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Sunday, July 27, 2008

2009 launch for IJM Penang project

An artist's impression of The Light.

KUALA LUMPUR: IJM Land Bhd's flagship development in Penang, The Light, valued at RM4.5bil, will be launched early next year.

Work on the 152-acre mixed residential and commercial development, on 338 acres of reclaimed land along the eastern coastline of Penang (near Tesco hypermarket), will begin in September and scheduled for completion in 2017.

IJM Corp Bhd deputy chief executive officer and deputy managing director Teh Kean Ming told StarBiz yesterday the development would comprise very upmarket waterfront villas, condominiums, office buildings, a hotel, shopping complex, “floating restaurant” as well as facilities for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions. There will also be an amphitheatre, and an event stage on the sea, waterways and canals.

“This will be a very unique waterfront development that we plan to launch in the first quarter of next year. We may launch some low-rise condominiums and the water villas first,” he said, adding that the indicative price of the villas was about RM10mil each.

IJM Land managing director Datuk Soam Heng Choon said The Light would transform Penang into a modern and progressive state.

“The Light Waterfront is IJM Land's jewel in the crown. We are very proud of the project and are extremely excited about what it means for Penang in particular, and Malaysia as a whole,” he said.

Soam said the RM6.5bil mega project, to be developed over three phases, constituted over half the value of all properties featured at the i-Property exhibition, which opened at the KL Convention Centre yesterday.

He said the 42 acres under phase one would have six parcels of 1,186 units of high-end residential waterfront developments, while the 103-acre phase two would involve residential, commercial and retail properties.

He said that in line with the company's efforts to cut utility costs and promote green building concepts, The Light Waterfront would lead the way as Malaysia's premier eco-friendly development.

“In implementing this project, we will follow the guidelines prepared by The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, which will result in energy-efficient, healthier, and environmentally-sustainable buildings.

“We are committed to developing eco-friendly buildings as they will help our customers save on utility bills. This is important, especially now with rising energy costs,” he said.

Among the eco-friendly technologies are wind turbines, solar panels, a modern water management system and green roofs. The use of recycled materials in selected areas and a state-of-the-art solid waste management system are also in the cards.

Another unique “green” feature is the harvesting of coral reefs in the waterways around the residential phase.

By The Star - StarBiz - (by S.C.Cheah)

Beneton Properties to open lifestyle mall in mid-2009

BENETON Properties Sdn Bhd will open a 110,000-sq-ft lifestyle mall called Viva on Jalan Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur, in mid-2009.

Located opposite the Sentul Park, the project is scheduled to be launched this quarter and is expected to be fully occupied when it opens next year.

Viva is a mixed-development comprising a 27-storey apartment block with a retail podium. Its gross development value is estimated at RM100 million.

According to a press release by Henry Butcher Retail, the company instrumental in the planning and leasing of the mall, the annual rental collection from the retail components will be about RM2.7 million.

Beneton Properties has involved in projects like Stonor Park, 2Hampshire, Bangsar Peak and Prima Villa.

"Viva offers high quality retail facilities in a convenient shopping environment. It's set to transform the quality of retail facilities in Jalan Ipoh area from a tired neighbourhood to the latest trendy hotspot," Henry Butcher said.

The mall will adopt a main-street concept, said to be the latest and hottest retail development format in the US. This is in line with today's demand for thematic and lifestyle-oriented shopping places, it said.

The name Viva, which in Spanish means long live, cheer and lively, was chosen to represent the exciting lifestyle playground for the KLites.

The catchment for the mall includes the immediate occupants of the residential component as well as the population of around 150,000 within a 15-minute drive.

By New Straits Times

Varsity township land nearly used up

BANDAR Baru Bangi is 96% developed, and has two more years to go before its land bank is completely used, declared Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS) development controller Siti Zubaidah Abd Jabar.

The township in Bangi is one of the new growth centres developed by the agency.

The 1,869ha township has a population target of 100,000 upon completion of all project developments.

It is developed based on the “university township” concept due to its close vicinity to 18 public and private institutions of higher learning like Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor International Islamic University College, Malaysia France Institute and Universiti Tenaga Nasional.

“Bandar Baru Bangi used to be an oil palm estate before PKNS began developing the township in the mid-70s. Within 34 years, it has turned into a new growth centre and developed to almost full capacity,” said Siti Zubaidah.

PKNS project: One of the link houses at D’Cempaka in Section 9, Bandar Baru Bangi, which is installed with its own water harvesting system.

PKNS has allocated 20% of land use in the township for housing projects, 15% for recreational projects and 24% for institutional projects.

Industrial projects make up 11%, business 6% and infrastructure 24%.

“An issue of concern is the lack of public transportation, but the bus services are picking up,” she said.

“PKNS presently has eight ongoing projects in Bandar Baru Bangi that are worth over RM100 million. All these projects are done under the ‘Build & Sell’ concept.”

