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Friday, November 2, 2012

Berjaya Land plans RM9.92bil casino and mall on Jeju Island

JEJU ISLAND: Berjaya Land Bhd's (BLand) US$3.2bil (RM9.92bil) Berjaya Jeju Resort will feature the biggest casino and shopping mall in South Korea, along with condominiums, villas, hotels and a landmark building once it is completed.

The first phase to be launched will be its 51 villas and 96 “market walk” units with a gross development value of US$250mil, with prices starting from US$1,000 (RM3,300) per sq ft.

Ng: Jeju Resort will create some 4,000 jobs

BLand chief executive officer Datuk Francis Ng is confident of generating 25% return from Phase 1 alone.

“In South Korea, we can only start selling the units once we have done 20% of construction works. We should be able to start selling in three to four months. However, our pre-marketing is already starting,” he said.

Ng said this at the opening ceremony of BLand's property gallery here.

He added that for the moment, Phase 1 would be fully funded by internal funds, although some financiers had expressed interest to provide loans. The entire Phase 1 should be completed in 26 months.

Right now, Jeju Island has the support of the Central Government of South Korea to transform the area into an international tourist destination, matching the likes of Hong Kong and Singapore.

BLand's wholly owned subsidiary Berjaya Leisure (Cayman) Ltd has a 72.6% stake in the project, while Jeju Free International City Development Centre has a 19% stake and Swan Street Partner LLP holds the remaining 8.4%.

Ng said the Jeju Resort, which has one kilometre coastline, would create some 4,000 jobs and would help provide more hotel accommodations currently not available on the resort island.

“We will have some three hotels in our resort. Right now, we are in talks with Ritz Carlton to be our partner for one of our hotels,” he said.

Since venturing into the project in 2008, BLand has pumped in some US$100mil (RM310mil) on the infrastructure works itself. It bought the 75-acre freehold land for US$62mil (RM192.2mil) or US$8 (RM24.80) per sq ft.

Currently, buyers who buy properties worth US$500,000 and above in Jeju Island will be entitled to permanent residency in the resort island.

On the casino front, Ng said the group was not in a hurry to proceed with the development as presently, the South Korean government had yet to issue domestic casino licences.

The local government of Jeju Island is in talks with the Central Government of South Korea to review the liberalisation of this domestic casino licence. Jeju Island is a self governing province in South Korea.

Meanwhile, for the shopping mall component, BLand intends to develop it on its own and look for a local partner.

By The Star

Khazanah’s RM5bil project set to transform Desaru

Big plan: (from right) Themed Attractions and Resorts managing director and CEO Tunku Datuk Ahmad Burhanuddin, Firdaus and Nadziruddin explaining the Desaru Coast project to media representatives

KUALA LUMPUR: Destination Resorts and Hotels (DRH), an entity set up by Khazanah Nasional Bhd, got the cogwheels churning to change the face of Desaru, starting with its Desaru Coast Phase 1 carrying a gross development value of RM5bil.

DRH managing director Nadziruddin Basri said the first phase, covering 1,800 acres, was targeted to be completed in 2015 but its various components would be opened as and when they were ready.

“It is important to have Phase 1 come together at the same time. The idea is to stagger the project launches but have all ready in 2015.

“As for Phase 2 and 3 which are north and south of Phase 1, we have not done the details but the projects within them will be high-end tourism-focused,” he said at a briefing. “We want to raise the tourism industry in Malaysia by a few notches.”

DRH's operational vehicle Desaru Development Holdings One Sdn Bhd (DDH1) chief executive Firdaus Azharuddin said Phase 2 and 3 had not been finalised because tourism planning was not easy as consumer trends changed quickly.

“For us to tell you what we plan to build and when to complete exactly, we would be lying to ourselves. We have the land bank and we've put in key attractions in Phase 1 that we think will bring in the tourists.”

He said the remaining phases would be developed based on market demand.

Firdaus said DRH had the capability to expand outside the boundaries of Phase 1 and the infrastructure would also be ready for Phase 2 and 3 when the time came.

Phase 1 is 80% greenfield, with 15% pockets of land left for future development.

For this 15%, Firdaus said DDH1 was opening it up to other developers but whatever they brought into the area must add value to the luxury travel theme.

“We are also looking for private companies to come in and take equity ownerships in the resorts or projects we have under Phase 1 (after they are developed),” he said.

To date, there are four premium resorts featured in Phase 1 including Aman Country Club and Aman Villas, Datai Desaru under the Datai Langkawi brand, Sheraton Resort and Plantation Hotel.

Plantation Hotel will be linked to Themed Attractions and Resorts Sdn Bhd's two immersive water parks, Ocean Quest and Ocean Splash. The hotel will feature rooms and a dining area connected to the aquarium, giving an underwater atmosphere.

DRH will partner Themed Attractions and Resorts, another wholly-owned unit of Khazanah, to package services to tourists.

Other facilities available are a convention centre, golf courses, a man-made salt water river and a culinary and hospitality school.

Desaru Coast Phase 1 will also include residential development under a joint venture with UEM Land Bhd. DRH targets to have 3,000 to 4,000 mixed residential units.

Nadziruddin added that hotels and operators in Phase 1 were expected to break even two or three years after they begun operations.

