Tan Sri Lim Kim Hong, Founder and executive chairman, I-Berhad
Dancing Waters at i-City.
TTDI Gateway.
i-City aerial view.
City of Digital Lights at i-City.

SHAH Alam, nestled between Petaling Jaya and Klang in the western corridor of Klang Valley, was previously a rubber and oil palm estate known as Sungai Renggam.

In the beginning, developments were slow in the capital city of Selangor as it lacked infrastructure and population growth.

The only major link between Shah Alam and other areas in the Klang Valley was via the Federal Highway.

It all improved in the 1970s with the launch of a massive building programme to have more well-developed roads and infrastructure as well as public buildings.

These saw more houses being built to cater to the population growth. People started moving to Shah Alam as new jobs were created with the opening of factories by local and foreign firms, including multinational companies.

Shah Alam was granted a city status on October 10 2000, with Datuk Abu Sujak Mahmud appointed as its first mayor.

Today, Shah Alam has a similar urban layout as Petaling Jaya with housing areas occupying most of the city and commercial centres and industrial properties scattered around its different Section (Seksyen) areas.

The Shah Alam City Council had given priority to develop eight areas namely the city centre in Section 14, i-City in Section 7, Bukit Jelutong in Section U8, Setia Alam in Section U13, Elmina in Section U16, Sungai Buloh in Section U4, Kota Kemuning in Section 31 and Alam Impian in Section 35.

More companies and property developers have started to establish their presence in Shah Alam as it is ideally situated halfway between Kuala Lumpur and Port Klang.

Shah Alam is also linked to a wide road network via the Shah Alam Expressway (Kesas), which opened in 1997.

Top companies that have operations in Shah Alam include Proton, Schlumberger, The Linde Group, Nestle, Digi, Pfizer, Lion Group, Top Glove, Flextronics, Panasonic, UMW, Puncak Niaga and Sirim.

Among the developers with projects there are Mah Sing Group Bhd, Sime Darby Bhd, I&P Group Sdn Bhd, Naza TTDI Sdn Bhd, I-Berhad, Gamuda Bhd, Lebar Daun Development Sdn Bhd, Paramount Property Development Sdn Bhd, Worldwide Holdings Bhd and Selangor State Development Corp (PKNS).

Naza TTDI, which is developing TTDI Gateway in Section 13, launched the master plan for the project in 2014. The 15.7ha integrated development will be developed over three phases and the targeted completion date is by 2020.

The project will consist of offices, serviced apartments and retail components worth an estimated RM2.5 billion.

Naza TTDI deputy executive chairman and group managing director SM Faliq SM Nasimuddin said at the launch that TTDI Gateway’s strategic location at the main entry point of Shah Alam’s city centre was aimed at transforming the city into a more vibrant lifestyle hub.

It is also planned to be a key business and retail destination in the Klang Valley.

VERY OWN RACE TRACK

The most exciting part about Shah Alam, if one can recall, was the international-standard racing circuit in Section 13, also known as Batu 3 speedway circuit, which was established in 1968.

It became a venue for the Malaysian Grand Prix from 1968 until 1982 and was given the name “Shah Alam Motor Paradise”.

The 3.693km circuit, built on a 57.9ha site, became so popular that it was used as one of the shooting locations for Jackie Chan’s 1995 film, Thunderbolt.

In 2003, the Selangor government sold the circuit to the Lebar Daun group of companies, which then developed the area into a luxury mixed development called D’Kayangan.

D’Kayangan comprises superlink, semi-detached and cluster houses, a retail mall and shop offices. The designs of the properties mainly focus on fusion of both European and Asian elements to create a modern living environment.

THE PULSE OF SELANGOR

If you were to ask people 10 years ago the best things to do in Shah Alam, they would say taking a stroll at Lake Gardens or Botanical Park, or going to nearby shopping malls.

For golfers, they would head to Glenmarie Golf & Country Club, Kota Permai Golf & Country Club, Bukit Kemuning Golf & Country Resort, Monterez Golf & Country Club or Kelab Shah Alam.

Fast-forward, everyone is now talking about i-City, a massive RM9 billion integrated development by I-Berhad.

i-City is an international business hub by day and lifestyle “haven” by night with commercial, residential and leisure components.

Its property development component comprises corporate towers, cyber office suites, serviced apartments, date centres, hotels (DoubleTree by Hilton @ i-City and Best Western @ i-City) and a 1.5 million sq ft shopping mall (Central Place @ i-City).

Central Place @ i-City is a joint development with Thailand’s Central Retail Group and will open next year.

To complement the whole of the i-City development, I-Berhad has built a tourism-based park spread over 10.1ha.

The park boasts four main attractive themes - City of Digital Lights, SnoWalk, WaterWorld, FunWorld - and attracts 30 million visitors a year.

I-Berhad has recently added a new zone themed “Itsy Bitsy” in i-City dedicated to young children.

In 2019, it will open DoubleTree by Hilton @i-City to cater to business and leisure dwellers.

The company’s founder and executive chairman Tan Sri Lim Kim Hong is confident that the opening of DoubleTree by Hilton @ i-City, the continued growth of Best Western @ i-City and other ongoing initiatives will see the leisure segment performing better in the coming years.

“We have taken steps to enhance visitors’ experience going forward, by refreshing key attractions such as the lightscapes and investing substantially in the technologically-enhanced ‘Red Carpet 2’ interactive wax museum.

“We will be adding new attractions year-on-year to keep the place vibrant and healthy. We believe that a good development must have all the components where one can work, play and live in,” he told NST Property.

Four main themes in i-City park

• City of Digital Lights (with over one million LED lightscapes and outdoor theme park rides)

• SnoWalk (a 50,000 sq ft Arctic environment at below five degrees Celsius)

• WaterWorld (featuring the 1st tornado ride in Southeast Asia)

• FunWorld (featuring Malaysia’s 1st Trick Art Museum, the Red Carpet, Malaysia’s 1st interactive wax museum as the main feature and Space Mission @i-City, which boasts a futuristic aerospace adventure)

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