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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Emkay's development of Cyberjaya enters phase 3

EMKAY Group of companies will develop the third phase of Cyberjaya for the next five years with a gross development value (GDV) of RM3.8 billion.

Emkay group chairman Tan Sri Mustapha Kamal Abu Bakar said it plans to embark on an additional 3.1 million sq ft of office space, 3,250 units of various types of residen-tial units, 856 commercial units and a light industrial area for automo-tive support services starting this year.

"A lot of people say there isn't much things to do here at night. Well, we plan to come up with something soon and no, it won't be in the form of nightclubs," Mustapha said at a briefing on its projects at Wisma Mustapha Kamal here yesterday.

He believes that Emkay's investment in Cyberjaya will increase by three-fold with the third phase of the development.

The group's involvement in Cyberjaya began eight years ago and from 2006 onwards, the company has started focusing on three types of development - residential, commercial units and office space.

Under the third phase of the Cyberjaya development, the group will venture into developing green buildings and light industry development.

The master developer of Cyberjaya, Setia Haruman Sdn Bhd is 75 per cent-owned by the Emkay Group.

On another matter, Mustapha said the group plans to own seven buildings nationwide in the near future.

Two of the seven buildings, Menara Mustapha Kamal in Damansara Perdana and Wisma Mustapha Kamal in Cyberjaya, have been completed.

The third building, Mercu Mustapha Kamal located in Damansara Perdana, will be completed late 2014.

Mustapha said the other buildings would be built over the next six to seven years. "The average GDV of each building is RM200 million."

He did not reveal the location of the other buildings.

By Business Times

Emkay banking on RM3.8bil Cyberjaya project

More to come: Emkay group chairman Tan Sri Mustapha Kamal Abu Bakar gesturing during the media briefing on a five-year plan by the group to further develop mixed property projects in Cyberjaya.

CYBERJAYA: Property developer Emkay Group is embarking on a five-year plan to further develop mixed property projects in Cyberjaya.

Chairman Tan Sri Mustapha Kamal Abu Bakar said the plan, to run from 2012-2016, would see an additional 3.1 million sq ft of office space development.

There will also be 3,250 units of various types of residential units, 856 of commercial units and a light industrial area for automotive support service.

“The total gross development value for this period of development will be about RM3.8bil,” he said yesterday at a media briefing.

Mustapha said the group's commitment to pump in more investments in Cyberjaya showed its commitment and confidence in Cyberjaya's progress of development.

“Together with other notable stakeholders, we have managed to position Cyberjaya appropriately in tandem with our Government's aspiration towards the realisation of Malaysia's first intelligent city,” he said.

Emkay Group had invested some RM1.3bil from 2006 to 2011 in developing office, commercial and residential units.

The projects provide a total net floor area of 1.9 million sq ft of office space, 214 commercial units and 452 residential units.

Mustapha said the group made a profit of RM213mil from the RM1.3bil invested from 2006 until 2011.

Emkay's development of residential units will see an increase of seven times with its plan to build another 3,250 units in the next five years compared with only 452 units built between 2006 and 2011.

“It is anticipated that an additional 7,488 residential units will be offered in the near future, which is capable of housing some 32,000 residents,” he said.

He added that the increase in supply of residential property in Cyberjaya would further boost the development of Cyberjaya as a liveable city.

Mustapha also said the group planned to build affordable homes in Cyberjaya under Projek Perumahan Rakyat 1Malaysia (PRIMA) after being given the nod by the Perak state government to build affordable homes under PRIMA in the state.

By The Star

Mah Sing notches RM2.26b property sales for last year

KUALA LUMPUR: Lifestyle developer Mah Sing Group Bhd has reported a RM168.6 million net profit on the back of RM1.6 billion revenue for its financial year 2011.

This represents 43 per cent and 41 per cent increases respectively against the net profit and revenue achieved in 2010.

