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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

MK Land to launch luxury hilltop projects in prime sites

KUALA LUMPUR: MK Land Holdings Bhd is upbeat on the real estate market and is planning to launch exclusive hilltop developments and commercial projects in prime locations to meet demand, its key official said.

According to group chief executive officer Lau Shu Chuan, the hilltop developments will feature luxury bungalows and town villas.

MK Land currently has nine projects in Selangor, Perak and Kedah.

Its flagship project is Bandar Damansara Perdana, a 303.5ha township development in Petaling Jaya, comprising landed commercial and residential properties.

The Damansara Perdana project is expected to take another 10 years to be completed and is destined to be a premier centre for business and living in Petaling Jaya.

Lau said Damansara Perdana is currently one of the biggest developments in Petaling Jaya, with sales of RM2.82 billion derived from the launch of condominiums, high-end apartments, a range of commercial buildings and semi-detached bungalows.

MK Land is planning to launch new phases at Damansara Perdana, Lau said after handing over keys to its buyers for its The Rafflesia @ Park project last week.

The new phases include The Rafflesia @ Hills and The Rafflesia @ Peak, featuring semi-detached bungalows, he added.

The Rafflesia @ Park, meanwhile, is a residential project with prices ranging from RM2.6 million. Lau said the development is expected to be completed by June 2014.

MK Land is offering a five per cent discount to buyers, with no legal fees on SPA and loan documentation.

By Business Times

Menara Binjai wins sustainability award

KUALA LUMPUR: Menara Binjai has emerged as the first Malaysian building to win the Cityscape Awards for Emerging Markets 2012 for the Best Sustainable Development Award (Built).

Designed by award-winning Malaysian firm Veritas Architects, Menara Binjai, clinched the top spot in the coveted sustainability category, beating two other finalists; the award-winning UAE Pavilion in Abu Dhabi by Tourism Development and Investment Corp and Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (M.I.S.T) by MASDAR. Both buildings are designed by Foster and Partners of the UK.

The award ceremony was held on October 3 in Dubai.

Chua Guan-Hock, a director of the developer Khor Joo Saik Sdn Bhd attributed the win to the board and consultants who worked hard as a team.

"This award is extremely meaningful and a stamp of approval of the tower's outstanding sustainability, as a market leader in Malaysia and the Asia Pacific region. Competing and winning against outstanding developments adds to the satisfaction of this acknowledgement," Chua said.

Menara Binjai, a 35-storey green office tower, located right next to Ampang LRT station, is the first dedicated officer tower in Malaysia to be awarded dual green certification - Malaysia's Green Building Index Design Assessment for GBI Certification and a Green Mark Gold CerPficaPon (Provisional) by Singapore's Building and Construction Authority.

The office tower was completed in July 2012 and new tenants, which include the British High Commission have already begun moving in.

Menara Binjai's energy-efficient operations through the materials used and features allow up to 25 per cent savings on electricity and air-conditioning consumption.

Cityscape Awards reward excellence and celebrate outstanding performance in real estate and architectural design across emerging markets globally.

Regions and countries considered emerging markets are Asia Pacific (excluding Japan, New Zealand and Australia), Middle East, Turkey, Russia, Africa and Latin America.

By Business Times

Glomac looking to expand its landbank

KUALA LUMPUR: Glomac Bhd is looking to increase its landbank to further expand its property development business.

"Currently we have about 1,000 acres in landbank and we at constantly looking at opportunities," said group managing director Datuk FD Iskandar after the company's AGM on Tuesday.

He said the company had gone through a few economic cycles and it was now on a new growth plane.

"Our unbilled sales figure will improve with the RM1.1bil in GDV launches in financial year 2013," he said.

By The Star

Expo offers latest trends to homeowners

HOMEDEC is celebrating its 10th successful year with more attractive offerings for visitors.

The exhibition that gathers all renovation-related needs under one roof will be held over two consecutive weekends at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

The first part themed Design and Renovation is from Oct 18 to 21 while the second part on Furnish and Decorate will be from Oct 25 to 28.

It features 1,500 exhibition booths set up by over 430 leading companies in the home industry, the exhibition space is spread over six halls.

Homedec organiser, C.I.S Network Sdn Bhd president Vincent Lim said the exhibition had further boosted awareness on interior design among Malaysians.

“When we started the exhibition 10 years ago, our study showed that less than 50% of homeowners would engage interior designers when they needed to renovate their homes. However, our latest study showed more than 70% of homeowners would do that now,” he told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur recently.

“Homedec is the platform to meet face-to-face with industry experts or to gather the know-hows about renovating and decorating your homes. The industry players are all here,” he said.

He added that this year Homedec had been pushed a notch up with the introduction of the Urban Loft concept exemplified by a show house designed by award-winning interior designer Lai Siew Hong and his team from Blu Water Studio.

