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Friday, June 24, 2011

Ampang’s latest high-rise launched

Impressive: Tajol Rosli (left), looking at the D’Pines@ Ampang project model with Dr Foo and some others before the launch of the sales gallery.

A new residential high-rise property named D’Pines has just been launched in Ampang and is set to liven up the mature neighbourhood surrounding it.

“We are proposing a future development next to the condominium, a centre with facilities like badminton courts, a swimming pool, game room, hall and such. Those who can apply for membership to use the place are residents in Taman Nirwana only,” Sri Seltra Sdn Bhd (a member of City Motors Group of Companies) sales and marketing manager Michael Lip said, adding that there may also be retail space available.

While no other details available yet because the idea is still in the planning stage, what has already started construction is the two block 20-storey condominium towers. along Jalan Cempaka 6, due to be completed in early 2014.

“Block A will have 265 units while Block B will have 267. Both consist of units ranging from 1,321 square feet (sq ft) to 1,875 sq ft,” Lip said.

The carparks will be built in a separate block with a sundeck at the top of it.

“One of the main features of the deck is the freeform pool with sand beach while the other is the ‘forest park’. There will also be a playground, yoga zone, barbeque area and gymnasium,” he said.

According to Lip, selected units will also have a skydeck, an open air platform that can be considered as a second and more private balcony, accessible via the master bedroom.

As for the features of the units, all designs have minimum three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

The larger two units comes with wet and dry kitchen areas while most of the units have an utility room and yard.

Lip said that other features of the condominium is three-tier security, 24-hours CCTV and guards service while maintenance is charged at 20sen per sq foot.

“We also had several town villa and penthouse units that has been sold out. Currently, 70% of our units have been sold,” he said, adding that prices for the units start at RM380,000.

Former Perak Mentri Besar Tan Sri Tajol Rosli Ghazali, who had planted a tree in the area back when he was the Housing and Local Government deputy minister, launched the opening of the sales gallery recently.

At the event, City Motors executive chairman Datuk Dr Foo Wan Kien said the company has come a long way to be able to develop the land that was once filled with squatters.

“Through social responsibility, we resettled the squatters amicably to a medium-cost apartment in Sri Pinang just opposite this condominium where units are between 800 to 1,000 sq ft,” Foo said, adding that they believed in a win-win situation where the living standards of everyone is upgraded.

He said that one of the key attractions of D’Pines was its proximity to the city centre and other facilities such as the MRR2, Jalan Ampang, DUKE Highway, Ampang-Kuala Lumpur Elevated Highway and even LRT Ampang line stations like Cempaka.

“There are also plenty of hospitals, both government and private nearby and schools. There are also conveniences like Tesco and Carrefour Market close by,” he said, adding that D’Pines offers one of the lowest prices for a similar project in the vicinity.

He was also worried that a build- and-sell policy that seems good now may be harmful to the public.

“Not many can finance such projects as banks are reluctant to finance it. Bigger developers on the other hand will not be launching a housing scheme with more than 100 or 200 units, fearful of the market at the time of the project’s completion,” he said, adding this could lead to shortage of affordable homes.

Foo believes that incentives such as lower premium, soft loans or suggestions such as developers only collecting about half of the cost to cover construction costs be implemented by the government instead.

The show gallery that is located at the construction site of the project is open from 10am to 6pm daily.

By The Star

MGPA upbeat on Vista Tower

KUALA LUMPUR: Real estate investment firm MGPA expects its grade A office building Vista Tower (formerly known as Empire Tower), located at the junction of Jalan Tun Razak and Jalan Ampang, to be fully taken up by year-end.

MGPA Asia chief executive officer John Saunders said the building had already recorded a 60% take-up in the last six months. Refurbishment of the tower was completed at the end of last year.

“We have quite a number of potential tenants talking to us. By year-end, the tower should be full,” he said after a signing ceremony between MGPA and Maybank Investment Bank Bhd for a syndicated term loan facility worth RM1.2bil yesterday.

Saunders said the price for office space at the 62-storey tower ranged between RM8 and RM9.50 per sq ft.

“Currently, the tenant mix is 50:50 between local (tenants) and foreigners,” he said.

The RM1.2bil syndicated term loan facility is for The Intermark, which comprises the redevelopment of the Empire Tower, City Square, Crown Princess Hotel and Plaza Ampang.

MGPA, through its Asia Fund 2, acquired the properties in 2007 for about RM760mil. The entire redevelopment is expected to cost RM2.25bil.