Property development projects that contributed to Mah Sing's revenue and profit during the year under review included Garden Residence in Cyberjaya, Kinrara Residence in Puchong, Perdana Residence 2 in Selayang, M-Suites in Jalan Ampang, One Legenda, Hijauan Residence and Bayu Sekamat in Cheras, and Icon Residence in Mont' Kiara.

The group closed 2011 with some RM2.26 billion locked in property sales, surpassing the previous year's full sales target of RM2 billion.

Group managing director and chief executive officer Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum said the 2011 financial performance marks a new record high and represents more than 46 per cent improvement from the RM1.55 billion achieved in 2010.

As for this year, Leong said the group is on track to meet its sales target of RM2.5 billion. "We achieved about RM338 million as at February 15," he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Mah Sing also intends to roll out at least RM3 billion worth of property launches this year to achieve its sales target.

Leong said the greater Kuala Lumpur projects are expected to make up the bulk (68 per cent) of the launch targets, while Penang and Johor Baru are expected to contribute 20 per cent and 12 per cent respectively.

"We have a clear focus on residential projects this year, and our high-rise and landed residential projects make up 75 per cent of our launch targets.

"Commercial projects are expected to be a strong contributor, at 22 per cent of launch targets, and industrial projects to make up the balance 3 per cent," he said.

Leong said close to 70 per cent of Mah Sing's launches will come from products with an average unit price of RM1 million and below, in view of the current market sentiment and pent-up demand in this segment.

Launches planned for this year include new and existing residential projects such as Kinrara Residence, Garden Residence 2 in Cyberjaya, Garden Plaza in Cyberjaya, M-City in Jalan Ampang, Icon Residence in Georgetown.

By Business Times

City centre to get facelift

Can be improved: Jalan Wong Ah Fook in downtown Johor Baru will undergo major redevelopment work under the Johor Baru city centre transformation plan.

JOHOR BARU: The Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) will ensure minimal disruptions and inconvenience to the people when the Johor Baru city centre transformation plan kicks off this year.

Chief executive officer Ismail Ibrahim said the RM1.8bil project was expected to start by the middle of the year or by the end of the year and would take between five to seven years to be completed.

“The main objective of the project is to transform Johor Baru city centre into a vibrant place for working, living and doing business,” he said in an interview with StarMetro.

Ismail said ‘vibrant’ indicated activities that would generate an influx of people into the city centre, throughout the day.

He said this could be done by turning heritage buildings or those with attractive architectural elements into offices, food and beverage outlets and boutique hotels.

The same would apply to residential properties, condominium towers, office blocks and retail centre.

Ismail said it was vital to redevelop and rejuvenate Johor Baru city centre in line with its status as one of the five flagship development zones in Iskandar Malaysia.

He said there was a need to put a proper management plan, which would be a guideline not only for Irda, but also for other stakeholders involved in the project.

These included the Federal and Johor governments, land owners, businessmen operating within the city centre, non-governmental organisations and community leaders.

“Every one has to embrace to the management plan, otherwise we will not be able to see seamless transformation as we go along,” added Ismail.

He said the roadmap of the project has to be monitored during the progression and development period to ensure that every thing that has been planned work accordingly.

Ismail said there would definitely be hiccups here and there, and the roadmap must be flexible enough to adopt and absorb to changes as the project went along.

He said the city centre transformation project was more challenging as all parties involved would be working on brown field instead of green field.

He said Irda would look into the traffic management issue from day one of the project or else the situation would be chaotic for people and businesses within the affected areas.

“We hope everybody will fully cooperate with us to ensure the project’s success and welcome constructive views or opinions for our benefit,” said Ismail.

The redevelopment project covers 485.62ha area with the city central area including Jalan Wong Ah Fook, Bukit Timbalan, the former sites of the Lumba Kuda low-cost flats, the former Tanjung Puteri Lorry Customes complex and areas within the Johor Zoo, Ayer Molek prison and Hospital Sultanah Aminah.

