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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

YNH plans condo project atop Genting Highlands

PETALING JAYA: A rare piece of land on Genting Highlands has been snapped up by YNH Property Bhd which will build holiday condominiums amid the rarefied air there.

It is believed most of the land on the highlands is owned by the Genting group.

YNH itself was surprised that there was land available and offered by a company. It completed the land purchase at the end of last year but did not announce it as the sum involved is not substantial relative to its equity.

YNH paid RM16mil for 95 acres which an official described as being on the same level as the casino. “If it’s on the Awana or Gohtong Jaya level, we wouldn’t have bought it,” a company official told StarBiz yesterday.

The Awana hotel and resort and Gohtong Jaya township are some distance below the peak of Genting Highlands and therefore, less cooling. The land that YNH bought is near the top where the temperature is around 15 to 16 degrees Celsius, he said.

Although the land YNH bought is sizeable, only 30% to 40% is suitable for development as the slope on the rest is too steep. “We’ll use the rest of the land for a golf course and jungle trekking,” the official said.

As for the development portion of the land, the official said the company estimated the gross development value (GDV) at up to RM2bil over 15 to 20 years.

It is working on a GDV of about RM50mil an acre, which it considers achievable as high-end condominium projects in the suburbs of Kuala Lumpur can have a GDV of about RM100mil an acre.

The official said the land had been converted from agricultural use to that of mixed property development. The company is preparing layout and building plans for approval from the Pahang state authorities, and hopes to launch sales next year.

Beside the cool weather, a feature that led YNH to buy the land is that there is good road infrastructure that was built by the Genting group. The land YNH bought will also be accessible by the main Genting road.

On YNH’s other projects, the official said the retail area of Kiara 163 had been sold for a total of RM200mil. Sales for the apartment units of this project in the Mont’ Kiara area of Kuala Lumpur have not been launched yet.

Meanwhile, it has also sold the retail units in the first phase of Menara YNH, near Shangri-La Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. The units in the retail podium were sold for RM300mil and the company expects to start construction of that in three months’ time.

Analysts, however, were disappointed at a recent briefing when they were informed of a further delay in the sale of one of the twin towers of Menara YNH to Kuwait Finance House. The sale and purchase agreement for that might not be signed till next year, they were told.

By The Star (by C.S.Tan)

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