[B][SIZE=5]Iskandar's Forest City welcomes first residents (Amended)[/SIZE][/B]

[B]Keys ready for first 132 completed apartments in phase one of Country Garden's mega development [/B]

May 4, 2017

Lee Meixian

HOMEOWNERS of units in Country Garden's Forest City, a mega development in Iskandar, have started to take possession of their new apartments.

The keys to 132 apartments are ready for collection; some 16 homeowners had on Monday taken possession of the first completed residences at Country Garden Kylin Apartments, located on the grounds of Forest City Phoenix Hotel.

The rest of the homeowners will do so in their own time.

These units are part of phase one. The construction of phase one - comprising residential, hotels and retail space - is ongoing and is expected to be completed by 2019.

The entire development is built on four man-made islands off Johor reclaimed from the sea and transformed through landfill.

Already, a transportation centre, a five-star hotel and a commercial thoroughfare lining the oceanfront and a beach park, have opened there and are in full service.

In addition to the support facilities that are already in operation, other firms and organisations that have recently agreed to come on board include Taiwan-based MJ Group, a healthcare management firm in Asia, which plans to build a health management facility that will open within this year; Shattuck-St Mary's School, a co-educational boarding school based in Faribault, Minnesota, with plans to begin recruitment in August and open a school in the city next August; as well as a duty-free shop set to open in July.

In March this year, Country Garden signed the contracts for the next stage of the project, Phase Two, after having signed contracts with 36 firms last December who will help to promote cross-border cooperation in industrial development.

These companies include Huawei, Cisco, Accenture, Midea, China Construction Steel Structure Corporation, Deutsche Bank (Asia Pacific) and Bank of China (Malaysia).

Phase Two calls for the construction of three 18-hole golf courses, a five-star hotel and low-density residential buildings on an eight square kilometre segment of the larger project. Construction of the hotel as well as of the first golf course will start in May, with plans to open for business by the end of this year.

Forest City has sold 15,000 residential units as of December 2016, of which 70 per cent are from mainland China. The rest of the buyers hail from Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, as well as Japan and other Western countries.

Forest City is a joint venture project between Country Garden and Malaysia's Esplanade Danga 88. It recently made headlines when the developer shut down its China showrooms that promote the Forest City development, after China tightened its rules on moving funds out of the country.