Malaysia Property News is a free resource website sharing Daily Property News & information about Property in Malaysia, which related to, Property Market, Property Investment, Commercial Property , Hot Properties Malaysia, Real Estate, Retail Shop, Business Park, Condominium Malaysia, Terraces & Apartment Malaysia, Houses, Residence, Resort and many more.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Towards developing world-class status for KL

Renewal: Changes are in the offing in KL.

Some quarters think that by increasing the Kuala Lumpur population of 1.6 million to 2.2 million by 2020 will result in density increases beyond sustainable limits.

And this would inadvertently results in poorer quality of life, traffic and crowd congestion, air and noise pollution and even unemployment.

But there are others who believe that if a city population declines it would lead to decay or even ruin, and eventually turned the once vibrant city into a ghost town.

The Draft Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 envisions Kuala Lumpur as a world-class city with its residents living quality lifestyles despite a projected population increase of 600,000 by 2020.

The plan states that for Kuala Lumpur to progress and prosper, sustainable development is the only way to achieve it.

According to town planner Norliza Hashim, this is only possible if the people are willing to change their lifestyle patterns and make compromises.

She pointed out that the current land use pattern was the direct result of past practices and development trends, which were based on single land use zoning.

“Things have changed, trends have changed, market forces with environmental concerns requires new and integrated approach to land use planning,’’ she said.

Norliza said to become a world-class city, there must be a more flexible approach at land use zoning.

According to Norliza, some of the coordinated efforts in ensuring and supporting the city’s growth to cater for needs of its population include allocating land for future requirements, facilitating use of land and buildings, regulating incompatible land use and activities, integrating transport and spatial development, encouraging mixed-use development and transforming, and regenerating Brownfield sites and urban villages.

“Apart from the need to protect the environment and public open spaces, improving the traffic situation and upgrading public amenities, it is also time for people to embrace mixed use development,’’ Norliza said.

She pointed out that mixed-use development encouraged a balance of housing, employment, commercial and other community facilities in the same area.

“Working and living in the same area reduce travel time. Mixed development helps achieve intensive development by using the same space for more than one purpose,” Norliza said.

A valid point and one endorsed by Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) KL branch secretary Tan Ching Meng.

Tan said for KL to compete with other world-class cities it must move with the times.

“KL cannot be frozen by history and traditions. To advance, it needs to transform with the times and undergo a rejuvenation pro-cess,’’ he said.

A good example cited by both Norliza and Tan are Singapore’s Tao Payoh township and Bugis Street, which have successfully undergone regeneration process incorporating mixed-use development.

“There are commercial, retail, residential and transit stations nearby and, despite the lack in open spaces, the residents are enjoying a quality lifestyle,’’ Norliza said.

She said this could also happen in KL with proper planning and integrated development within the inner city.

According to Norliza, in most of the world-class cities, such Vancouver in Canada, the city is well integrated with high-rise buildings and yet could also boast the most number of parks.

Norliza said this could be done in Malaysia if the people recognised and accepted the fact that the way of modern life was high-rise and no longer horizontal.

Tan, meanwhile, said KL should not be stilted in comparison to its conurbations, the aggregations of urban areas.

“The capital city should be the liveliest in the country, with individual interest balanced with the overall needs of the KL residents,’’ he said.

By The Star (stories by Bavani M)

26 areas in the city to undergo regeneration

The Draft Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 has identified 26 areas in the city for regeneration purposes. It aims to re-develop the city's older areas in order for the city to improve socially, economically and environmentally.

The 26 sites span a total area of 548 hectares in various parts of Kuala Lumpur.

This rejuvenation exercise called Brownfield development aims to regenerate older areas in the city as well as redevelop older housing and industrial areas, under-utilised land to improve the social, economic and environmental health of the city.

According to town planner Norliza Hashim, due to a shortage of vacant land in the city centre, it is increasingly difficult to look for alternative land for development and hence may stifle the capital city's ambition in becoming a world-class city by 2020.

Norliza is the main consultant engaged by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to draft the city plan.

Norliza said, however, that the Draft Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 had identified suitable Brownfield sites for regeneration and rejuvenation purposes.

The term “Brownfield” refers to abandoned or under-utilised industrial and commercial facilities which are no longer economically viable.

The city plan has identified areas like Sang Peng, Loke Yew, the former Pudu Jail, old shop houses along Jalan Bukit Bintang, former government quarters at Jalan Davis and many more that have been marked for redevelopment.

Facelift soon: The sites of the San Peng flats (above) and the former Pudu Jail (below) are among the 26 areas identified for rejuvenation.

