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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

SP Setia gets over RM1bil jobs

It will develop project, transport hub in Sabah corridor

PETALING JAYA: SP Setia Bhd is moving into Sabah where it will develop a RM1bil property project, known as Aeropod @ Tanjung Aru, and a transportation hub as part of the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC).

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi launched the SDC yesterday and witnessed the signing of the development agreement between SP Setia subsidiary Aeropod Sdn Bhd and the Sabah government.

Under the agreement, Aeropod would build the transportation hub in return for the state government procuring the alienation of three parcels of land measuring 59.21 acres and valued at RM110mil. The hub will comprise a transport terminal, new headquarters for Jabatan Keretapi Negri Sabah and ancillary buildings.

The land is sited 5km southwest of the Kota Kinabalu town centre and 2km northeast of Tanjung Aru. It is is near the Kota Kinabalu International Airport and the Low Cost Carrier Terminal 2.

In a statement, SP Setia group managing director and chief executive officer Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin said the project was a crucial stepping stone for the company into the state and that it aimed to capitalise on Sabah's anticipated economic boom.

He said the expansion into Sabah was in line with the group's goal of diversifying into other high-growth states in Malaysia as well as overseas. It currently has projects in the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia and Vietnam.

A shopping mall, a 3-star and a 5-star hotel, condominiums and small office home office units have been planned as part of the Aeropod @ Tanjung Aru.

An SP Setia spokesman told StarBiz that the company would start construction of the transportation hub as soon as possible. She said the hub would not cost more than the agreed RM110mil.

“Aeropod @ Tanjung Aru can only be realistically launched around the end of next year or the beginning of 2010,'' she said.

An analyst said that Aeropod @ Tanjung Aru would most likely cater to tourists since Tanjung Aru was in the tourist belt of Kota Kinabalu.

He noted that the company's first integrated commercial project, Setia Walk in Puchong, had done well with almost all units sold. However, the analyst cautioned that a comparison between Sabah and the Klang Valley could not be made based solely on the size of the population.

He said this was due to the state having a blueprint for development under the SDC in which the agricultural, manufacturing and services sectors would figure prominently over the next 18 years.

“Developers can tap into this for more synergies,” he said.

By The Star

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