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Brand-building takes on a different slant with niche upmarket lifestyle developer, Bukit Kiara Properties Sdn Bhd (BKP). Abandoning the traditional marketing-driven events and carnivals often held at developers' sales offices, BKP had instead organised a talk on stress management at its show village last weekend.

This begs the question as to what does stress management have to do with property development? BKP group managing director N.K. Tong answered this very question when he addressed the participants before the talk began that Saturday afternoon.

"On the surface they are unrelated. But for BKP, everything we do revolves around our four core values. Two of them, which are "caring" and "integrity" concerns people be it our buyers or staff, while the other two, which are "innovation" and "quality" relate to our products".

N.K. Tong explained that based on these core values and the company's tagline For Innovative Lifestyles, BKP sees itself as being "a builder of homes". Organising the talk forms part of this philosophy to build not just houses, but "homes that are conducive for a happy family life".

"We may not be able to guarantee happiness, but this event at the very least helps us promote such an environment in a home. After all people who are able to manage their stress will be in a better state of mind when they are at home spending time with their loved ones," he added.

The talk on stress management was entitled Living a Frazzle Free Life. The speaker Dr. Linda Friedland, who hails from South Africa, has over 15 years of clinical experience as a medical doctor. She gave the close to 200 participants an understanding of stress and how it can cause illness.

N.K. Tong explained that the venue of the talk was also designed and built to help promote this philosophy.

"In most cases such a venue is usually called a show village as it showcases the properties that a developer is selling. We named our venue The Pavilions of Bukit Kiara because it is more than just a place to sell real estate," he said.

The Pavilions of Bukit Kiara features a spacious gallery which is large for events such this talk on stress management, a creche that is equipped with video games and educational toys and also a playground. Buying properties may be serious business, but focus on the family is not lost here.

The Pavilions of Bukit Kiara is currently showcasing Hijauan Kiara, the company's latest offering of luxury spa-themed condominiums. Located in Mont'Kiara, Kuala Lumpur, the project which is already more than 70 per cent sold raises the standard in the niche luxury condo market in the locale with the introduction of a host of first-of-its-kind features such as its layout of no more than two units on each floor, private lift lobbies, sunken baths and a unique spa island for the enjoyment of residents.

The project which is sited on a 5.4-acre freehold parcel features only 188 units housed in seven blocks, making it one of the lowest density offerings in Mont'Kiara. The seven blocks will be of varying heights from six to 29 storeys to ensure the project blends in with the natural contours of the site and its surroundings.

A variety of standard and duplex units are offered priced at an average of RM460 per square foot, with sizes ranging from 2,090sq ft to 3,732sq ft accommodating 3+1 and 4+2 bedrooms. Also available are six penthouses ranging from 3,765sq ft and 4,612sq ft with 4+1 bedrooms.

N.K. Tong said Hijauan Kiara is the second niche and innovative development of BKP the first being Aman Kiara, an exclusive gated-and-guarded precinct of 19 bungalows and 12 duplex condovillas also situated in Mont'Kiara.

Launched in 2002, the project which is fully sold boasts a contemporary theme where the bungalows with luxury fittings have built-up areas starting from 4,560sq ft. The duplex condovillas, however, have built-up areas starting from 3,690sq ft accommodating five bedrooms each with an attached bathroom.

BKP is the company through which Tong and his father, Dato' Alan Tong Kok Mau who was recently inaugurated as World President of the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI) returned to the development scene after they sold their stake in a public-listed property development company in 1997 just before the Asian financial crisis hit.
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