“Different sites have different rejuvenation plans. For instance, areas with old overcrowded PPR units (public housing schemes) will be upgraded to bigger units balanced with public amenities to provide residents a more quality lifestyle while blighted housing, industrial areas and old shop houses in the city will be more commercial while the open space in front of the 113-year-old Pudu Jail has been earmarked for mixed use commercial,” Norliza said.

She said this project would provide the city with a more cleaner and orderly image.

According to Norliza, the draft plan promotes redevelopment of dilapidated sites, blighted buildings, development on infill sites, and also the regeneration of abandoned projects in the city.

By recycling land, cleaning up contaminated sites it is also encouraging a more sustainable lifestyle in the city and in turn reduces the pressure to develop on Greenfield land (green areas and open spaces).

Norliza said that the areas to be redeveloped would incorporate mixed-use development and high to medium density residential and will include public facilities, infrastructure, and urban parks with pedestrian friendly environment.

The KL branch of the Real Estate and Housing Developers Associa-tion (Rehda) has endorsed the move by issuing a statement saying that the draft plan’s redevelopment and regeneration of Brownfield sites in KL is a positive step.

Rehda said that this was in line with more cosmopolitan and mature global cities, where changing trends, shifting population and sophisticated urbanites necessitate city authorities and planners to initiate regeneration strategies to prevent slums and cities from decaying.

“With the move of the administrative offices to Putrajaya and abandoned project sites can be used for redevelopment or create more green space,” Rehda KL branch secretary Tan Ching Meng said.

Tan: Endorses the plan

“In Singapore, if a building is old and if one could get most of the owners to consent, the government can buy it back for redevelopment purposes,'' he said.

A beautiful and modern building like the Petronas Twin Towers has far reaching effects to the entire area.

“Purchasers are willing to pay big bucks just for a unit facing the KLCC and such buildings enhances the property value around the city,” Tan said.

He said that this is what KL should move towards in order to achieve world-class status.

By The Star

SPK-Sentosa set to win projects in UAE

KUALA LUMPUR: SPK-Sentosa Corp Bhd is quite confident of clinching some construction projects in Abu Dhabi, according to managing director Saiful Aznir Shahabudin.

Saiful Aznir Shahabudin

He said this was part of its overseas expansion plans and the company was focusing on Abu Dhabi because of its buoyant construction market.

“We have put in several tenders and are still waiting for the results,” he said after the company AGM yesterday.

In 2007, the company secured a contract worth RM427mil to build two 44-storey towers on Al Reem Island in Abu Dhabi.

SPK-Bina Puri JV, a 70:30 joint venture between Pembinaan SPK Sdn Bhd (wholly-owned subsidiary of SPK-Sentosa) and Bina Puri Holdings Bhd, is undertaking the mixed residential, commercial and recreational development.

Saiful said the company was also bidding for projects under the Ninth Malaysian Plan, but declined to elaborate.

At present, SPK-Sentosa had a total order book of RM500mil, which should last the company until 2009, he said.

On its oil and gas division, he said the company had three ongoing projects - the RM146.2mil Miri Crude Oil Terminal Rejuvenation Project, the KR-1 sewer system modification project in Terengganu and the MDD 134 MLNG Dua Debottlenecking project in Bintulu.

Construction contributes 60% to the group's turnover, with the rest coming from the oil and gas division.

“Overall, we are aiming for an equal revenue and profit contribution from the two divisions this year,” he added.

By The Star

MRCB, partners to build St. Regis hotel

MALAYSIAN Resources Corp, the builder of the central transport hub in Kuala Lumpur, and CMY Capital Sdn Bhd will build a St. Regis development in the city to tap rising tourist arrivals.

The project will feature a 200-room hotel and 200 apartments, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, which will operate the hotel, said today in a statement, without giving a value for the development.

Jitra Kerkasa Sdn. is the other building partner.

The St. Regis development will be located at the KL Sentral transport centre in Kuala Lumpur, already home to the Hilton and Starwood’s Le Meridien hotels.

CMY Capital owns 60 per cent of One IFC Sdn Bhd, which will build the St. Regis development. Malaysian Resources has a 30 per cent stake, while Jitra Kerkasa owns the rest.

The project will be completed in 2014.

By New Straits Times

AP Land to buy land for RM15m

ASIA Pacific Land Bhd (AP Land) plans to buy a piece of land, together with a three-storey shoplot in Kuala Lumpur for RM15.3 million cash from Atlantic Heritage (M) Sdn Bhd.

“In line with the group’s expansion plan, the proposed acquisition will provide the group with an opportunity to increase its landbank for future development,” it said in a filing to Bursa Malaysia yesterday.

By New Straits Times