By The Star

Sea-facing sanctuary

The luxurious Andaman sea-facing condominiums at Tanjung Seri Pinang in Tanjung Tokong, Penang, have now been launched.

Built by Eastern & Oriental Berhad (E&O), a premier lifestyle property developer listed on Bursa Malaysia Main Board, the Quayside project is touted to be the finest on Penang island.

It is sited on 8.5ha of the final prime plot of E&O’s acclaimed world-class masterplan development, likened to those of Sentosa Cove in Singapore and Sanctuary Cove in Australia.

E&O deputy managing director Eric Chan said Andaman is conceptualised to celebrate the best facets of the Pearl of the Orient with 75% of all suites meticulously aligned to provide unobstructed views of the sea and Gurney Drive.

“The Andaman at Quayside sits within the island’s largest seafront development at the northenmost cape, which is the most sought-after residential address.

“Imagine being greeted by spectacular views of the sea each morning as you awake, hearing the sound of the waves rippling across the shore from the comfort of your Andaman home,” said Chan.

This signature E&O development boasts nearly 60% of green lung and recreation area that includes a 1.8ha waterpark, the first of its kind in the region, and another 2.8ha of verdant parks.

Units range from 914sq ft for a one-bedroom suite, priced from RM973,800, to the 4,755sq ft penthouse. There are also 1+1 (one bedroom and one study), two-bedroom and three-bedroom suites at 1,188sq ft, 2,047sq ft and 4,755sq ft respectively.

Chan said Andaman’s excellent location and outstanding value proposition were expected to attract healthy local and foreign demand.

On the timing of the launch, he said the developer was encouraged by the thriving response to its earlier launches and with Andaman, it was confident that a project of this calibre was a blue-chip investment.

According to E&O (Penang) marketing and sales head Christina Lau, the condominiums are based on a hotel suite concept and all units are fully fitted with furnishing, including the kitchens and bathrooms.

Designed by GDP Architects, the Andaman series boasts eight layouts offering a range of living choices.

State-of-the-art integrated security systems, developed by GDSS Security Consultants, include perimeter fencing with fibre optic cable, CCTV and video motion detector, a home intercom and call-assist button linked to a 24-hour manned security control room, and a scanning system which electronically records the faces of drivers, vehicle registration numbers and vehicle types.

For details on early bird promotions and special packages, contact 04-8909999 (Penang) or 03-20958888 (Kuala Lumpur).

By The Star

Public can get developments on Iskandar projects

Grand ceremony: The Sultan (second from left) officiating Iskandar Malaysia Information Centre at the celebration. Looking on are Najib (third from right), Sultan of Johor Royal Consort Raja Zarith Sofea Ibni Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah (second from right), Najib’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor (right) and Abdul Ghani (left).

JOHOR BARU: Members of the public can learn of the latest development projects in the Iskandar Malaysia areas with its new information centre (IMIC), which was launched by Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar last week.

Also present during the ceremony was Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak and Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman.

Businessman Abdul Malek Abdullah,54, said IMIC provides useful information on the plans for Iskandar Malaysia.

“The IMIC is very useful for businessmen such as myself as we want to know the latest projects or ongoing developments in Iskandar Malaysia,” he said.

Student Jenny Hau, 19, said she had fun learning about the development in Iskandar Malaysia at the centre.

“The IMIC is equipped with interactive touch-screen panels where it gives an image of projects in Iskandar Malaysia and what it would look like once completed.

“I am looking forward to see how Iskandar Malaysia will look like in the next few years,” she said.

Trader G. Vasu, 35, said IMIC provided views on upcoming projects in Iskandar Malaysia.

By visiting the centre, he was now aware of the development of Iskandar Malaysia.

“The IMIC helped me understand of the kind of development and changes in Iskandar Malaysia which will benefit all of us once it is completed,” he said.

