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Thursday, March 6, 2008

More developments for IDR

JOHOR BARU: Three Malaysian companies are investing a total of RM640 million in new waterfront properties within the Iskandar Development Region (IDR).

The projects by Kota Selat Tebrau Sdn Bhd (KST), Best Reality Point Sdn Bhd and Tune Hotels Sdn Bhd are all coming up in Danga Bay, which is within a 25km stretch of the IDR waterfront.

Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said the investments were a clear indication of, not only strong foreign interests, but also growing local confidence in the IDR.

To date, the IDR has attracted some RM22 billion in total investments, especially from Middle Eastern investors. Major local firms like UEM Land Bhd are also blazing a trail with signature developments in the southern corridor.

The hive of activity has also spurred a property boom here with no less than 25 local developers investing billions of ringgit over the past year into new townships and residential schemes.

Ghani said all indications were that the IDR was on track to achieve the total investment target of RM47 billion by 2010.

The new project announcements by KST, Best Reality Point and Tune Hotels are among the latest developments coming up along the waterfront here.

KST will develop the IDR’s first high-end serviced condominium called Oakwood Residence Johor (ORJ). ORJ, a joint venture with Singaporebased Oakwood Asia Pacific Pte Ltd, will occupy a 22-storey tower block offering 235 fullyserviced units. Also to be built are a podium and two 40-storey towers, which will be converted into serviced residences.

This RM400 million integrated building coming up on a six-acre waterfront site, will be jointly developed by KST and Danga Bay Sdn Bhd. Construction is due to start in April.

“We’ve no doubt the IDR will become a regional destination and we are excited about establishing our presence in Danga Bay,” said Oakwood Asia Pacific managing director PG Mathew. Oakwood now manages serviced apartments in China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea and Thailand. Nineteen extra properties are due to open over the next two years across the Asia Pacific.

Meanwhile, construction will also start this month on a new 371-room four-star hotel by Best Reality Point. The company is investing RM120 million in the development, including RM11.5 million for land. The 25-storey hotel, which will be managed by the International Hotel Group, will be ready by mid-2010.

“We are excited about the IDR as a business proposition. I want to commend the Prime Minister
for his vision and foresight in opening this growth corridor in Johor,” said company director Mok Tai Dwan.

Tune Hotels is also investing RM20 million to open a 220- room hotel in Danga Bay, with construction scheduled to start by June. The no-frills hotel, with an on-line room booking facility, is among the six the company plans to open this year in Ipoh, Penang, Miri, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu and the Low Cost Carrier Terminal in Selangor.

“We already have 25 sites under construction and are looking for more sites in strategic locations,” said Tune Hotels chief executive officer Mark Lankester, noting that the company was among the first to make a strategic decision to invest in the IDR in February last year.

By theSun

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