The whole Desaru Coast development, stretching 17km over 3,900 acres, is estimated to take 15 to 20 years to be completed.

By The Star

Lido Boulevard work starts, first launched in 2013

KUALA LUMPUR: Work on the Lido Boulevard project in Johor worth over RM4 billion has started with Lido Residences being the first component to be launched.

Central Malaysian Properties Sdn Bhd (CMP) chief executive officer Khoo Boo Teng said mitigation works at the project site started in July, and would be completed in the next two months.

Khoo said CMP is planning to launch Lido Residences by early next year and it is upbeat on sales.

Lido Residences comprises eight blocks of 18-26 storey condominiums with 908 fully furnished units, ranging from 2,459 sq ft to 9,089 sq ft. The units are priced over RM2 million each, or around RM1,300 per square foot.

"We are targeting foreign markets like Asean and Europe. We have a lot of enquiries and are confident of launching it next year," Khoo told Business Times.

Overlooking the Straits of Johor, the 50ha Lido Boulevard is an integrated residential and commercial development that spans 2.4km along the Tebrau Straits coastal line.

The project is located within the Iskandar region and nearby Johor Baru's Central Business District, the Customs, Immigration & Quarantine (CIQ) complex, Johor Baru's railway station and the Johor Baru-Singapore Causeway.

Lido Boulevard is one of the biggest privately-financed initiatives in Iskandar. The project is a joint venture between CMP and the Johor state government, the landowner.

CMP is a private property developer majority-controlled by Berjaya Group's Tan Sri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun.

Besides Lido Residences, the project will feature serviced residences/hotel, office suites, a mall, an art and cultural centre and The Gardens.

Lido Boulevard was introduced in 2007 and was approved by over 30 departments and agencies and the Malaysia-Singapore joint-committee on the environment.

The detailed Environment Impact Assessment studies were approved in May 2008 and the Environmental Management Plan in March 2009.

The project was said to be abandoned after a portion of the land, which had been reclaimed, caved in, resulting in loss of a life, in November 2010.

Khoo said mitigation works are being carried out in accordance with the environmental guidelines. The works involve rigging out the sea area it will reclaim with sheet piles to prevent waste and debris from getting into the straits.

"Work at the project site is focused on putting in place all prescribed environmental mitigation work measures to ensure full compliance with our Environmental Management Plan," he added.

By Business Times

Overcrowding now a problem in Kajang, too

The Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj) plans to study how local authorities in Petaling Jaya and Subang Jaya controlled overcrowding in houses, as the phenomenon is becoming a problem within the municipality.

The problem was raised by MPKj councillor Arutchelvan Subramaniams during the council’s 10th full board meeting on Wednesday.

Arutchelvan said he had been informed by residents that certain properties housed more than 10 occupants, mostly foreign workers.

In addition, some units were also over-occupied by students studying at an international university.

“This is a new problem for us, because there were no such cases before the campus opened in the area,” said MPKj president Datuk Hasan Nawawi Abd Rahman.

Arutchelvan said he had been receiving complaints over the past six months now, and the council had taken the owners of some of these illegally-partitioned houses to court.

“In one case, the owner of a bungalow in Taman Tasik Semenyih had originally applied to convert the house into a meditation centre.

“However, it was instead turned into an illegal hostel with 28 partitions within, each partition with its own electric meter!” said Arutchel-van.

Hasan Nawawi said that since the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) and Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) had dealt with overcrowding problems for far longer, MPKj would study their methods of controlling the problem.

He said the council would also look into bylaws on overcrowding to check whether the existing regulations were adequate for enforcement, or whether the council needed to draft new bylaws to be gazetted by the state authority to combat the problem.

“MPSJ has been facing this problem since the colleges sprung up. Look at the Sunway area or SS15 and its surrounding areas.

“We will be calling a meeting next month so that we can start our study,” said Hasan Nawawi.

He added that the council study would be led by MPKj’s Building Control Department, and it would also involve the Health and local Fire and Rescue departments.

During the full board meeting, Hasan Nawawi also revealed that MPKj had received a four-star rating in the latest Auditor-General’s report for financial management, and was only one of two local authorities in Selangor, the other being MPSJ, to receive that rating.

“The state government had promised a RM20,000 incentive to whichever local authority that achieved that rating, so we are feeling quite good because we have also received the same ratings from the Housing and Local Government Ministry for 2011/2012,” said Hasan Nawawi.

By The Star

UEM Land plans Auto City in Nusajaya

JOHOR BAHARU: UEM Land Holdings Bhd is working on plans to build a "Auto City", a dedicated zone for motoring enthusiasts, in Nusajaya.

Chairman Tan Sri Dr Ahmad Tajuddin Mohamed Ali said on Friday the city would be developed on a 32ha site near Gerbang Nusajaya.

"We've many development projects to be implemented in Nusajaya. There will be, hopefully before not too long, something we call Auto City related to auto enthusiasts," he said.

Ahmad Tajuddin also said UEM Land has plans to build a shopping complex, under a unique concept, in Nusajaya and other development projects.

"There will be several exciting developments in the next couple of years in Nusajaya," he said.

He was speaking to reporters after the opening of the Iskandar Malaysia Sustainability Summit 2012 by the Science Advisor to the Prime Minister, Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Zakri Abdul Hamid, here.

By The Star