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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Hap Seng sets out to make a splash

Better known in Sabah, the diversified company is working on exciting projects that should strengthen its presence in Peninsular Malaysia

THE next two years mark a busy period for Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd as the developer works on new projects to strengthen its presence in the real estate development scene in West Malaysia.

While Hap Seng Consolidated has yet to become a household name in property in the Klang Valley, the developer is well known in East Malaysia, as one of Sabah’s largest township and masshousing developers. It has over the past 30 years, completed more than 10,000 units of property with a gross development value (GDV) of RM2 billion.

Hap Seng Consolidated currently has two projects in the Klang Valley that it is proud of — the complete refurbishment of Menara Hap Seng (formerly MUI Plaza) along Jalan P Ramlee in KL’s city centre and the ongoing development of D’Alpinia in Puchong.


Teh (left) and Ng in front of Menara Hap Seng

“We are focusing on property development in West Malaysia, but will continue developing our housing projects in Sabah simultaneously. Although we are a new player here, we have exciting new projects lined up for launch throughout 2009. We purchased three plots of land in KL last year and are currently in negotiations for more parcels in the Klang Valley,” said Datuk Paul Ng, chief executive of Hap Seng Land (a wholly owned subsidiary Hap Seng Consolidated).

Ng told Propertyplus that the purchases for the three parcels — one along Jalan Tun Razak, and two on Old Klang Road, were finalised in 2007. “We recently submitted the development plans for 1.27-acres of freehold land in Jalan Tun Razak for approval and it will be a RM360 million high-end condominium development. Location-wise, it is very strategically situated next to the Royal Selangor Golf Club and near KLCC,” he said.

Meanwhile, one of the tracts in Old Klang Road is located opposite the Pearl Point Shopping Centre. A RM165 million mixed-commercial complex of office suites with retail offerings is planned for the 2.62-acre leasehold tract.

The second Old Klang Road parcel is a 1.8-acre freehold tract adjacent to Plaza Prima. “We will be building a RM130 million high-end condo there. Although it won’t be the same type of luxury homes as the ones proposed for Jalan Tun Razak, we hope to elevate the standards of lifestyle living in Old Klang Road and turn it around, similar to how Sentul and Pantai Dalam have been rebranded,” Ng offered. Construction works and launches for the three projects are scheduled to take place in 2009.

D’Alpinia
Although the first phase of the RM300 million D’Alpinia is halfway into construction, the project has yet to be launched as Hap Seng will be selling the entire project under the build-then-sell (BTS) concept. The first batch of units is expected to hit the market by yearend.

The 76-acre leasehold D’Alpinia has four phases offering terraced homes, semidees, “superlink” homes, townhouses, bungalows and condominiums. Phase 1A is 60% complete and comprises 66 units of 2-storey terraced homes and 88 units of 2-storey semi-detached cluster houses. The terraced homes have built-up areas of 2,200 sq ft and land areas of 22 ft by 75 ft, while the semidees have built-ups of 2,300 sq ft and land areas of 35 ft by 65 ft. No pricing is available at the moment.


D'Alpinia's Phase 1A has already received 2,200 registrants

“We wanted to support the government’s BTS concept as it ensures that buyers get the product they paid for. In Sabah, we have always honoured our promise to buyers and delivered our products on time,” said Ng. The development is slated for completion by 2012.

Hap Seng Land senior marketing manager Choy Kim Seng added that they have received 2,200 registrants for phase 1A alone. “We add value and offer people products they want. The development has automatic gates, CCTV surveillance and alarm systems. This is so buyers don’t have to fork out more money on renovations,” Choy said.

Choy said that Hap Seng has also acquired a plot of land adjacent to D’Aplinia. The 12- acre tract, which fronts the LDP, is to be developed into an integrated commercial hub with an estimated GDV of RM200 million.

Meanwhile, Hap Seng Land West Malaysia general manager Allan Teh said the entire D’Alpinia project would be gated and each phase would be landscaped according to four themes – Balinese Retreat, Western Chic, Oriental Haven and Tropical Sanctuary.
“There will be a 2 km jogging track around the project and a large central park with a feature pond so that residents can even go fishing,” Teh said.

Menara Hap Seng
The RM60 million makeover of MUI Plaza into Menara Hap Seng was recently completed and the building looks ready for business. Hap Seng Consolidated bought the building in 2004.

Menara Hap Seng Sdn Bhd deputy general manager Matthias Loui said rentals for the offices are at RM6 psf, and from RM5 to RM15 psf for the retail podium.

“We are 98% tenanted and are waiting for some final tenants to move in. We expect to hit full occupancy in one month as we have reserved some lots on the retail podium for specific tenants.
We also have conference facilities with function rooms for rent on a daily or half-day basis. This is good for companies who want to launch new products, hold meetings and training sessions,” Loui offered.

Ng said that from March to April, Hap Seng would be putting together a team to provide 6-star service to tenants, visitors and guests.

“We will have fully uniformed valets, doormen and concierge to provide a service not offered by any other office buildings. Based on the feedback we are getting from our tenants, we can say they are excited and seem to welcome this service. To prove our commitment to our customers, the costs for these services will be absorbed by Hap Seng,” Ng said.

Menara Hap Seng is located opposite Shangri-la Hotel and behind Menara Weld. The first three floors of the 22-storey office building is the retail podium, comprising a grand lobby, lounge areas, caf├ęs and restaurants offering casual to fine dining, and speciality stores. Each floor has a space of 13,000 sq ft and the minimum space for lease is 900 sq ft.

While property development is one of Hap Seng’s core businesses, the group is also involved in credit financing, trading (fertiliser, automotive, building materials and petroleum), quarries and plantations.

The group is one of the largest oil palm plantation companies in Sabah and an authorised dealer for Mercedes-Benz and Smart vehicles in West Malaysia.

Hap Seng’s impressive Mercedes-Benz Autohaus showroom is located on a 31,000 sq ft site at the intersection of Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan P Ramlee, right next to Menara Hap Seng.

Future
A potential site for township development in West Malaysia is Hap Seng’s 500 acres of freehold plantation land in Sungai Pelek, Sepang. “We are waiting to see the development of the West Coast Highway.

The highway will not only shorten the travelling time to Sungai Pelek by half, but we believe it will open up the area, as the Kesas and Guthrie Corridor have done for their surrounding areas,” Ng said.

The group has a total undeveloped landbank of 2,900 acres with the bulk of it in East Malaysia.

By theSun (by Allison Lee)


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