The IMIC, which cost about RM5mil, is divided into Invest, Work, Live and Play sections and is also equipped with UniFi.

The centre, built on an area of 19,057 sq feet, is projected to receive 200,000 visitors per annum and is located in Danga Bay.

IMIC is open on Tuesdays to Sundays between 10am and 7pm and is closed every Monday and during public holidays.

By The Star

New residential site for S’pore

Spring Grove being considered for collective sale but the process may be difficult

SINGAPORE: One of the largest residential sites in Grange Road could hit the market if talks between home owners and the US embassy are successful.

Spring Grove on the site of the former residence of the US ambassador is being considered for collective sale, although the process is likely to prove difficult due to the complex nature of the estate's ownership.

The 24,481-sq-m plot was acquired from the US government by City Developments more than 20 years ago and developed into a 325-unit condominium.

It has a 99-year lease that started on Dec 1, 1991. Ownership will revert to the US government which has freehold rights to the estate at the end of that period.

This is unusual as it is the government that usually sells 99-year leasehold sites in its land sales programme while holding its freehold interest.

In November, the embassy told a committee hoping to have the estate converted to freehold status that the “most appropriate way forward” for both parties would be through open bidding for their respective rights.

This would typically mean that the MCST subsidiary proprietors or home owners consider the potential of a collective sale, said the notice obtained by The Straits Times.

“The combined offer of vacant possession of land along with either long-term leasehold or freehold rights would be quite compelling, given the location and size of the estate in Prime District 9 and is likely, in our view, to offer the best possible returns to both parties in an open and transparent manner.” The notice also requested that home owners consider forming a sales committee for the estate.

Spring Grove's management committee chairman Parag Goradia said the sales committee would be formed after the estate's EGM in April. The block was expected to fetch “over a billion dollars” and was likely to come onto the market in the next six to 12 months, he added.

Goradia noted that most residents wanted to sell en bloc while the US government was still keen to divest its interest.

However, there are concerns from those who recently bought units there, as they would have to pay the sellers' stamp duty on a sale. Other owners want to continue to stay at Spring Grove.

Experts said a possible collective sale would involve a more complicated process.

Credo Real Estate managing director Karamjit Singh said home owners and the US government must first enter into a joint sale agreement to sell the freehold land and building and agree on the total sale price and how they would share the proceeds.

“While there are no precedents on sharing formulas between the home owners and the freehold interest owner in an en bloc sale there could be parallels drawn from how leasehold en blocs are priced against the top-up premium payable to the state,” he added.

Law firm Rodyk & Davidson partner Norman Ho said two separate tenders could also be conducted simultaneously: one for home owners collectively for the remainder of their 99-year lease and another on behalf of the US embassy, either for an additional leasehold interest or the sale of the estate's freehold right.

By The Straits Times

US housing woes slowing recovery

WASHINGTON: The struggling US housing market is a “significant drag” on the overall economic recovery, Federal Reserve governor Elizabeth Duke told Congress in testimony obtained by Reuters.

“The failure of the housing market to respond to lower interest rates as vigorously as it has in the past indicates that factors other than financial conditions may be restraining improvements in mortgage credit and housing market conditions,” she said.

High rates of foreclosures were likely to persist for a while and push home prices down, Duke said in testimony prepared for delivery to the Senate Banking Committee.

The Fed has in recent months emphasised that turmoil in housing markets, where US homeowners have lost US$7 trillion in equity since 2006 from falling home prices, is a serious impediment to more robust growth.

The central bank released a study of housing woes in January that was criticised by Republican lawmakers for political meddling, but Fed officials have continued to voice qualms about the damage done by housing market setbacks.

Duke said the elevated pace of foreclosures was likely to continue “for quite a while” and would push prices down further. While some retrenchment from the over-eager lending that preceded the 2007/2009 recession had been necessary, current lending caution appeared to be standing in the way of lending even to credit-worthy households, she said.

By Reuters