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Monday, May 7, 2012

Crest Builder JV to develop MRB’s RM1.4bil project in KL

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB) has awarded the RM1.4bil development on 2.2ha in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur to Crest Builder Holdings Bhd and its 49% joint-venture (JV) partner Detik Utuh Sdn Bhd, sources said.

For the open tender of this land, request for proposals started last June. Various proposals had been submitted by property players which included those from SP Setia Bhd and Naza TTDI Bhd.

“Many developers were looking to purchase of the land but MRB declined to sell it as it was looking for a longer term business model with recurring income,” said a source.

The land, also known as Lot 76 is opposite the Great Eastern Mall and would be developed over seven years. The development cost would be borne by the Crest Builder and Detik Utuh JV.

MRB, as the landowner would receive 22.5% of the project's gross development value (GDV) for land rights, which translates into about RM300mil.

The development would include four towers which consist of one office block, two SoFo' (small office, flexi office), and an apartment block atop a retail mall.

This development strategy is similar to the RM1.04bil tower atop the Dang Wangi light rail transit station contract which was also recently secured by Crest Builder and Detik Utuh.

Tendered out by Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd, that project consisted of a mixed development fronting Jalan Ampang where Prasarana would receive 21.2% or RM220mil of the project's GDV as payment of land rights.

While Crest Builder is better known as a contractor, it is starting to shift its focus to become a property developer. It currently has a construction orderbook of some RM950mil and unbilled property sales orderbook of RM300mil.

With the MRB land and the Dang Wangi project, this would bring its unbilled property orderbook to over RM2.5bil. Some of its previous construction jobs for other developers included Menara Binjai in Kuala Lumpur, North Shore Gardens in Desa Park City, Kepong, and Twins Damansara in Jalan Semantan, Kuala Lumpur. Last Thursday, Crest Builder Holdings Bhd managing director Yong Soon Chow saw his indirect shareholding in the company reduced following the disposal of five million shares or a 4.029% stake.

A filing with Bursa Malaysia showed the shares were disposed at 82 sen each for RM4.10mil. He is deemed interested in the transaction where the shares were disposed of by Yong Tiok Chin.

It appeared that the shares were sold to strategic investors that were acting in concert with Crest Builder.

MRB is embarking on a strategy to monetise its landbank. Its most high profile landbank that would be tendered out soon is the development of the Rubber Research Institute Malaysia land measuring 1,215ha in Sungai Buloh, Selangor.

MRB's landbank include Menara Getah Asli which fronts the Petronas Twin Towers in Jalan Ampang, the Rubber Research Institute building in Jalan Ampang, and two others, one each in Jalan Stonor and Jalan Lidcol.

By The Star

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