The eight projects are:

·46 units of two-and-a-half storey twin houses in Puncak Bangi (Phase 1a - sold out)

·48 units of two-and-a-half storey twin houses in Puncak Bangi (Phase 1b - under construction; about 40% completed)

·106 units of two-storey link houses and 20 units of two-storey twin houses at D’Cempaka, Section 9 (sold out)

·14 units of two-storey twin houses at Damai Suria, Section 3 (sold out)

·26 units of one-and-a-half storey twin factories at Taman IKS, Section 9 (sold out)

·210 units of apartments at Bangi Idaman, Section 5 (about 60% units sold so far)

·157 units of apartments at Cempaka Sari, Section 9 (unit sales to launch in Aug)

·22 units of two-storey twin houses at Villa Seroja, Section 7 (sold out)

Siti Zubaidah is particularly proud of the D’Cempaka housing project, the only PKNS development in Bandar Baru Bangi with a water harvesting system that is used for flushing the water cistern.

New technology: The individual water harvesting system installed at the houses at D’Cempaka.

“This is a new technology employed by PKNS to make use of natural resources. It costs RM5,000 for each house to have its own water harvesting system,” she explained.

PKNS’ remaining projects for the township include the construction of town houses/service apartments, office shops, a business complex and a convention centre.

Siti Zubaidah added: “Our future plan is to have social programmes for the residents to integrate and develop a relationship within the community.

“We’re working closely with the Bandar Baru Bangi Residents Committee to organise several programmes, like a weekly aerobics and kite-flying session, as well as activities for the upcoming National Day celebrations.

“The Selangor Mentri Besar (Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim) has proposed the idea of having a book street at Taman Tasik Cempaka, which will feature a street selling knowledge-building materials like books and arts and crafts items.”

By The Star (by Jade Chan)

Stem rising building material prices, Govt urged

PROJECTS under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP) will come to a stop if the government does not act immediately to stem the rising prices of building materials, construction industry bodies said.

They added that contractors could no longer absorb the rising cost of materials and were facing cash-flow problems although the market for steel bars and cement had been liberalised.

"Although these essential building materials have been liberalised, prices continue to soar to an all-time high," Master Builders Association Malaysia, Real Estate Housing and Developers Association of Malaysia, Persatuan Kontraktor Melayu Malaysia and Persatuan Kontraktor India Malaysia said in a joint statement yesterday.

The associations said that contractors may be forced to stop work, delay, or even abandon projects as a result of the costlier building materials.

"This will cause a lot of hardship to many people - clients, designers, suppliers, sub-contractors, and 140 other related industries, including the financial system," they added.

The associations said prices of steel bars and cement had gone of control since 2006, even with the Price Control Act.

In the case of steel bars, although liberalised last May, the process has not been well implemented and it has been difficult to import steel bars.

The associations said the liberalisation of steel bars and cement saw an immediate price increase by millers of 12 per cent for steel bars and 22 per cent for cement.

The higher cement price caused concrete price to rise 23 per cent, and there is a possibility it may increase further next month, they added.

The associations also want the government to undertake a quick study on the need to provide funds to stabilise prices and counter artificial shortages.

By New Straits Times

MRCB confident on sales of property projects

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) is confident its property projects will continue to enjoy good sales and tenancy despite the more challenging economic conditions.

Group managing director Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said that location and accessibility would always play a big part in the sale or rental of property, even during a downturn.

“Even during the Asian financial crisis, certain locations in Kuala Lumpur continued to register strong interest and secondary market transactions,” he said on the sidelines of the StarBiz -Institute of Corporate Responsibility Malaysia forum yesterday.

MRCB has been active in the property development scene in Kuala Lumpur while it entered the Penang property market just last year. The company is developing, on a joint-venture basis, office towers, hotels and serviced residences on 72 acres in KL Sentral. The project has an expected gross development value of about RM2bil.

Shahril said the broadband infrastructure and multimedia supercorridor status of KL Sentral was an added attraction for those thinking of relocating there for business purposes.

The company has about 100 acres in Penang and recently acquired a 3.34-acre freehold parcel in Batu Ferringhi from MBSB Development Sdn Bhd for RM26mil where there are plans for a high-end serviced apartment project.

Last June, Pelaburan Hartanah Bumiputera Bhd awarded a contract worth RM500mil in Penang to MRCB for the construction of landed and high-rise residential properties.

It is also developing the RM2bil Penang Sentral, a similar transportation hub on the island which, when completed, would connect the northern and southern halves of the peninsula. The project is a joint venture with Pelaburan Hartanah.

“Our Penang and KL Sentral property projects have a potential gross development value of RM5bil,” Shahril said, adding that property development contributed 65% to revenue, with the bulk currently coming from KL Sentral.

He said the company's bid for the RM350mil Kompleks Kerjaya 2, in Jalan Sultan Salahuddin, was still ongoing. Its construction arm's order book stood at RM2bil, he added.

By The Star (by Fintan Ng)