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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I-Berhad aims to sell i-City office towers by year-end

PROPERTY developer I-Berhad is confident of selling off two office towers at its RM2 billion i-City intelligent township in Shah Alam by the end of this year, following its first en bloc sale on Wednesday.

Al Rajhi Bank (Malaysia) Bhd is buying 36 units of the i-City Cybercentre 1 office suites, one of the many components of i-City, for RM95 million.

"This is the first en bloc sale for i-City. We are in discussions with interested parties from Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and with serious buyers from South Korea and Australia.

"We are optimistic of closing one or two new deals by December," I-Berhad deputy chief officer Lim Boon Siong told Business Times after the signing of a mutual cooperation agreement with Kompakar Group in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

The signing was witnessed by Minister of Housing and Local Government Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan.

Lim said Al Rajhi has indicated that it would invest in other properties within i-City, but did not elaborate.

The 30.28ha i-City, which started in mid-2007, will feature 12 office towers, a 1 million-sq ft shopping mall, office suites, three data centres, a five-star and a boutique hotel, and two blocks of 24-storey residences.

The integrated development, which is envisaged to be Selangor's knowledge hub and in the league of the Dubai Internet City in the United Arab Emirates, will offer 7.5 million sq ft of built-up when completed in 2012.

For the hotels, Lim said the company was still talking to international hotel chains with strong roots in Malaysia to operate the properties.

They include Starwood, Hilton, Marriott and Accor.

"We are at the design and discussion stage now. We hope to finalise the details by year end and launch the hotels in the first half of 2009," Lim said, adding that it was also in talks with an international hospital group that wants to operate at i-City.

Lim also said the data centres are one of the key selling points for i-City.

"Ours is the first township in this region to have world-class Tier 4 ready data centres connected to the whole 30.28ha real estate via giga-speed fibre-optics network. This is one piece of the puzzle that will enhance i-City's value," Lim said.

Earlier, Kompakar chief executive officer Dr Ahmad Fikri Hussein told reporters that the company and I-Berhad will invest RM100 million to build and equip the data centres, which consists of a 3,500 sq ft hosting facility for the local small and medium enterprises, and two 70,000-sq ft Tier 4 ready data centres.

The hosting facility and the first data centre are already operating, while the second data centre will be ready by 2011.

By New Straits Times (by Sharen Kaur)

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