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Monday, October 22, 2007

High value in FIABCI property awards

By The Star

The FIABCI Malaysia Property Award, now in its 15th year, has become a much sought-after award by developers and for good reason too.

Year 2005 winner in the leisure and hotel category The Westin Kuala Lumpur went on to bag the world's best hotel development at the FIABCI Prix d'Excellence 2006.

Westin owner, Ireka Corp Bhd which was in talks to sell its hotel saw an immediate 10% increase in price for its hotel property, said Malaysia Property Award 2007 evaluation chairman and FIABCI-Malaysia secretary general Yu Kee Su.

The Malaysia Property Award is the prelude for entry into the even more covetous international Prix d'Excellence Award that is presented at the FIABCI World Congress each year.

Ireka Corp sale of The Westin to Thailand-based Newood Assets Ltd which was completed in Dec last year at an average of RM1mil per room set a record in the local property scene.

The total sale price was RM455mil in cash.

Another past Malaysia Property Award and Prix d'Excellence winner, SP Setia Bhd for the Setia Eco Park project located in Shah Alam, also saw an instant gain from the awards, Yu said.

The 791-acre Setia Eco Park, which won at the Malaysia Property Award 2006 in the masterplan development category, went on to win the “World's Best Masterplan Development” in this year's Prix d'Excellence.

FIABCI-Malaysia treasurer Yeow Thit Sang (left) and Yu Kee Su showing some samples of the awards

On winning at the Prix d'Excellence, SP Setia was approached by parties in Vietnam for a joint development project, said Yu.

Last month, SP Setia announced a joint venture with Vietnam's Becamex IDC Corp, a state-owned conglomerate, to develop a RM2.1bil master-planned project named EcoLakes in Binh Duong Province located about 40km north of Ho Chi Minh City.

“Our Malaysian award and the Prix d'Excellence provides real value to developers,” said Yu.

Retail buyer's also benefited as well with many taking the Malaysian awards as a sign of a high quality project, he said.

FIABCI being a multi-discipline organisation similarly had to have a multi-disciplinary award, he said.

Both the Malaysian and the international Prix d'Excellence were overall awards, which cover all aspects of a project.

“We look at the financial sustainability of a project, and more importantly to the buyer and whether the maintenance is sustainable from the earnings generated. We also look at the social impact of a project on the surrounding area, together with the integration,” he said.

Environmentally friendly factors were becoming more important criteria for both local and international awards as public awareness of “green” issues grew, he added.

In line with the environmental theme, the Malaysia Property Award trophy started out 15 years ago as two stylised-birds symbolising nature as well as a mother bird feeding her young.

Over the years the two birds symbol was cast in gold, silver and more recently in crystal glass.

Since last year however, the trophy has become a half cocoon, half butterfly representing the maturing Malaysian property development market, he said.

The Malaysia Property Award 2006 trophy is a gold cocoon/ butterfly motif on a silver stand, against a silver background.

As to what this year's trophy will look like, developers will have to wait to see, but Yu said that it would be the same cocoon/ butterfly motif.

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