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Saturday, May 23, 2009

IOI optimistic on RM1bil development project in Iskandar

Simon Heng (left) with senior manager, marketing and sales department Kelvin Tang at the Taman Kempas Utama showhouses. “We are looking at RM1bil in gross development value and the project will keep us busy for the next 10 years,’’ Heng told StarBiz.

JOHOR BARU: IOI Properties Bhd is banking on the strategic location of its newly launched Taman Kempas Utama within Iskandar Malaysia as the project’s main selling point.

Senior general manager (property division) Simon Heng said the project’s location in the Kempas-Tebrau growth corridor augur well for the company.

The Kempas-Tebrau corridor is currently the hottest spot for property development in south Johor with more than 10 ongoing projects.

Heng said the project was also easily accessible from the North-South Expressway after the Skudai toll plaza, Jalan Kempas Lama and Jalan Senai-Seelong.

“We are looking at RM1bil in gross development value and the project will keep us busy for the next 10 years,’’ he told StarBiz.

Located on 101.17ha, Taman Kempas Utama will have about 2,000 residential and commercial units, while 20.2ha has been allocated for light industrial buildings.

Heng said Tesco Stores (M) Sdn Bhd, the operator of Tesco hypermarkets in Malaysia, would also set up the township’s first standalone hypermarket on 4.04ha next year.

The project is the company’s second mixed property development project in Johor after its 2,023.42ha flagship project, IOI Bandar Putra Kulai.

Besides upgraders and existing house owners in the vicinity, the project is also aimed at Malaysian professionals working in Singapore, Singaporeans, and pensioners and expatriates based in the republic.

“Demand for high-end houses is still positive in Iskandar Malaysia despite the current economic situation as there are still buyers out there with money,’’ said Heng.

He said the commitment shown by stakeholders of Iskandar to ensure that the development of the economic growth corridor continued despite the slowdown would also benefit the property sector.

Under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP), the Government has allocated RM6.83bil for infrastructure projects in Iskandar and all the projects will be completed between 2011 and 2015.

Projects approved under the 9MP include road improvement packages, drainage works, river cleaning and public housing.

These projects are in five flagship development zones in Iskandar – Johor Baru City Centre, Nusajaya, Eastern Gate Development, Western Gate Development and Senai-Kulai.

Heng said the continuous inflow of local and foreign investments and the creation of some 800,000 jobs over the next 15 years in Iskandar would boost demand for houses there.

He said the company planned to expand its IOI Mall shopping centre in Bandar Putra Kulai next year to cater for the growing number of shoppers.

The RM50mil shopping centre, spanning 55,742 sq m, opened in 2001 with 80 tenants and was the only standalone shopping centre in the Kulai-Senai area, he said.

Heng said the new wing, to be known as IOI Mall II, would be built on a 4.04ha site beside the existing shopping centre and would have 100 tenants.

By The Star (by Zazali Musa) (Posted on 22May2009)

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