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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

BCorp partners Ritz-Carlton to woo the rich

Berjaya Corp Bhd and The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company plan to develop luxury condominiums that would sell for RM2 billion, as they bet that the rich will continue to splash on high-end property.

Berjaya will build some 300 condominiums, to be managed and sold by Ritz-Carlton. A standard 3,000-sq-ft condominium unit could be sold for RM7 million.

"With Ritz-Carlton's expertise in luxury hospitality and management of high-valued real estates, we're confident of attracting well-heeled customers. We're looking at offering these units at between RM2,000 and RM2,500 per sq ft," said Berjaya Corp Bhd chairman and chief executive officer Tan Sri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun.

Kuala Lumpur's current most expensive address is The Binjai by KLCC Holdings, located along the intersection of Persiaran KLCC and Jalan Binjai. It was reported that the indicative selling price is at RM3,000 per sq ft.

Troika, a project by Bandar Raya Development Bhd, also along Jalan Binjai, had recently seen transaction almost doubling to RM1,800 per sq ft, from its launch price of RM1,000 per sq ft three years ago.
Tan said he would be happy if Ritz-Carlton could sell half of the units and BCorp will keep the rest for rental.

BCorp and Ritz-Carlton expect to start marketing these luxury units in September 2009.

So far, BCorp has invested some RM200 million in the sub-structure of this development. Another RM800 million worth of job packages will be tendered out.

"We hope to complete construction by 2011," Tan told reporters in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Housing & Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan witnessed the signing of the management agreement of the new Ritz-Carlton Residences Kuala Lumpur at Jalan Sultan Ismail.

The new Ritz-Carlton Residences Kuala Lumpur at Jalan Sultan Ismail will be built on a 1.216ha site beside the Concorde Hotel and opposite Renaissance Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

It replaces the RM700 million Berjaya Central Park, launched in 2005 with the small-office-home-office concept in mind. It was to consist of a 51-storey services suites with hotel blocks and three levels of basement car park.

By Business Times (by Ooi Tee Ching)

Mall retailers keen to expand, but cautious

RETAILERS still want to expand their businesses despite the challenging economic outlook this year, said a property consultant.

"They are cautious, but are pursuing expansion. The main concern is whether the (mall) developer has the capability to complete the project," DTZ Nawawi Tie Leung Property Consultants senior director Adzman Shah Mohd Ariffin said.

DTZ has been appointed the leasing agent and retail mall manager by Pramerica's Asian Retail Mall Fund (ARMF), the investor of four malls managed by DTZ.

The malls are SSTwo and Ampang in the Klang Valley and two malls in Penang, 1st Avenue and Island Plaza, which are currently undergoing refurbishment. All four malls offer a total net lettable area of about 1.8 million sq ft.
ARMF is an investment arm of US-based Prudential Financial Inc. As at June 30 2008, it has managed US$5.1 billion (RM18.21 billion) of group assets throughout Asia.

"Retailers are well prepared to expand despite the economic downturn. They want fresh loca-tions, which is the advantage we have with the four malls. So far, during our roadshow, we have received overwhelming response," he said in an interview recently.

Malls today are no longer just a shopping destination. The upcoming malls are adopting the edutainment and entertainment features by offering a wide variety of eatery outlets, karaoke centre, cinema and bowling alley, among others.

"This trend encourages people to spend a much longer time in the mall and browse around the shopping area," said Adzman.

"Edutainment and entertainment-trend malls attract shoppers from all walks of life. Thus, it's crucial for us to ensure the setting offers the right mix of products at every corner of the building."

SSTwo and Ampang are located within a residential and commercial area. Aimed at upper and middle class families and those with children under the age of 12, the malls offer 462,800 sq ft and 580,000 sq ft of nett lettable area, respectively.

Targeted to open by the fourth quarter of this year, SSTwo offers a dedicated kid's loft with children's fashion and toys and maternity goods in addition to other merchandise. Ampang key anchor tenants, meanwhile, include a department store, hypermarket and cineplex. The mall will be ready in the first quarter 2011.

The 1st Avenue mall in Penang offers 428,000 sq ft of nett lettable area with a dedicated youth level. The mall should be completed by fourth quarter this year. Its main target markets are young adults aged between 20 and 35 years old and middle to upper middle class professionals.

Established in 1996, the Island Plaza has an occupancy rate of about 70 per cent with Metrojaya and Cold Storage as anchor tenants. Since Penang draws huge tourist arrivals with many expatriates, Adzman said, both malls in Penang hope to cater to this market.

By Business Times (by Zurinna Raja Adam)

Ritz-Carlton Residences to be completed on time

KUALA LUMPUR: Berjaya Corp Bhd (BCorp) is confident of completing The Ritz-Carlton Residences on time despite the current economic slowdown, says chairman/CEO Tan Sri Vincent Tan.

“With our experience during the economic crisis in 1997, we are ready to face the current crisis and go through with our project,” he said yesterday during the signing ceremony between BCorp subsidiary Wangsa Tegap Sdn Bhd and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co LLC.

Tan said the 300 luxury residences would be launched in August or September, targeting the high-end market.

“We expect more than half of the potential buyers to be foreigners and, with the collaboration of leader of luxury lifestyle company Ritz-Carlton, it may help boost sales,” Tan said.

The Ritz-Carlton Residences is located at the junction of Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Ampang. It will comprise two high rise towers with 150 units each priced at RM6mil to RM7mil.

The gross development value of the project is RM2bil while completion is expected in two years.

By The Star