Hap Seng, Naza TTDI to develop RM3.8 billion project in KL Metropolis Registration

In a joint statement yesterday, the companies said Hap Seng Land Development Sdn Bhd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hap Seng Consolidated, had signed both a shareholders’ agreement and a development rights agreement with TTDI KL Metropolis Sdn Bhd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Naza TTDI.

To develop the leasehold land, the companies will set up a joint venture (JV) company, Golden Suncity Sdn Bhd, with Hap Seng Land Development Sdn Bhd and TTDI KL Metropolis Sdn Bhd having a 70:30 respective stake.

Under the development rights agreement, Golden Suncity Sdn Bhd will be granted exclusive right to develop the land within the KL Metropolis masterplan. This includes the right to design, develop, build and complete a proposed mixed commercial development on the land.

Hap Seng Group group managing director Datuk Edward Lee said the partnership would offer an opportunity for the Hap Seng Group to reinforce its presence in the property development market sector in the Klang valley.

He added that the partnership also formalised the strategic alliance between two established conglomerates and catalysed the transformation of the KL Metropolis masterplan.

“Being part of this iconic development will certainly help elevate Hap Seng Group’s brand name and consolidate our property arm towards becoming a premier property developer in Malaysia.”

Naza TTDI is the master developer for KL Metropolis, a 75.5-acre iconic mixed development envisioned to be the international trade, convention and exhibition city for Kuala Lumpur.

Naza TTDI deputy executive chairman and group managing director SM Faliq SM Nasimuddin said the JV reflected Naza TTDI’s commitment to accelerate the transformation and reshaping of the country’s Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions or MICE industry by inviting development partners in building complementing components to position Malaysia as the premier Mice destination in the region.

“It is our hope that with Hap Seng Land’s participation, it will contribute significantly towards turning KL Metropolis into a sustainable development that incorporates the principles of smart growth, urbanism and green building,” he said.

The development is expected to draw enormous interest as this is one of the last prime acreage in the Klang Valley. The land is also strategically located in an up market area with close vicinity to prime established residential and commercial centres such as Mont Kiara, Publika, Damansara Heights and Bangsar.

The site is accessible via Jalan Kuching and Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim (Jalan Duta) which connects to the KL City Centre and KL Sentral.

 

News Source: The Star BizWeek, 30 January 2016

Berjaya Corporation acquiring 25ha land within the designated Bukit Kiara Park Registration

The Friends of Bukit Kiara (FOBK) has expressed concern after it learned that Berjaya Corporation, owned by Tan Sri Vincent Tan, had acquired or was in the process of acquiring about 25ha of the designated Taman Awam Berskala Besar (TABB) or large scale public park, the New Straits Times (NST) reported.

Its president Tan Sri Dr Salleh Mohd Nor said the move was against the original purpose of acquiring the private property which could only be used for a public purpose.

“Being in Kuala Lumpur, the land is extremely expensive. Thus, there are parties eyeing this property with a view for development. This should not be allowed,” he was quoted as saying in a statement to the daily.

FOBK is a society formed to garner support to ensure the sanctity of Bukit Kiara forest.

The Malaysian Insider had previously reported that nothing had happened nine years after promises were made to turn Bukit Kiara, one of Kuala Lumpur’s most popular walking and biking spots, into a public “federal” park.

Instead, the land has been hijacked by property developers and fencing now surrounds the park. There are multiple developers involved, each working on private land.

Had things gone as promised, Bukit Kiara would be a park like London’s Hyde Park, to be developed and managed by the National Landscape Department (NLD).

The Cabinet announced this on July 5, 2006, and NLD was assigned the management and supervision of the park in August 2010, after Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s approval.

“However, far from being a green and peaceful haven, Bukit Kiara today is a scene of destruction, barricaded by developers’ fences to demarcate public and private space,” Salleh said in the statement.

Salleh said residents in the area had been actively fighting to preserve Bukit Kiara but had to deal with obstacles sanctioned by government agencies such as City Hall, as well as bureaucracy and a lackadaisical attitude. He said residents had tried unsuccessfully for many years to speak to the authorities about having buffer zones.

Salleh said the Bukit Kiara forest land (about 647ha) was acquired from a private land owner for a public park and under the land code, private land that had been acquired should be for public use only.

“A consultant was appointed to prepare a proposal that was accepted by City Hall in the late 1970s.

“Unfortunately, the government decided to award a large part of that area to a number of private recreation clubs, including the Bukit Kiara Equestrian Club, leaving only a small area covered by old rubber trees for the planned park.

“In 2007, the Cabinet responded to urgent appeals from the public and decided to gazette 466.86 acres (about 189ha) of the remaining vacant land for the establishment of TABB,” he said in the statement.

To create awareness among the public and authorities on the urgent need to gazette Taman Bukit Kiara as a public park, FOBK is holding a “Walk for Conservation of Bukit Kiara” at 8am on Sunday. Residents in the area and other concerned citizens are urged to attend.

 

News Source: The Malaysian Insider, 27 January 2016

Empire City, Malaysia’s largest shopping mall on track to complete by September Registration

The opening of the mall has been delayed several times. It was originally scheduled for opening in December last year and was later moved to May or June this year in time to capture the Hari Raya celebrations.

All construction works are now geared towards completing the entire development by September, not just the mall component but also some of the office and hotel towers. 

Even before its completion, Empire City has been chosen to be a host venue for the ice-skating and ice hockey events of the 29th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in August 2017. It is the first time SEA Games have ever hosted a winter sports event.

“This is indeed a positive news despite a recent incident involving a mobile crane accident,” said a young first homebuyer who invested his first property being a studio unit in Empire City.

Several tenants of the mall were asked to prepare for interior fit-outs after the Chinese New Year celebrations, according to a retailer who declined to be named.

“Since the end of last year, Empire City’s property developer has begun handing over units in batches at the Colonial tower after delivering Halo Sunday studio suites. It is, however, only some paperwork,” said a property investor who lived in Petaling Jaya.

“I don’t need a rush job. I just hope my unit’s workmanship is acceptable,” said another property investor who is concerned of the property delivery.

The development’s delay in completion has also affected corporate customers such as My E.G. Services Bhd (MyEG) and HCK Capital Group Sdn Bhd, who both purchased office space enbloc within the development.

Nevertheless, property owners here are looking forward to the opening of Empire City Mall, which will have close to 2.3 million sq ft in Net Lettable Area (NLA), making it the largest shopping centre in Malaysia and one of the largest in the region.

“The mix of distinctive glass façade and colonial-styled architecture accords the mall with an international feel and truly a unique crowd-puller for middle-to-upper-income residents from Damansara, Petaling Jaya, Mont Kiara and Desa ParkCity,” said a property consultant who manages several condominium units in Damansara Perdana.

“The biggest issue with Empire City will be the accessibility. Those who missed the Penchala ramp (Kepong-bound on LDP Highway) will attempt to go through the underground tunnel (beneath LDP) hence causing massive jam at the bottleneck,” said another property consultant.

According to the developer’s website, Empire City Mall’s unique 4-in-1 thematic concept will be accompanied with inter-connected retail featuring an International High Street, Colonial Street, Asian Food Street and Bar & Bistro Street boulevard-styled retail outlets.

Chic-looking al-fresco F&B and dining outlets as well as trendy workplaces will greet visitors across the several signature office blocks.

These streets come with a permanent controlled temperature canopy and will be suitable to host an array of retail brands and promote an all-hour shopping experience. There will be a large number of lifestyle café and dining choices as well as nightlife outlets.

“I would love to see some happening places coming up at the Bar & Bistro Street,” said another property buyer.

The mall’s signature luxury courtyard is believed to have international designer and luxury tenants. Despite big luxury brands that may make their presence here, the developer’s leasing team has not announced any of its tenants officially. Parkson will be an anchor departmental store with close to 100,000 sq ft alongside several other anchor tenants.

“So far Empire City Mall’s tenants have been impressive and it will certainly be a new destination for Kuala Lumpur, if not for Malaysia,” said a retail personnel who is currently covering several upcoming malls in Kuala Lumpur.

The mall is expected to open with more than 80% tenants already secured.

The mall will host a karaoke centre, an international bowling alley and an Olympic-sized ice rink with purpose-built seating and training facilities.

“The ice rink will be different than those at Sunway Pyramid and IOI City Mall because this will be the first rink in Malaysia capable to host winter sports,” said an expatriate planning consultant.

The entire development boasts over 10,000 car parking bays spread over 4 levels of basement carpark.

South Korea’s CJ CGV Cinemas will anchor a standalone 8-storey tower which host Asia’s first multi-projection theatre and Malaysia’s first 4DX cinematic halls.

Branded ‘Cultureplex’, derived from the social culture lifestyle and the abbreviation of complex, the cinema will encompass 3 formats of screening namely 4DX, ScreenX and Starium. A total of 20 screens spread out across 7 high-volume levels.

The 4DX theatre is a motion seat viewing experience coupled with environmental effects. The ScreenX theatre will have a panoramic 270 degree screen and the Starium theatre is a large screen format theatre with up to 600 seats.

There will also be a theatre called, Private Cinema, a luxury theatre which will offer a lounge and dining area. The Multifunction Hall is a theatre with flexible seating arrangement for events and more.

 

Latest progress on 25 January 2016 seen from Jalan PJU 8/1 in Damansara Perdana.

 

 

Empire City is a RM5 billion, 23-acre mixed-use development located in Damansara Perdana. along the LDP Highway. The highrise-dominated development is one of the biggest of its kind in Selangor.

It is undertaken by Cosmopolitan Avenue Sdn Bhd, which is part of the Mammoth Empire Holdings Group of Companies. The group is helmed by Datuk Sean Ng Yee Teck and Datuk Danny Cheah Joi Yong.

PTLM understands that the current “Phase 1” development of Empire City will be extended by another 5 to 6 acres to house a new commercial complex adjoined to the mall.

It will host retail spaces, a convention centre and a 53-storey The Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Residences with 288 luxurious guestrooms and suites. This tower block is the 12th highrise in the development.

In total, there will be three 5-star international hotels in Empire City; two of them being the first The Ritz-Carlton Hotel and the first Marriott Hotel outside of Kuala Lumpur city centre.

A third 260-room Artés will be the first Autograph Collection luxury hotels to be introduced in Malaysia, and will be managed by Marriott International.

Mammoth Empire is also advancing another 60-acre development opposite the Empire City’s northern end, situated on Jalan PJU 8/8. The land is surrounding a lake below a scenic tropical limestone hill of Bukit Lanjan. Ground works started since two years ago.

To be called Empire City 2, this refers to the “Phase 2” development that will offer lakeside retail mall (continuation of Empire City Mall), retail shops, international hotels, office suites, concert auditoriums and an international theme park. An iconic twin skyscraper towers will also be built here.

It was said that an elevated podium or bridge will connect both Empire City Phase 1 and 2 across the LDP Highway. The pillars supporting the connecting structure are being constructed along LDP Highway.

Healthcare provider KPJ Healthcare Bhd is also building a 460,000 sq ft state-of-the-art 300-bed specialist medical centre next to Empire City.

Across LDP Highway from Empire City, its predecessor development Empire Damansara has a retail component called Heritage Lane with a NLA of approximately 280,000 sq ft. Heritage Lane’s retail boulevard concept is mostly targeted at food and beverage outlets.

Nearby 1 Utama Shopping Centre in neighbouring Bandar Utama has a NLA of 2.04 million sq ft. Closer to Empire City, there are adjoined complexes such as The Curve Shopping Centre, eCurve and IPC Shopping Centre with a combined NLA of 1.38 million sq ft, excluding IKEA Damansara store.

Popular for its Empire Subang success, Mammoth Empire has other ongoing developments such as Empire Residence and the upcoming Empire Residence 2, both in Damansara Perdana; and Empire Remix and Empire Remix 2, both in USJ 1, Subang Jaya.

 

Hard-hit property agents in Singapore becoming Uber drivers Registration

Mr Loh, 50, is driving for Uber Technologies when government curbs to cool the market have mired property prices in the longest losing streak in 17 years and transaction volumes have plunged by as much as two-thirds since 2012.

After going half a year without doing any deals, he switched to driving and is earning on average S$3,000 a month, one-tenth of the up to S$30,000 commission he could get from a single home sale during the market’s heyday.

“The market is slow because of the cooling measures,” said Mr Loh, as he drove a Toyota Corolla he has been renting since October, when he started driving for Uber.

“We have no choice, we have to come up with means to make ends meet.”

While property agents across the globe often juggle alternate jobs in what is a notoriously cyclical business, things look especially dire in Singapore, where home prices fell by the most among the world’s major markets last year.

After seven years of government intervention to cool prices in Asia’s second-most expensive housing market, a plunge in sales volumes is hurting real estate agents even more than price declines.

With further declines expected this year, Singapore’s industry group for property agents is offering courses and helping agents get trained in other jobs, such as property management, to help them supplement their income.

“Adding skills would enable agents to at least earn a fixed income rather than only rely on commissions in this market”, said Mr Jeff Foo, president of the Institute of Estate Agents in Singapore.

“This has been one of the toughest times for property agents.”

Home prices in Singapore declined 4.3 per cent in the 12 months ended 30 September, more than in Hong Kong, China, Japan, and Australia, according to the Knight Frank Global House Price Index, which tracks 55 global residential markets.

During the past year, Singapore developers have managed to sell only about 7,000 new homes, according to SLP International Property Consultants. Sales matched 2014 levels, although they have plunged by half since 2013 and by about 68 per cent since 2012.

Singapore also has a relatively large number of property agents compared with the volume of deals. There are over 30,000 registered real estate agents in the island-state, 10 times the number of monthly property transactions, according to the Institute of Estate Agents.

In comparison, there are only 1,840 agents in Australia’s New South Wales state that handle an average of 8,160 monthly transactions in Sydney, according to CoreLogic Inc.

Mr Terence Tham, 35, had never seen such a bad year as 2015 in the nine he has worked as a property agent. In November, he decided that he could make better use of his Honda Civic and potentially increase his client network. So he signed up to become a driver for Uber.

When Mr Tham is not showing apartments, he is ferrying commuters around. To every passenger he hands out a card promoting his other job.

“This has been one of the worst years for me in the property broking business,” he said.

Services such as Uber, which began operating in Singapore in 2013, and GrabCar are attracting a growing number of property agents amid the deteriorating market outlook.

The number of rental cars, a proxy for vehicles being used for private car services such as Uber, increased 51 per cent in the 12 months to November to 27,988, according to statistics from the Land Transport Authority.

The number of driver partners has grown “exponentially” in less than three years Uber has been operating in Singapore, with a growing number being real estate agents, according to Uber’s general manager for Southeast Asia Chan Park.

Primary occupations that are commonly seen among GrabCar drivers are property agents, entrepreneurs and people in the sales line, according to Mr Lim Kell Jay, regional head of GrabCar.

After seven months without sales, Mr Ronald Han, 43, began driving a Corolla for Uber in July. That way, he can retain his old job while earning some income, he said. He works 50 to 60 hours a week driving to get a net S$2,800-S$3,200 a month.

Mr Tham says he drives his own car, from 6am until midnight. Net of costs such as petrol, maintenance and accidents, he pockets between S$3,000 and S$4,000 a month.

“This is the best trade for a property agent, you see?” Mr Han said. “You can have free time if you have an appointment, so the best is to work as an Uber or a taxi driver.”

 

News Source: Bloomberg, 6 January 2016

Country Garden unveils RM175 billion Forest City, one of Southeast Asia’s largest project Registration

Sprawled over 1,386.05ha (3,425 acres), Forest City is a 66:34 joint development between Country Garden Pacificview Sdn Bhd and Johor’s Esplanade Danga 88 Sdn Bhd, a Johor state-owned associate of Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor.

Forest City is Southeast Asia’s first and largest mixed-use green development in terms of the number of units to be built with a vertical greenery and smart city design theme.

It is built on four man-made, reclaimed islands just off the Iskandar Malaysia region in Johor. The sizes of the islands are (a) Island 1: 979 acres; (b) Island 2: 1,896 acres; (c) Island 3: 405 acres; and (d) Island 4: 145 acres.

With an estimated investment of RM175.8 billion (S$58.3 billion) over the next 20 years, Forest City is expected to fuel the economic development of Iskandar region, the main southern development corridor in Johor and neighbouring Singapore. The city is planned to house up to 700,000 people.

It is expected to be declared as Malaysia’s fourth duty-free zone, after the islands of Langkawi, Labuan and Tioman.

 

UPDATE: The Forest City, a mega development on four man-made islands in Iskandar Malaysia, Johor, was accorded duty-free area status on 6 March 2016.

 

It is the first artificial island granted the status in Malaysia compared to the natural islands — Labuan, Langkawi and Tioman. The granting of the status was one of four incentive packages announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is also the finance minister.

 

The ultimate objective of any duty-free area is to encourage trade and tourism in Malaysia.

 

According to Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd chief executive officer Mo Bin, the first duty-free shopping mall will be ready by year-end at the Fisherman’s Wharf on Island 1 of the Forest City.

 

The developer said the mall will carry a wide range of leading international brands and products.

 

Eight industries including education, healthcare and tourism will be the main economic pillars of growth at Forest City. 

Forest City is the first of its kind mega development in Southeast Asia. Car-free zone, luxury green living co-exist with smart technologies and amenities.

It is ideally positioned to become a role model of livable and sustainable future city. Forest City will have four multi-layers development and the public would not see any vehicles on the road as Forest City would be filled with greenery on the top layer while underneath is for roads and parking bays use by vehicles.

The city utilizes the most advanced 3D multi-tiered urban planning concept with lush green surroundings and no vehicles traversing its surface. It is a quiet, safe and relaxing paradise. All the vehicles are docked underground, where there are ample parking spaces and well-connected routes to the individual buildings and surrounding areas.

The entire city is covered by vertical greeneries, sky gardens, and a rooftop gardening system, forming a natural barrier that saves energy, purifies the air, conserves rainwater, and reduces noise. These features generate a forest-like environment for you and your loved ones.

Forest City is a city within a garden as it is surrounded by more than 10 km of coastline, with water streams running throughout the city. You live close to nature as the four islands encircle about 130 acres of sea grass reserve. In addition to the fresh air and pristine waters, Forest City also surrounded by majestic red mangroves and beautiful wetlands.

Forest City will plan to build Malaysia’s first smart city in line with Singapore to achieve the sustainable smart city living. Its cutting-edge security system, e.g. comprehensive property management services and 24-hour security patrols, ensures your safety. Additionally, the city adopts the digital BIM technology, which enhances product quality and promotes ecological harmony.

 

The Forest City masterplan.

 

 

“Through the unveiling of Forest City, I’m proud to note that Country Garden have completed our transformation of achieving international landmark projects,” said Country Garden Holdings CEO Mo Bin at the “Sustainable Eco-City Development Forum” and Forest City Global press conference here today.

Forest City is Country Garden’s largest real estate project outside of China, part of the group’s internationalisation strategy to establish a larger overseas presence.

Recognised by the Guangdong provincial government as one of the top developers in China, the group has delivered quality homes for two decades and has developed over 100 cities in China.

“Rather than another pure real estate project, Forest City is a culmination of our wisdom, knowledge and experience that brings to life an eco-city of the future in its true sense.

“With Forest City, we are offering a perfect mix of luxury tranquility, urban vitality and proximity in the heart of Southeast Asia,” Mo said.

Part of the first phase of ‘Forest City’ includes condominiums and high-rise coastal residences which will be released for global sales in Singapore, China and Malaysia in due course.

In a statement today, Country Garden said its sales galleries in Johor Bahru and Singapore are now open for exclusive previews and bookings in preparation for the development’s official launch in the first quarter of 2016.

“The first phase of the development will comprise condominiums and high-rise coastal residences, which will be released for global sales in Singapore, China and Malaysia in due course,” it said.

The two to four-bedroom condominiums and high-rise coastal residences are exceptionally designed and are situated within leafy foliage corridors and car-free avenues with gated security.

The two- to four-bedroom condominiums range from 818 sq ft to 1,915 sq ft.

Forest City residences will also have access to amenities including a world-class hotel, fitness clubs and swimming pool.

 

Artist impression of the Transportation Hub at Forest City, which links the city to the mainland Johor.

 

 

Meanwhile, executive director of Country Garden Pacific view Datuk Md Othman Yusof said: “This is a historic day not only for Forest City but for Malaysia, our business partners, and, just as significantly, for the global real estate industry.

Forest City represents an unprecedented alliance of two powerhouses in the real estate, financial and construction industries, and signals a shifting of the sands for the futuristic township development. Forest City also represents the perfect destination for work, play and live for a global generation in Iskandar.

As part of the long-term planning for Forest City, Country Garden is in discussions with the Malaysian government to set up dedicated entry points such as a light rail transit (LRT) system and a ferry network that would link it to Singapore and to the planned high-speed rail service between Singapore and Malaysia.

Forest City initial gross development value (GDV) of the entire development is estimated to be RM450 billion and is expected to create 250,000 job opportunities upon completion.

 

View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://www.ptlm.com.my/index.php/component/k2/11-insider/country-garden-unveils-rm175-billion-forest-city-southeast-asia-s-largest-project#sigProId3658a38aa1

Forest City Sales Gallery @ Island 1

View the embedded image gallery online at:
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Forest City Coastal Residence

View the embedded image gallery online at:
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All images courtesy of Forest City Website.

 

Container Hotel Group, Everly Group to jointly manage international youth hotel in Cyberjaya Registration

BND Global Development will develop the 300-room hotel in Roppongi, Cyberjaya, while Container Hotel Group and Everly Group will jointly manage the international youth hotel’s operations for 10 years, with an option to extend for a further five years.

The hotel is expected to welcome its first guest in 2020.

The integrated Roppongi will comprise educational, residential, commercial, hotel, office and retail precincts. It will house a SEGi College, Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences as well as an international school.

Multimedia University is also sited within the vicinity.

BND Global Development CEO Vincent Fong said the 24.7-acre Roppongi is ideal to house this hotel.

“As Malaysia’s educational township, Roppongi will provide a pleasant environment for students to study, work and play.”

Container Hotel Group CEO Ryan Loo said the group is optimistic of getting a high occupancy rate for the hotel with so many varsities located in and around Roppongi.

“We are offering affordable luxury – it could be just a night or for a whole year,” he added.

“We will lease out the rooms to cater to the needs of the guests, regardless if it is on a daily, monthly or yearly basis. We could also draw up a package to let out the rooms according to their academic semester.”

Everly Group CEO Dennis Tan noted that the hotel will offer a full range of services, including 24-hour housekeeping, F&B outlets and recreational facilities such as swimming pool and gym.

“We believe we will be able to offer affordable luxury to our guests, and their stay here will enhance their study and work experiences.”

Everly Group manages the Everly and Prescott hotel chains in Malaysia.

“We believe that it is good business to invest not only in buildings, but in communities itself. It is only with the presence of a sustainable community that we can ensure our business, too, is sustainable in the long run,” said Fong.

 

News Source: The Edge Property, 18 January 2016

Prasarana introduces the Innovia Metro 300 to Kelana Jaya LRT train fleet Registration

Fourteen four-car set trains are expected to be added to the LRT fleet, with one train set arriving each month starting May until June next year.

The first of 14 driverless Innovia metro trainsets will commence operations by the middle of this year on the Kelana Jaya LRT Line.

Prasarana chairman Tan Sri Ismail Adam said the new trains were designed, manufactured and tested by Bombardier’s Kingston Plant in Canada, a Canadian maker of trains and planes.

Upon arrival in Malaysia, the trains will be sent to the Hartasuma Westport facility in Klang for final assemble, interior fit-out and testing before being sent to the LRT Subang Depot for intense testing and certification.

“We hope the new trains will further encourage more people to use public transport and support the government’s aspiration to increase public transport modal share.

“With the new trains, passengers can expect enhanced features such as a quitter ride, dynamic route map and better facilities for the disabled.

“Hartasuma is responsible for the final assembly, including of a complete interior, an onboard system for security and communications and the final completion stages, before we move on to final testing on the network,” he said.

“The new train is expected to provide better frequency and lesser waiting time in stations, thus reducing headway not longer than 2.8 minutes,” he told a press conference after attending the introduction of the new train at Hartasuma in Klang today.

A single train needs to undergo 1,000km of testing before it is certified safe for passengers.

The Innovia Metro trains are expected to increase passenger capacity from 200 passengers to 220 passengers per train and to offers a more seamless, fast journey with the lowest wayside noise.

The latest generation trainset, equipped with 16 closed-circuit televisions, has a ‘Dynamic Route Map’, providing information to passengers on destination directions besides having a “Wheel Lubricating System’ that could reduce the train noise.

Designed to be environmentally sustainable, the trains achieve optimum energy storage through its lightweight build and effective braking, which ensure less energy consumption.

Its flexible seating arrangements allow for a higher passenger flow and comfortability compared to the previous train models where fixed seats allow for a limited number of passengers.

Prasarana has awarded the RM577.6 million train contract to the Bombardier-Hartasuma consortium two years ago.

The Kelana Jaya LRT Line extension will see another 12 stations being built, stretching from the Kelana Jaya stop up to Putra Heights. The project is on track and is expected to be completed by 30 June this year.

When asked about the possibility of budget cuts for projects under the nation’s largest public transport operator, in light of the prime minister’s announcement of a budget revision, Prasarana managing director Datuk Azmi Abdul Aziz said the revision did not include development expenditures, which public transport fell under.

“Prasarana is not fully dependent on government funds. We are also very active in generating funds on our own, including through ‘sukuk’ (Islamic bonds),” he said.

 

News Source: The Edge Markets, 18 January 2016

Icon City’s first phase will be completed in Q2, first office tower now open for leasing Registration

Tentatively called MSC Tower pending official approval, the nine-storey office building is compliant with the MSC Malaysia Cybercentre status (stage 1) and are both LEED and Green Building Index (GBI) certified.

Spanning 48,833 square feet (sq ft) of gross floor area (GFA), with approximately 3,662 sq ft of net floor area (NFA) on each level, the office spaces have a ceiling height of 9 ft and 2’ x 2’ acoustic ceiling for sound absorption.

“We are very excited with the prospect of MSC Tower. The location is highly strategic and we have worked hard to equip the building with the necessary infrastructure to meet the demands of entrepreneurs,” said Mah Sing group managing director Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum in a statement today.

“Having MSC status and LEED certification, we are confident that MSC Tower is able to provide a conducive environment where entrepreneurs can focus on the important aspect of building the groundwork towards establishing their business. Being a businessman myself, I understand the importance of having a conducive environment to grow a business,” Leong added.

Mah Sing has also initiated the development of MSC Malaysia Incubator with the MSC Malaysia Creative Incubation Centre at MSC Tower to maximise the success rate of ICT startups and emerging businesses.

Icon City measures 19.6 acres and has an estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM3.2 billion.

The fully-integrated development consists of Phase 1 and 2, with both phases in compliance with MSC Cybercentre status and are designed to be pedestrian-friendly, high green footprint, high ceiling concepts and incorporating automated waste system.

It is equipped with features such as a double-volume spacious and exclusive lobby, high-speed wireless broadband connectivity, fiber optic and CAT6 cables ready as well as controlled access via turnstiles and CCTVs.

Icon City is the first development in Malaysia to achieve 3 green standards concurrently for its various components. The standards are USA’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED), Singapore’s BCA Green Mark (for Residential component) and Malaysia’s Green Building Index (GBI).

Phase 1 of Icon City features 30 Jewels, which are 7-storey and 8-storey 30 units of premium lifestyle shop offices; 1-storey and 2-storey Gourmet Street retail shops; 2 towers of Icon Residenz serviced residences; 2 towers of i-SoVo and 1 annexed block to the i-SoVo, the Boutique Office Tower, mentioned here as MSC Tower.

Phase 1 alone will have more than 3,800 carpark bays.

30 Jewels will be premium retail office units (Level 1-3) overlooking the LDP in the front and Gourmet Street at the back, as well as upper levels of duplex offices and showrooms (Level 4-8). These units were priced from RM7.7 million onwards and were 60% sold prior to launch.

Designed exclusively for food and beverage outlets, the Gourmet Street consists of 21 units of 2-storey shop units below the i-SoVo blocks and another 29 units of 1- and 2-storey shop units facing a 2-acre Central Park, which will be further extended by another 2-acre in Phase 2. These Gourmet Street shops were originally priced from RM4.18 million and were nearly fully sold prior to launch.

The 40-storey Icon Residenz has 249 units of service apartments with built-up sizes from 557 sq ft to 1,795 sq ft. Icon Residenz 2, or nicknamed Creative Tower, has 323 units of service apartments with built-up sizes from 675 sq ft to 1,405 sq ft. With a starting price from RM588,000, Tower 2 also features dual-key units and sky facilities.

Icon City’s i-SoVo features small office versatile office equipped with a business executive club, a fully-equipped business centre and sky-garden at rooftop. Housed in Tower 3 and Tower 3A, these 31-storey i-SoVos consist of 91 units of simplex suite measuring 436 sq ft and 366 units of duplex suite measuring 745 sq ft and 1,094 sq ft.

Phase 2 of the development is still in the finalisation stage. It will involve the remaining 10 acres of land with commercial status. The building components will include the iconic headquarters of the Mah Sing Group as well as an office tower, a 5-star hotel tower, a SoHo-cum-service residence tower with hotel services, a 1 million sq ft 6-level shopping mall and more than 8,000 carpark bays.

Ekovest to build RM3.7 billion Setiawangsa-Pantai Expressway, linking TRX and Bandar Malaysia Registration

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, Ekovest said its wholly-owned subsidiary Lebuhraya DUKE Fasa 3 Sdn Bhd has signed a concession agreement with the Federal Government to build, operate and maintain the proposed expressway.

The concession period is 53 years and six months.

Ekovest made its first announcement on the project on 15 January last year when another of its wholly-owned subsidiary Konsortium Lebuhraya Utara-Timur (KL) Sdn Bhd (Kesturi) received a letter from the Public-Private Partnership Unit (UKAS) of the Prime Minister’s Department approving in-principle the proposed privatisation of the expressway, then known as DUKE Phase 3.

The proposed alignment of SPE, measuring approximately 35km, will traverse north to south of Kuala Lumpur and will serve areas such as Tunku Abdul Rahman University College in Setapak, Wangsa Maju, Setiawangsa, Jelatek, Ampang, the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) and Bandar Malaysia development corridors, Seputeh, Salak South, Mid Valley City and Bangsar South in Kerinchi.

About 2km of the alignment will now run along the border of Bandar Malaysia in Sungai Besi.

It was no coincidence that Tan Sri Lim’s Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd recently tied-up with China Railway Engineering Corp (M) Sdn Bhd to acquire a 60% stake in the development of the 486-acre Bandar Malaysia mixed development which will yield a gross development value (GDV) of RM150 billion.

The toll expressway is expected to provide an alternative route for road users with improved and more efficient traffic dispersal system in and around Kuala Lumpur city centre to complement and relief peak hour congestion on existing arterial roads and expressways along its proposed alignment.

SPE is part of the greater DUKE masterplan to complement the traffic dispersal system in and around Kuala Lumpur with a loop of an estimated 50km of free-flow highways encircling the city centre.

“The SPE is also expected to improve connectivity with existing expressways and public rail transportation system such as the KTM Komuter, LRT and MRT lines and providing a holistic land transport system to support the development and modernisation of Greater Kuala Lumpur,” said Ekovest in today’s filing.

The project cost of the expressway was previously estimated at a lower RM3.57 billion and was expected to be financed via a combination of internal funds, borrowings and/or other fundraising exercise, subject to the finalisation of the proposed expressway’s technical and financial terms and conditions.

It also said the concession agreement is expected to contribute positively to the group’s earnings and the net tangible assets for future financial years.

“The Setiawangsa-Pantai Expressway will be the first expressway in Malaysia to be designed to cater for full electronic tolling system and is envisaged to utilise the multi-lane free-flow system upon its opening in 2020,” according to the construction-cum-infrastructure company.

Since September 2015, Ekovest has become one of the pioneers to use the full electronic tolling system at its existing DUKE Phase 1.

To recap, the company bought a 70% stake in the 18km, 34-year concession of DUKE Phase 1 in 2012 under an RM325 million share-swap deal.

In early 2014, Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) divested its 30% stake to Ekovest for RM230 million cash. During the same year, Ekovest proposed to build DUKE Phase 2, which is an extension of the DUKE for RM1.183 billion.

DUKE Phase 2 will link Phase 1 from two ends, connecting the east and west sides of Kuala Lumpur via a 7km link from Sri Damansara (SDL) and a 9km link from Jalan Tun Razak (TRL). The expressway will serve as a link between the Kuala Lumpur Middle Ring Road 1 (MRR1) and Kuala Lumpur Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2).

According to Ekovest, these linkways will help to strengthen and boost the use of public transport, hence the company will build 10 park-and-ride facilities at strategic points along the DUKE alignment.

These are near MRT, LRT and KTM Komuter lines in Segambut, Sentul, Setiawangsa, Jelatek, Chan Sow Lin, Phileo Damansara, Batu Kentonmen, Seputeh, Kerinchi and Salak South. