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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Tender to redevelop Carcosa called off

It is understood that at least nine bids for the rejuvenation of the 98-year-old boutique hotel, Carcosa Seri Negara, have been received

The government has called off the tender for the redevelopment of Carcosa Seri Negara, a boutique heritage hotel in Kuala Lumpur, barely five months after calling and receiving bids for it.

The move came as a surprise to bidders who have been waiting the outcome of the tender offer. When contacted, some bidders said that they have yet to receive the government's notification.

In a letter dated March 4 this year addressed to Business Times, the Property and Land Management Division of the Prime Minister's Department (BPH) said that it has decided to cancel the invitation for request for proposal (RFP) advertised on October 2 2009. It did not give a reason for the cancellation.

It said that a new date for a RFP will be made in the future and the parties will be invited to put forward their proposals.
The letter, signed by the director-general Hasnol Zam Zam Ahmad, said that the department apologises for the inconvenience caused.

It is understood that the department had received at least nine bids for the rejuvenation of the 98-year-old boutique hotel.

Hasnol could not be reached for comment yesterday.

It remains unclear why the bid has been cancelled. However, industry observers said there may have been some objections and concerns from an environmental and preservation point from the public as Carcosa is a heritage site and is located within a green lung of the city.

As such, the new requirements may be more restrictive, a source said.

During a briefing on October 9 2009, an officer from BPH had announced that bids were to be submitted by October 29.

Some 17 people had attended the briefing. They had lamented that the timeframe to submit the proposal was too short. Following this, the date was extended by two weeks to November 13.

The RFP document highlighted that the proposer must bear all upgrading costs and pay a monthly rental. The developer/operator must also propose a profit-sharing deal with the government.

The government had wanted bids from candidates with strong financial standing, wide experience and recognition in hotel and resort management and one with a chain of hotels/ resorts in Malaysia and abroad.

The applicant should own a hotel brand and have a proven administrative and management track record.

The same officer had also announced that Carcosa will be closed for renovation from January 1 this year and the duration of the closure will depend on the extent of work that was proposed.

All the investment was to come from the private sector, unlike previously when the government paid for all the renovation and refurbishment.

By Business Times

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