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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tradewinds plans new set of 'jewels'

Tradewinds plans to demolish Crowne Plaza Mutiara Hotel and Kompleks Antarabangsa to make way for a new property project.

Tradewinds Corp Bhd, controlled by businessman Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary, plans to demolish two of its prized assets in Kuala Lumpur to make way for a "multi-billion-ringgit" mixed commercial development.

This means that the Crowne Plaza Mutiara Hotel and Kompleks Antarabangsa, both located on Jalan Sultan Ismail, will make way for a new property project.

Chairman Tan Sri Megat Najmuddin Megat Khas said the plan is in the advanced concept stage and could take more than a year to start. However, the development order for the site plan is already out.

"We have a very precious piece of land. The hotel together with Kompleks Antarabangsa is on a 2.43ha land," Megat Najmuddin told Business Times in a phone interview.
Tradewinds, he said, is looking at the possibility of building an office, retail and residence component on the land to provide the group with a recurring income stream.

On how high it would be or would it be just a single tower, he said it will be "something soaring".

Megat Najmuddin added that the cost of construction would be in the tune of "billions" of ringgit.

Based on Tradewinds's latest annual report, the hotel is 38 years old, while Kompleks Antarabangsa is 30 years old.

Crowne Plaza Mutiara is a 35-storey hotel with 565 rooms while Kompleks Antarabangsa is a 21-storey office building with five-split level car parks. As at December 31 2009, the net book value of the office building is RM159.83 million.

In April last year, Tradewinds's 85.1 per cent unit, Tradewinds Hotels & Resorts Sdn Bhd, entered an agreement to sell Crowne Plaza to Symbolic Supreme Sdn Bhd for RM384 million. Tradewinds owns 100 per cent of Symbolic Supreme. The transfer is to facilitate the development.

Based on recent land deals in Kuala Lumpur, the building together with the land may now be worth some RM1.5 billion.

The Crowne Plaza is managed by the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG). It is understood that IHG may still have eight years remaining under the management contract.

Prior to IHG's management of the hotel, Tradewinds managed the hotel on its own for a short period under the name Mutiara KL.

The hotel first opened as the Kuala Lumpur Hilton.

Tradewinds also owns Hotel Istana, which is located a stone's throw away from Crowne Plaza and Hilton Petaling Jaya and Hilton Kuching.

Other properties under the group include Menara Tun Razak on Jalan Raja Laut, Kuala Lumpur.

By Business Times

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