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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Bangsar residents want details on condo project

RESIDENTS of Bukit Bandaraya, Kuala Lumpur, are concerned over a proposal to develop a plot of land in Jalan Kapas.

The residents were called for a hearing with Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Ahmad Phesal Talib recently to give their views on the project.

Residents sighed with relief last year when the application, to develop a plot of land with an unstable slope in Lot 40441, in Jalan Kapas in Bukit Bandaraya, Bangsar, was rejected.

Now, the same problem has resurfaced with a fresh application for a bigger project that is being considered by the local authority.

Bukit Bandaraya Residents Association president Mumtaz Ali said if the proposal was given the go ahead, mitigating factors should be there to safeguard the surrounding residents.

“We want to know details of the project as it would affect the density, safety and security of residents in the area.

“We want to ensure that the proposed development complies with the regulations,” he said.

“We are not against development but this is a hillslope development, which is why we are concerned,” he added.

The residents were alerted about the proposed project after Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) put up an objection notice at the slope in question recently.

In the notice, the development application involves increasing the population density from 30 people per acre to 83 through the construction of two 14-storey condominium blocks with a total of 20 units with two levels of basement carpark.

The project is being developed through a joint venture agreement between the owners of the two lots, an individual and Goldhill Achiever Sdn Bhd, which is partially owned by PJX Property Sdn Bhd and is a subsidiary of SBC Corporation Bhd.

Last year, StarMetro highlighted the proposed development on Lot 40441, comprising a single 10- storey condominium block with nine units and four basement levels that would increase the area’s population density from 30 to 79 people per acre.

It was also reported that the slope had failed once in 1982 when a rubble wall collapsed while recent incidents included a landslip and water gushing out along the surface in March and May 2010 respectively.

Residents living near the plot of land and the local residents’ association are raising the same objections to the current proposed project as they did for the previous one.

Meanwhile, on the reversal in decision made by DBKL pertaining to conversion of residential premises for commercial use in the area, Ali said it would make matters worse if the premises were allowed to be converted for commercial use.

“If the premises are converted to commercial, parking will become even worse with more customers parking all over the place and in the neighbouring roads as what is happening now. So there is no justification with the indirect creeping in of commercial activities in the residential housing estate,” Ali said.

Ali added that the residents did not see the rationale in the argument put forward by parties who claim that there was a need to go commercial as DBKL had issued summonses for illegal parking when people came for prayers.

“In other words, does that mean when the residential premises have been converted for commercial use, one can go ahead and make illegal parking and summonses will not be issued?” he asked.

A group of residents who claimed that DBKL had allowed 20 houses near the Bangsar Shopping Complex (BSC) to be commercialised has caught residents in Bukit Bandaraya by surprise.

The residents want DBKL to explain why they were kept in the dark on the decision to go against their previous agreement made at the One-Stop Centre meeting recently.

By The Star

Analysts: Boustead land deal ‘positive’

KUALA LUMPUR: Boustead Holdings Bhd's (BHB) deal to buy 12.84 acres of freehold land in Jalan Cochrane, Kuala Lumpur, for RM106.7mil from the Malaysian Armed Forces Superannuation Fund (LTAT) is positive for the former, say research analysts.

The deal is a related party transaction, as LTAT is the major shareholder of Boustead with a 59.7% stake.

About eight acres of the land is categorised for residential usage, with the balance for commercial.

In a report, HwangDBS Vickers Research said this was part of the 60-acre site in Jalan Cochrane, which would benefit from the presence of a My Rapid Transit (MRT) station.

“We think there will be subsequent land sales from LTAT to Boustead for this piece of land, taking into consideration that LTAT has sold land to Swedish home furnishings retailer Ikea, which will also have a 50:50 joint venture with Boustead in the 1.2 million sq ft mall,” said the research unit.

HwangDBS Vickers Research said the price of RM191 per sq ft appeared to be cheap when compared with other land within the vicinity, its own scenario analysis assumption of RM300 per sq ft and also the stronger pricing power once the MRT station was completed.

The research unit opined that given Boustead's track record, it could be expected to successfully replicate its flagship Mutiara Damansara township.

“Based on our scenario analysis, Jalan Cochrane could add 93 sen per share to our sum-of-parts value based on RM900 per sq ft average sales price (possibly higher with MRT) and eight times plot ratio, we are not adjusting our numbers now as the first official launch (offices and residential) may only happen in 2014,” said HwangDBS Vickers Research.

Hong Leong Investment Bank's (HLIB) research unit said the purchase price for the Jalan Cochrane land was believed to be fair as it was an asset injection by LTAT.

“Moreover, Boustead is LTAT's only flagship listed entity for property development.”

HLIB Research also said the scenario was an extension of a joint venture with the Ikano group (which owns Ikea) whereby Ikea would catalyse the development.

“Although there are concerns about oversupply in the office segment and a general slowdown in the property market, we believe an Ikea-anchored mall would act as an attraction for potential buyers and enhance the success rate of the whole development over the longer term.”

However, HLIB Research pointed out that it was premature to determine the impact of the deal, due to the lack of details on gross development value development period, concept and timing of property launches.

It was also noted that the deal would increase Boustead's gearing from 99.8% to 102.2%, but HLIB Research said this was sustainable given that most of the debt at the group level could be attributed to the high initial debt at Boustead Naval Shipyard and Boustead Heavy Industries Corp Bhd to initiate the contract to build the RM9bil offshore patrol vessels from the Royal Malaysian Navy.

By The Star