I-City's fabric, clearly, lies in the game plan to create a buzz that goes on 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For this to happen, the project will offer components comprising:
A cyberport, which will act as an IT backbone for I-City;
A one-million sq ft lifestyle commercial town centre;
A residential community;
A four-acre smart school;
A 300-room hotel;
An office park; and
A shop-office district.
Particularly noteworthy is the cyberport. This is an area dedicated to house the incubators, the city central command centre as well as the area for most of the software development for various e-services. It is intended to be the "front door" for the ICT element of I-City.
Ultimately, the objective is to create in I-City a campus-style live-work environment integrated into a large open space that boasts a lake that will also provide a waterfront environment, says Eu.
People would be attracted to I-City because, Jerde says, the design provides quality communal space. "Architecture is the usual thing when people talk of quality.
However, there is also the quality from the successful integration of the software with the architecture. We are creating a spatial environment that is unique to the site and to the socio-cultural setting of the location."
How will ICT fit into the bigger scheme of things? It is intended to remain in the background. The Jerde approach is about the total environment and ICT will enhance the experience, explains Jerde.
In total, the development would offer some six million sq ft of gross space with an estimated development value of RM1.5 billion.
Why not fill up the lake and build on it too? "We can do that but we can also have the lake and build higher buildings instead. Having the lake is important for I-City's longevity, to ensure that the project is not a flash in the pan," Jerde continues on his design.
Depending on whom you speak to, the Malaysian climate can be a boon or a bane. Which is why the Jerde team will be treading carefully in achieving the desired mix of outdoor-indoor environment through the use of an integration of landscaped terraces, roof gardens, playing fields and a large central park.
The design plan also makes maximum use of the site's topography to afford views and orientation. A public park will also be created on the hillside. All components of the development will be interconnected.
I-City will be developed in phases, with the maiden launch targeted for the first quarter of next year. Phase one, says Eu, will comprise the development of the innovation centre, shopoffices and part of the retail centre.
The innovation centre is aimed at technopreneurs, both local and foreign, the shopoffices at local institutions and individuals, and the retail units at what Eu emphasises as "quality tenants".
The total development of the project is expected to take 8 to 10 years. While the retail units and innovation centre will be held by the developer for recurring income, the rest of the products are expected to be put on the market.
But isn't competition in the property market already very intense? "Not based on the concept that Jerde is coming up with," responds Eu.
The market will be waiting for details of I-City as it is being unfolded. Pricing, layout and timing of the specific launches will, no doubt, have a significant impact on the market's response.