BANGKOK: I-Bhd, the master developer of i-City, plans to seal a definitive joint development agreement with Thailand's retail developer, Central Pattana Public Company Ltd (CPN), within two months to develop a mall within its flagship i-City Cybercentre in Shah Alam, Selangor.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Datuk Eu Hong Chew said the mall, at a gross development cost of RM500 million and spans 1.7 million sq ft, is slated to start its physical construction works early next year and complete by end-2015.
He told the media after the signing ceremony for the memorandum of understanding agreement between I-Bhd's unit, I-City Properties Sdn Bhd and CPN here yesterday for the purpose of working towards forming a joint venture through a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to develop the mall.
"The mall will be developed through the SPV, in which I-Bhd holds 40 per cent stake while the balance of 60 per cent will owned by CPN," he said.
He stated that CPN was chosen for the tie-up due to its expertise and experience as the group is now operating 20 malls in Thailand including Central World, which is reputedly the largest mall in Southeast Asia at 5.9 million sq ft.
"We are proud that CPN has chosen i-City to be its first foreign joint-venture in mall development," he said, adding that CPN is one of the foreign companies that has a joint venture with them to develop the urban cybercentre township.
He said the company is currently looking for a partner to develop a data centre at i-City.
Elaborating on the mall, Eu said it would be located within a 7.27-hectare plot in i-City and would complete the RM5 billion Cybercentre's offering as an international business by day and lifestyle haven by night.
"Currently, we have already invested about RM250 million in the i-City Cybercentre project, " he added.
Besides the mall, I-Bhd has also developed other properties such as a hotel, office tower, serviced apartments, and small office home office including a water theme park which will open in November this year.
Meanwhile, CPN CEO Kobchai Chirathivat said the company is very keen to establish its name in Malaysia as the country offers huge opportunities for foreign companies to invest.
"We see Malaysia as the best place to start our business outside Thailand as the country provides consistent foreign investment policy. Also, Malaysia is at the forefront of developing countries among the other Asean countries " he said.
He added Malaysia is a good country to invest in as its average capital income is six per cent higher than Thailand, while its purchasing power is two times higher than its northern neighbour.