“Homedec also plays a role to introduce future trends and new lifestyles to homeowners. With that, we also hope to stimulate the industry to come out with better designs and products,” he added.

Lai was the winner of the Malaysia Interior Design Awards (MIDA 2011) the Residential Category of by the Malaysian Institute of Interior Designers (MIID). He and his team also won the Design Excellence for Show Units (Residential) Category in MIDA 2011.

“Loft is a concept popularised in New York and London where warehouse space was converted into residential units. Moving on, Urban Loft is a space where function and aesthetics merge, we hope it will become the foundation for the future of the urban community,” Lai said.

“The 600 sq ft show house constructed on-site is a seamless open space. It is small but compact, and it meets all living needs,” he said, adding that the Urban Loft will sport a night ambience in the second part of the exhibition.

Lim said they were partnering with MIID for MIDA where the Homedec award will be bestowed to the winner of the Residential Category. The award comes with an air ticket to Milan.

Part 1 of the exhibition features the ID Showhome where 10 interior design firms showcase their works, while Part 2 provides the opportunity for visitors to experience sights and sounds in a custom-built home cinema.

The Homedec Quality Award and the Good Design Award are also at stake to reward products of excellence in an effort to raise the standard.

The underprivileged are not forgotten, too. The Homedec Care Programme will bring better and improved living condition to the Shelter Home for Children (3).

Visitors also stand a chance to walk away with cash prizes with a minimum purchase of RM100 in single receipt. A total of RM80,000 is up for grabs, RM10,000 will be given away daily.

The exhibition is open to public for free. The opening hours are from 10am to 8pm. For details, call 03-7982 4668 or visit or

By The Star

Tradewinds in land status swaps

KUALA LUMPUR: Tradewinds Corp Bhd said it has exercised the option to enter into agreements with Northern Gateway Free Zone Sdn Bhd and Benua Perdana Sdn Bhd for the exchange of the Malay reservation status of several pieces of land for a total consideration of over RM28.7 million.

These lands, measuring more than 40.5ha, are calculated at RM5 per sq ft.

“The proposed land status swapping exercise is initiated to enhance the value of the lands involved in the exercise,” said the company in its filing to Bursa Malaysia.

By Business Times

2nd and 3rd MRT lines for KL awaiting Govt approval

KUALA LUMPUR: The Government is already conducting feasibility studies on the construction of the second and third mass rapid transit (MRT) lines and will make the decision on the lines in early 2013, said the Performance Management & Delivery Unit (Pemandu’s) director of urban public transport & greater Kuala Lumpur Datuk Ahmad Suhaili Idrus.

He said the second line called the ‘Circle Line’ was an orbital line around the main Kuala Lumpur city while the third one was quite similar to the first line (the Sungai Buloh to Kajang line).

“The routes for the third line are shifted a little bit north and runs from Selayang to Seri Kembangan from the northwest to the southeast trajectories,” said Ahmad.

He said the MRT mega-project was aimed mainly at “decongesting traffic in Kuala Lumpur” as there were too many new cars on the roads.

“The number of new cars that enter our roads every year is about half a million. There are also nine million motorcycles.

“This is a very big number to cope with and no amount of new highways can cater for all new (vehicle) registrations every year.

“That is why we need a significant increase in rail capacity to achieve the 50% public transport (ridership) share in 2020,” he said.

He admitted that today’s public transport ridership levels at around 17% was “very low” compared to other cities such as Hong Kong at 87% and Singapore at almost 60%.

“The MRT project is the largest infrastructure project that this country has ever undertaken. The last big one was the KL International Airport.

“The first 51km-long line from Sungai Buloh to Kajang will cost around RM38bil,” he said at the GCC-Malaysia Trade Investment Forum 2012.

He said whenever a new highway, high-speed rail or a new MRT line was built, properties along the alignment would appreciate as people liked to live near public transportation terminals “so that they do not have to drive to work,” which was apparent in most developed countries.

He also said the government was also seriously considering the high-speed rail link between KL and Singapore.

“These are very high speed trains and depending on the design (of the trains) the speed range is from 350 km/h to 450 km/h but we will probably start with the lower (speed range) one. It is very efficient and can also reduce the travel time to between 2 and 2.5 hours. “This is nothing new, as countries such as Japan, China, Taiwan and in particular Europe have so many of them. This is a project that will transform the way people travel between KL and Singapore and it will benefit both countries immensely in the longer run,” he added.

Meanwhile, International Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir said in his speech at the same function that the signing of the Malaysia-GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) Framework Agreement in the areas of economic, commerce, investment and technical cooperation early last year would eventually pave the way for a Free Trade Agreement between Malaysia and the GCC sooner rather than later.

Mukhriz, who officiated at the function, said that areas such as Islamic finance, property development, infrastructure and education could be investment opportunities for both Malaysia and the CGG countries.

By The Star