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Monday, June 27, 2011

YTL Land breathes new life into 'old' townships

KUALA LUMPUR: YTL Land & Development Bhd will continue to rejuvenate old thriving townships and create modern integrated developments to lure local and foreign investors.

The company has a strong track record in urban rejuvenation, having undertaken projects in areas where other developers had avoided in the past, such as Pantai Dalam, Puchong, Sungai Besi and Sentul in the Klang Valley.

YTL Land, which has a market capitalisation of about RM1.4 billion and known for conceptualising Bukit Bintang, has spent a few billion ringgit to transform these areas into sought-after locations today.

It started with Pantai Hillpark, a "kampung" area about a decade ago, building condominiums with Spanish design and using metal instead of wood for some of the roof trusses.

YTL Land later unveiled its masterplan to redevelop Sentul Raya, a multi-billion ringgit project, which stalled during the 1997/98 Asian financial crisis.

As the 117 hectare site is divided by the Sentul KTM Komuter station and tracks, the concept of the masterplan characterises the two halves differently, thereby forming Sentul West and Sentul East.

Sentul East (43ha) showcases the Malaysian flavours and Sentul West (74ha) has exclusive residences, lakes and a private park.

The project, started in 2002, is the first private gated park in Kuala Lumpur and it would generate an estimated RM8 billion in sales, once completed.

YTL Land then embarked on another project in Puchong called the Lake Edge, making use of the existing natural attributes of the location, which includes the disused mining lake.

Following this, it launched Lake Fields in Sungei Besi, its fourth project in the Klang Valley.

YTL Land has used the surroundings of the ex-mining lake to create a successful residential enclave comprising bungalows, semi-detached homes and luxury terraced houses.

"Today, all these projects are thriving communities. New launches are fast selling. When we launched The Capers at Sentul East, it sold like hot cakes in two hours," YTL Land executive director Datuk Yeoh Seok Kian claimed.

Yeoh told Business Times that YTL Land is looking for more land to buy or develop jointly with private owners in the same areas.

The company is also eyeing urban renewal projects.

YTL Land currently has a land bank (with no holding costs) of over 800ha with a sales value of about RM12 billion.

Parent company, YTL Corp Bhd, is injecting prime land in Kuala Lumpur (KLCC-Bukit Bintang, KL Sentral) and Singapore (Sentosa Cove, Westwood Apartments in Orchard Road) into YTL Land for RM476 million (to be satisfied by cash and irredeemable convertible unsecured loan stocks).

Upon completion, YTL will transform into a regional player with track record in high-end residential and a bigger balance sheet.

By Business Times

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