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Saturday, December 8, 2007

High-end condo beside Grand Millennium hotel

SINGAPORE tycoon Kwek Leng Beng will be building a 42-storey high-end condominum next to his Grand Millennium Hotel. The convex golden steel and glass structure will be located next to the newly refurbished Grand Millennium, along Jalan Bukit Bintang and will have an additional 15-storey crown.

“It will be iconic and special,” says Kwek.

Known as Millennium Residence, the project will be developed by City Developments (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, with its headquarters in City Developments Ltd (CDL), which is part of Singapore’s Hong Leong group of companies.

CDL developed The Sail @ Marina Bay, The Oceanfront @ Sentosa Cove, One Shenton and St Regis Residences, Singapore. The company has built more than 20,000 luxury homes and today manages close to five million sq ft of lettable commercial and residential space in Singapore and the region. CDL has a presence in over 20 countries with over 250 subsidiaries in five companies listed on the stock exchange of Auckland, Hong Kong, London, Manila and Singapore.

The last several years, developers from Singapore have been buying up land or entering into joint ventures to build high-end luxury condominiums in the Klang Valley.

Having been in the real estate for four decades, he is building his first condominium in Malaysia.

“We have a lot of properties and land bank in Singapore. We are in the country we know best. Today, it is not so much about financial resources. If you are a good company, you can get all the financial resources. It is about talent. Our policy is to put the best people we have in the place they know best. If you are doing very well in your hometown, that is wonderful.

“My strategy in the hotel industry is the same. I have people who want to buy my hotels. I have been operating as a hotelier for so many years and with the appreciation of land, now is the time to unlock value. And the trend today is a combination of hotel and serviced apartment, with the hotel providing the service. We are in a position to do that with Millennium Residence. In short, we remain at the forefront of the industry. And we see some international chains following us.”

Kwek personally saw to the design, which is by world renown architect Carlos Ott whose work includes Opera de la Bastille in Paris, the National Bank of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. His more recent masterpieces include One Shenton and The Solitaire and the Cliveden in Grange luxury apartments in Singapore.

World renown architect Carlos Ott

Millennium Residence will complement the hotel both in terms of architecture and colour. The exterior will be gold, with lots of glass and steel and it will have a total of 135 units with one, two and three-bedroom units. It will be launched the first half of next year.

The pricing has not been decided but it will be around RM1,800 per sq ft. Demand is expected to be good because of its location and despite the more than 20-over condominium projects (totalling 5,000-odd units) that will be launched next year.

“There will be a market for this, because of its location. The quality will be there,” says Kwek.

An artist’s impression of the convex iconic structure, Millennium Residence, beside Grand Millennium hotel

The units will be fitted out with Bravat sanitaryware, Hansgrohe fittings from Germany, Legrand lighting control system from France. The kitchen features German brands including Miele cooker hood and hob, build-in oven, Bosch refrigerator, washing machine and dryer.

“We will give value for money and buyers will be happy. I have three funds who want to buy en bloc. I also know long-staying guests who are interested. Even if there are 8,000 units in Kuala Lumpur, there will be demand because of this location.”

Kwek says the concept of apartments serviced by a fine hotel is currently very popular in Singapore.

By The Star


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