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Saturday, June 23, 2012

MRCB to develop prime Bangsar land?

Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd has emerged as the frontrunner to develop a prime 8.09-ha site on Jalan Bangsar in Kuala Lumpur where the Unilever headquarters and factory once sat.

Sources said MRCB is close to inking a deal with landowner Pelaburan Hartanah Bhd (PHB).

They added that MRCB plans to build several office towers, a
serviced apartment-cum-hotel, a retail mall and boutique outlets on the plot.

The project is expected to rake in more than RM5 billion in gross
development value (GDV), they said.

“It will be an extension of the KL Sentral development in Brickfields, and may be linked to the Bangsar LRT station,” said a source.

MRCB is the developer of KL Sentral, an integrated transport hub with GDV of over RM10 billion. The project is slated to complete in 2016.

The sources said MRCB is fine-tuning its masterplan for the project and expects to submit to the relevant authorities soon.

It is still unclear if MRCB will acquire the land outright or develop it in a joint venture with PHB.

“PHB may give the land to MRCB in exchange for properties in the development and cash. It may also develop the land jointly with MRCB,” said the source.

Business Times had reported early this month that PHB was studying a few proposals it had received to develop the area.

PHB had pre-qualified more than five property developers last year, to submit their proposed masterplan for the land development, before shortlisting the list to three.

The three are MRCB, SP Setia Bhd and Mah Sing Group Bhd.

Formerly a well-known landmark housing Lever Brothers’ soap and margarine factory, the land has been left unoccupied since Unilever Malaysia moved out in 2003.

The land used to belong to Railway Asset Corp (RAC) but came under the ownership of PHB in early 2011. PHB bought the land from RAC at about RM150 per sq ft two years ago.

PHB is a subsidiary of Yayasan Amanah Hartanah Bumiputera, created under Budget 2006 with an initial capital of RM2 billion, to promote Bumiputera ownership of prime real estate.

According to Zerin Properties chief executive officer Previndran Singhe, the land, if it has been converted to commercial use, could fetch about RM600 psf, given its frontage to the busy Jalan Bangsar.

"If it has not been converted to commercial use, then I reckon it could be worth RM400 psf to RM450 psf," he told Business Times.

As a perspective, SP Setia had paid under RM400 per sq ft for a 10.1ha land on the former Kampung Haji Abdullah Hukum site along Jalan Bangsar, not too far from the former Unilever headquarters.

It is developing KL Eco City, with a projected GDV of RM6 billion on the site.

The land is said to be currently worth around RM600 per sq ft, given that several phases of the project have been launched.

By Business Times

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