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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

UEM Land courts local investors to help develop Nusajaya

NUSAJAYA: Besides targeting foreign investors, UEM Land Holdings Bhd wants to attract more local investors to participate in the development of Nusajaya.

Its Nusajaya project director Zulkifli Tahmali said investors could buy land in Nusajaya and develop it themselves or team up with the company in joint-venture projects.

However, UEM Land would not embark on a project if the potential partner was also involved in property development, he said.

“The best example is our collaboration with Malaysian Biotechnology Corp Bhd (BiotechCorp) in developing BioXCell, a biotech park project,” Zulkifli told StarBiz at the launch of the company’s newest housing project Nusa Bayu here recently.

Occupying a 32.37ha site in the 526.10ha Southern Industrial and Logistics Clusters (SiLC), BioXCell is being developed by Malaysian BioXCell Sdn Bhd.

UEM Land holds 40% equity in Malaysian BioXCell and BiotechCorp the balance.

Zulkifli said UEM Land’s role was to provide land and infrastructure, and manage facilities at the park while BiotechCorp would regulate, market and offer incentives to local and foreign biotech companies to set up operations at the park.

UEM Land is the master developer of the 9,308ha Nusajaya, the key driver of Iskandar Malaysia, the country’s first economic growth corridor.

Nusajaya is one of the five flagship development zones in Iskandar. The other four are the Johor Baru City Centre, Eastern Gate Development, Western Gate Development and Senai-Kulai.

Zulkifli said UEM Land owned 3,885ha in Nusajaya, of which 2,023ha was vacant land. Of the 1,862ha set aside for development, 40% was being developed and 60% demarcated for future development.

The projects currently underway are Puteri Harbour Waterfront Development, Nusa Idaman, Ledang Heights, East Ledang, Horizon Hills, Nusa Bayu and SiLC.

“Land prices in Nusajaya have increased since the launch of Iskandar and with several major projects slated for completion within the next one to two years, the trend is likely to continue,” said Zulkifli.

The projects include the RM1.4bil New Coastal Highway linking Johor Baru city centre to Nusajaya, RM715mil Legoland Theme Park, RM300mil Newcastle University Medical Campus and RM400mil Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studio.

Zulkifli said the company would only sell its value-added land with infrastructure facilities and utilities to command better selling prices like what it did for 60.7ha Puteri Harbour Waterfront Development.

He said UEM Land had pumped in about RM200mil for infrastructure and utility facilities at Puteri Harbour and the selling price had rocketed to RM250 per sq ft now from RM12 per sq ft five years ago.

“We also want to attract more Singapore investors to Nusajaya and with the improved bilateral ties between Malaysia and Singapore, Johor is going to benefit the most,’’ said Zulkifli.

By The Star

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