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Thursday, January 10, 2008

WCT Land unveils high-rise commercial project

WCT Land Bhd, the property arm of WCT Engineering (WCTE) Bhd, has unveiled its first high-rise commercial project, dubbed "The Paradigm", which it expects to complete in six to seven years.

The development, which covers 5.02ha of prime leasehold land, comprises four corporate towers, a block for office suites and a five-level retail mall, with total net lettable area of 2.4 million sq ft.

Chairman Datuk Chua Soon Poh said WCT is in talks with a Middle Eastern and local institutional investors for enbloc sales for the properties, which are worth RM1.3 billion.

"We are open to enbloc sales. We are talking to several investors currently," Chua told reporters without saying who the potential buyers might be.

WCT plans to launch the first tower comprising office suites by second half of 2008. The rest of the properties will be launched from next year.

Chua said WCT is targeting public-listed companies and multinational firms for the building space.

"The market rate is between RM450 and RM500 per sq ft. We have yet to fix a price," he said.

Chua is confident that the company would get good profit margins from the properties.

He is also optimistic the project will get good response as more companies are moving out of Kuala Lumpur due to traffic congestion and higher tenancy rates, towards Petaling Jaya.

"Depending on the take-up of The Paradigm, we may launch similar projects in the future, if and when WCT finds suitable land," he added.

WCT has 1,369 acres in its pocket worth RM5.2 billion, half of which have been developed. It has three projects in Bandar Bukit Tinggi, Klang valued at RM3.5 billion and one in Sutera Harbour in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah worth RM265 million.

"We are sourcing for more land in the Klang Valley. We are open to joint ventures if landowners have good landbank to develop," Chua said.

Meanwhile, WCTE has been awarded an investment certificate to undertake the development of Platinum Plaza in the Binh Chanh district in Vietnam, its first property project overseas.

The project will include a retail and an entertainment centre, a four-star hotel, a multi-purpose hall, a block of small office home office and two 22-storey office towers.

The company told Bursa Malaysia in a statement that it has received approval from the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City to set up BSC-WCT Co Ltd to develop the project over four years.

WCTE will own 67 per cent of BSC-WCT and the rest will be held by Minh Thien Construction and Trading Co Ltd.

The company, however, did not provide the development cost of the project.

By New Straits Times (by Sharen Kaur)

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