JEJU ISLAND: Berjaya Land Bhd's (BLand) US$3.2bil (RM9.92bil) Berjaya Jeju Resort will feature the biggest casino and shopping mall in South Korea, along with condominiums, villas, hotels and a landmark building once it is completed.
The first phase to be launched will be its 51 villas and 96 “market walk” units with a gross development value of US$250mil, with prices starting from US$1,000 (RM3,300) per sq ft.
Ng: Jeju Resort will create some 4,000 jobs
BLand chief executive officer Datuk Francis Ng is confident of generating 25% return from Phase 1 alone.
“In South Korea, we can only start selling the units once we have done 20% of construction works. We should be able to start selling in three to four months. However, our pre-marketing is already starting,” he said.
Ng said this at the opening ceremony of BLand's property gallery here.
He added that for the moment, Phase 1 would be fully funded by internal funds, although some financiers had expressed interest to provide loans. The entire Phase 1 should be completed in 26 months.
Right now, Jeju Island has the support of the Central Government of South Korea to transform the area into an international tourist destination, matching the likes of Hong Kong and Singapore.
BLand's wholly owned subsidiary Berjaya Leisure (Cayman) Ltd has a 72.6% stake in the project, while Jeju Free International City Development Centre has a 19% stake and Swan Street Partner LLP holds the remaining 8.4%.
Ng said the Jeju Resort, which has one kilometre coastline, would create some 4,000 jobs and would help provide more hotel accommodations currently not available on the resort island.
“We will have some three hotels in our resort. Right now, we are in talks with Ritz Carlton to be our partner for one of our hotels,” he said.
Since venturing into the project in 2008, BLand has pumped in some US$100mil (RM310mil) on the infrastructure works itself. It bought the 75-acre freehold land for US$62mil (RM192.2mil) or US$8 (RM24.80) per sq ft.
Currently, buyers who buy properties worth US$500,000 and above in Jeju Island will be entitled to permanent residency in the resort island.
On the casino front, Ng said the group was not in a hurry to proceed with the development as presently, the South Korean government had yet to issue domestic casino licences.
The local government of Jeju Island is in talks with the Central Government of South Korea to review the liberalisation of this domestic casino licence. Jeju Island is a self governing province in South Korea.
Meanwhile, for the shopping mall component, BLand intends to develop it on its own and look for a local partner.
By The Star