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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Timely opportunity to liven up the city

The Government’s plan to tender some of its land in Kuala Lumpur for development by the private sector must be one of the most awaited news by property industry players as sizeable land has become scarce in the capital city.

Given that most of these parcels are located in prime locations and offer good potential to be redeveloped further add to the excitement.

Probably the most sought after land includes the 50 acres at Jalan Cochrane worth some RM2bil and the 20-30 acres in Ampang Hilir near Kuala Lumpur city centre.

There are other smaller parcels in Jalan Stonor, Brickfields and Bukit Ledang (off Jalan Duta).

This should be the best opportunity to undertake a thorough study on some of the interesting and necessary projects that will further add value to the people and liven up the city.

Although there are a number of ongoing residential developments in the city, most of them are high-end residences that are out of reach of the middle income bracket.

What is lacking is good and well planned projects that have smaller built-up and are priced more affordably to cater to a broader range of buyers.

Projects worth looking into include small office home office to cater to small business start ups, apartments from 1,000 sq ft to 2,000 sq ft and family lifestyle facilities.

Most cities around the world have beautiful parks and a number of structures dedicated to promote art and culture. Kuala Lumpur can benefit from these types of projects.

It is necessary to draw up a well thought out master plan that spells out the broad development plans and concepts for the government land i.e. whether projects should be residential or commercial, the property types and price range.

Adopting an open tender process to identify the best developers for the land will be ideal as it will attract higher quality proposals from calibre developers.

It will facilitate greater participation from industry players with the right track record and expertise to add value to the land.

It will also be in compliance with the Treasury’s rule which requires all projects worth more than RM500,000 to be subject to open tender.

Ultimately, there will be more well-planned developments and higher revenue for the Government, which will benefit all Malaysians and the country.

The Government’s plan to form a joint venture with the Employees Provident Fund to promote the development of 3,000 acres of Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia land in Sungei Buloh will also be followed closely.

All the necessary components should be holistically and carefully thought out to ensure it becomes a model township not only for the Klang Valley but the whole country.

As Sungei Buloh is well known for its road congestion, the relevant authorities must come up with proper traffic planning.

There should be designated areas for the right types of residential and commercial properties, well linked and highly efficient public transport infrastructure and sufficient public facilities.

Deputy news editor Angie Ng hopes this timely opportunity to raise the quality of the living environment will not be wasted.

By The Star (by Angie Ng)

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