per cent accessible by foot through canopied and pedestrian walkways, and has a 4km elevated canopied walkway that includes a 350m solar-powered ecowalk.

It also has a water treatment plant that treats lake water from Sunway South Quay and provide potable water to Sunway’s commercial buildings, lifting 10,000 households off the public water supply.

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