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Monday, February 4, 2008

Asiatic aims to build RM35b of properties at Indahpura

ASIATIC Development Bhd, a subsidiary of gaming group Genting Bhd, expects to build properties worth more than RM35 billion at its township in Johor, beating its earlier forecast by 17 per cent.

Dubbed Asiatic Indahpura, the project is sprawled over 3,200ha of plantation land in Kulaijaya which is part of the Iskandar Development Region (Iskandar).

The 30-year project, which started in 1997, is being developed by Asiatic's property arm, Asiatic Land Development Sdn Bhd.

"We were targeting a GDV (gross development value) of RM30 billion when we launched the project. But since Iskandar took shape, we expect to beat initial forecast," a company official who declined to be named told Business Times.

"We expect a higher GDV now also because we have added new components in the project to attract local and foreign investments," he said.

On January 22, Genting, Asiatic's 54.8 per cent parent, signed a preliminary pact with the Chelsea Property Group. They will study the feasibility of setting up Premium Outlets stores in Kulai as well as other locations in Malaysia.

Indahpura is conceptualised as a fully-integrated development, complementing the state's plan to upgrade the Kulai town into a sub-regional centre.

It has residential and commercial properties comprising shophouses, semi-detached and terrace homes, condominiums and apartments, and light industrial units.

It will also have schools. Some 37 public and private schools, and a vocational and boarding school will be built.

Asiatic has so far developed 800ha or about a quarter of the township. It has built 5,000 homes, a commercial centre, a sports complex, car city for showrooms, and four schools.

The official said it will soon build a district police headquarters and an education department.

"There will be other government institutions in Indahpura. The deals with the relevant departments are under negotiations," added the official.

Also in the pipeline is a shopping mall, to be built by the end of the year, and an 18-hole golf course.

"We want Indahpura to be a complete township equipped with lifestyle and infrastructure facilities and amenities, and entertainment. We will add more components to complement the development as the township matures," the official said.

Meanwhile, the official said property sales have improved by 20 per cent since the launch of IDR in 2006.

He said 95 per cent of sales are from locals while five per cent are foreigners buying commercial assets.

"There has been price movements. Earlier, a house here would sell for RM198,000. Now, the same unit is selling for RM248,000," the official said.

By New Straits Times (by Sharen Kaur)

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