Peter Chan turned a dream into reality…then, did it again
Written by Gunaprasath Bupalan (YouTube – Emjay Communications , The Malaysia Global Business Forum , News Hub Asia , Property360Digest)
Peter Chan, Chief Executive Officer of The Haven is no stranger to the property industry. Over the years, he has proven that perseverance and determination equates success. This Singaporean, who left his hometown in 1979 to pursue his dreams, travelled the globe to countries such as the United States, England, Hong Kong, and many others before settling down in Australia back in 1980. He was headhunted by several companies and finally accepted an invitation by a friend to manage NV Multi Bhd which operates Nirwana Memorial.
Upon forming a steady base for the company, he then joined Superboom Projects Sdn Bhd and The Haven Sdn Bhd as CEO, developing properties in Subang as well as in Ipoh.
It was back in 2009 when I first met with this extraordinary gentleman. My Chief Editor at that time (when I was writing features for NST PropertyTimes), assigned me to a story about a luxury condominium that is soon to be built in Ipoh, Perak. Mind you, 11 years ago, the thought of a luxury condominium in Ipoh was a laughable matter. Any sort of property investment in Ipoh was debatable. So, I decided to take on the challenge to write this article.
When I spoke with Chan over the phone, the conversation I planned to have for 15 minutes lasted two and a half hours. As the conversation progressed from the initial ice-breaking, I came to realise that this man had more wisdom in him than most top-notch leaders (you may know who I am referring to). We spoke about his notion to transform the face of Ipoh, and indirectly Perak, while preserving the natural resources that the area was rich with – limestone hills.
He explained his journey to me, and his difficulties obtaining loans from banks as nobody understood his notion and nobody trusted that such a thing could be done profitably. He knew what he needed to do – which was to prove everyone wrong and he stood by his guns and with much perseverance and determination, sweat and tears, he began development of The Haven Resort Hotel & Residences.
Then, Chan did offer me a unit at the going rate of RM350psf, which was considerably affordable (RM250,000), but being a rookie at that time, I couldn’t see the capital appreciation potential and let’s be honest, I wasn’t planning to get into the property investment game yet. WHAT A MISTAKE! (350psf)
Today, 11 years later, the very few units that are still available at The Haven are being snapped up at more than RM700psf. THAT IS MORE THAN DOUBLE!
However, I did recently ask Chan if he would still sell me a unit there at the once offered price, he just said he would if Public Bank could sell him their shares at a price 6 years ago.
Well… there are still units available for sale – to live at or Invest in (with 5% lease return).
STAYING AT THE HAVEN IS LIKE GOING ON A TRIP TO HEAVEN
The Haven Resort Hotel & Residences (The Haven, Ipoh) is set in a lush backdrop just 10 minutes upon exiting the Ipoh toll. The development cradles its guests ever so softly with a driveway of trees leading into an oasis framed by an untouched forest, knotted to a natural lake.
This development is set within a 13.6-acre expanse, rich in 280mil-year-old limestone formations, consisting of three residential towers dubbed Acacia, Banyan and Cycas representing the initial A, B & C, encasing a low density of just over 500 units in total.
Since its launch the property has offered over 10 layouts from 968sq ft to 5,350sq ft, consisting of one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom units as well as penthouses crowning the highest floors of its three respective towers.
The Haven, Ipoh is also poised as a Resort Hotel & Residences featuring the best in hotel services by The Haven Hotels offered within a five-star facility. Those visiting the establishment may enjoy nature’s pristine settings with peace of mind as the property offers a 24-hour five-level security system.
The first time I stayed at The Haven, I expected an average AirBnB experience (after all, it is Ipoh, how lavish could this experience be?), but to my absolute surprise, it was one of my best experiences ever.
As mentioned, the experience begins from the guardhouse, where your drive in somehow rejuvenates you from the world outside and keeps the negative auras out. The courteous staff at the check-in lobby add flavour to the initial experience and that all-natural welcome drink that is served is simply delicious. According to Chan, all the herbs they use for the drink is grown in-house. I felt like I was at Club Med, at half the price, to be honest.
Then, when you are ushered to your suite (not room but suite), the five-star hotel feel is simply magnificent. The living hall, kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms are well equipped and designer fitted, I was reluctant to leave the suite…until…
I opened the balcony curtain and stood there. My eyes were treated with absolute pleasure to see the limestone hills and greens enveloping the entire resort, with a natural lake in the centre. The lake is extended from the infinity pool, which means you could chill at the pool and look right into the natural lake. An added attraction is a 280-million-year-old limestone rock feature that stands at about 14 stories high.
This view encouraged me to leave the suite and head downstairs to the recreation area. As I explored the facility, I was greeted by the 60m infinity swimming pool, the natural lake, a heated pool, a steam room, a 24-hour gym, badminton, squash and tennis courts, children’s playground, as well as the family-friendly ‘Cuisines’ poolside restaurant. Further out towards the guardhouse, stood a complete team building arcade with amazing facilities too.
My initial idea, before arriving at The Haven, was to ditch the accommodation after dumping my bags and hitting the heritage and nightlife at Ipoh town, but believe you me, I didn’t leave the resort for the whole three days I was at Ipoh. Do you know why?
At night, once the exploration is over and you have a nice hot shower, if you stand at the balcony, you would realise that the entire place is pitch black. This is serenity at its finest. It is pure calm bliss, that you would not find anywhere in the city. The first night, I only slept at 2 am, and was awakened by the sunlight at 7 am. Even though I only managed to rake in five hours of sleep, it was the best five hours of sleep I have had in years. I was so fresh in the morning and the smell of coffee from the restaurant downstairs got me up and about. Needless to say, I made my way to the freshly brewed coffee beans.
The Haven is an innovative, green, luxurious development that to date has changed the mindset of Ipoh people and has brought in plenty of foreign investments.
Furthermore, it is no surprise that The Haven bagged 58 local & international awards, in which 25 are for hotel management and excellence and has generated great interest, leading it to be bestowed with global accolades ranging from “The World’s Best Value Condo” to cosmic dub of “Haven on Earth”.
Aptly reflecting the tagline “Pride of Ipoh, Envy of the Nation”, The Haven is a milestone in the history of property development in Perak and has even raised the benchmark in resort condominium living in the country.
THE NEXT CHAPTER
From the success of The Haven, Ipoh, Chan decided to expand his dreams and expanded he did. Yet another success he has recently offered – The Haven, Bintan Lagoi Bay, which is just 60 minutes away from Singapore via luxury ferries.
Close to the metropolis of Singapore, yet pristine, this development is complete with infrastructure and amenities and is poised to be the prime recreational destination of choice for the region.
Bintan is an island off Singapore placed along Lagoi Bay, Indonesia which is a specially designated Free Trade Zone (since 2009) with special tax concessions offered to encourage investments.
The Lagoi Bay has not only a full range of global-class infrastructure, utilities and support facilities, but it has also been declared by its government as a protected zone; a national asset whereby no strikes or riots are permitted in the area.
The Haven purchased not one, but four parcels of land in the aforementioned vicinity to protect the environs surrounding the upcoming Lagoi Bay development.
The Haven Lagoi Bay, Bintan will be completed in five phases by the year 2028, comprising several towers of condotels, a five-star hotel and a convention centre alongside a handful of stylish mixed-developments.
The most unique feature of this property is that it is visa-free for visitors from over 169 countries across the globe which includes China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, India, ASEAN and countries from the Middle East.
The Haven Bintan, presented by PT The Haven Bintan, a subsidiary of Multi-Award Developer, Superboom Projects Sdn Bhd, is poised to be a landmark and model for the region.
The first phase due for completion by the first quarter of 2023 will comprise two towers with 556 units selling from SGD708psf. With further expansion in the pipeline, The Haven Bintan sets out to be the most desired resort development in South East Asia.
THE LURE OF BINTAN
I find it inevitable for the island to take such accolades, as it has already been considered as an ultimate holiday destination for every holidaymaker, honeymooners among others. One thing that sets it apart from other holiday destination, I am told, is that it possesses rich hinterland, culture and historic sites that are not your usual tourist baits, albeit only for those astute ones.
Incidentally, I am sure this place would be a great attraction to avid golfers, as the residents who do tee off would find this place literally a haven as they can enjoy not one, but four designer courses, ie, the Ian Baker-Finch Course (Bintan Lagoon), Jack Nicklaus Course (Bintan Lagoon), Greg Norman Course (Laguna Bintan) and Gary Player Course (Ria Bintan).
Bintan is already a popular destination for sports activities such as The Bintan Triathlon, The Bintan Marathon, The Bintan Ironman Race, The Bintan Moon Run, Tour de Bintan, and numerous racing, cycling and golfing competitions, in addition to being a preferred destination for weddings, corporate incentive trips, retreats and impromptu weekend getaways.
With these features, I can already foresee that Bintan’s appeal as a tourism spot to grow exponentially. Tourist arrivals are expected to increase by 25-30% per year and to reach three million visitors per year in the next four years. Notably, tourist arrivals have doubled from 2014 to 2018.
The optimism is already visible with the construction of a new purpose-built Bintan Resorts International Airport, which is expected to be fully operational by 2022, to serve one million more visitors to Bintan annually, from all around the world.
In short, I am confident that it is not only poised to be a perfect resort home for many, it is going to notch up the value of the property that is poised to jump multi-fold in the future as its presence becomes more prominent, especially in the global tourism map.
This story was first posted on Property360Digest e-magazine issue #4