“In 2007, (when) MGPA acquired the development, (the) property was underperforming and neglected but we've now turned it into a grade-A office space with A-list tenants, an international business class hotel managed by Doubletree by Hilton, and a retail podium that supports and integrates the development. We will soon be completing Malaysia's first pre-certified platinum LEED office tower, Integra Tower.”

Maybank Investment is the mandated lead arranger and bookrunner for the syndication which is participated by Malayan Banking Bhd as the main lender.

Saunders said MGPA would raise the rest of the funds via equity. “The (syndicated) loan is just liquidity management.”

Maybank Investment chief executive officer, Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said the facility would add to the depth of the Malaysian ringgit syndicated loan market for 2011 which to-date stood at over RM5bil.

By The Star

Singapore's Healthway snaps up land near KLCC

Kuala Lumpur: A unit of Singapore-listed Healthway Medical Corp Ltd (HMC) has bought a piece of land near the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur for some RM80 million.

Sources told Business Times that the family-owned land, located on 19 Jalan Kia Peng, was sold to Healthcare Medical Corp's associate, Healthway Medical Development (Private) Ltd.

The buyer is said to have paid an estimated RM1,600 per sq ft for the site, measuring a little over 50,000 sq ft. The land is located just behind The Pearl condominium and between Suria KLCC and Pavilion.

A drive by the plot of land revealed that Zerin Properties is the exclusive marketing agent for the land. However, its chief executive officer Previn Singhe, when contacted to confirm the deal, declined to comment.

It was reported last year that the asking price for the piece of land was RM1,800 per sq ft and that it has potential for development.

Incidentally, Healthway Medical Development has incorporated a company called Healthway Medical Centre (KLCC) Pte Ltd. However, it is unclear if this company is related to the land buy in any way.

Healthway Medical Corp is Singapore's largest network of private medical centres and clinics of primary healthcare, dental and specialist services.

Last June, Singapore billionaire Peter Lim Eng Hock emerged as a substantial shareholder in Healthway Medical Corp. However, in October 2010, Lim, known as the Remisier King, ceased to be a substantial shareholder.

Lim made headlines in Malaysia last year when he bought a substantial stake in TMC Life Sciences Bhd. He is now the largest shareholder with 32.59 per cent of TMC, a private healthcare group.

Meanwhile, it was reported two months ago that Lim had bought 14ha of land in Stulang Laut, Johor, for some RM200 million. He was said to be planning to build a Thomson Medical healthcare facility there.

Singapore-listed Thomson Medical was taken private by Lim lastyear. It is described as a leading healthcare service provider in Singapore for obstetrics, gynaecology and paediatric service.

By Business Times

Johor set to house region’s largest film-making complex

JOHOR BARU: Johor is set to house the largest film complex in the region when Pinewood Studios Iskandar Malaysia (PSIM) opens its doors in 2013.

PSIM chief executive officer Michael Lake said the complex, on a 32.37ha site in Nusajaya, would offer state-of-the-art facilities for film production and related activities.

He said that among the facilities would be production offices, filmset construction areas and backlot (an area behind or adjoining a movie studio, containing permanent exterior sets for outdoor scenes in motion picture or television production).

The complex will have five fully air-conditioned and sound-proofed film stages with floor areas of between 1,400 and 2,800 sq metres, and two high-definition television stages of 1,100 sq metres each.

“It will become a one-stop centre, providing filmmakers with world-class facilities,” Lake said at a talk held in conjunction with the Careers, Businesses and Skills Carnival 2011 at Persada Johor here.

He explained that Malaysia had all the elements to make it attractive to film producers, such as its competitive exchange rate, lower production costs and interesting locations that could be used for filming.

“We hope to attract film production companies not only from Asia, but also Europe and the United States,” he said .

However, Lake pointed out that building the infrastructure alone would not suffice, and that PSIM needed to train talents in various cinematic, organisational and technical skills.

He added that PSIM would look into providing internship opportunities for locals who were interested in the film industry.

Lake said he had already begun marketing PSIM to the film industry overseas, and the reaction has so far been largely positive.

“Malaysia presents a new and exciting frontier, and film producers have been interested in learning more about the country,” he said.

He added that PSIM would work closely with Multimedia Deve­lopment Corp and the National Film Development Corporation to promote and market the complex both locally and overseas.

PSIM was established with RM400mil in investments in a joint venture between Khazanah Nasional Berhad and UK-based Pinewood Shepperton.

By The Star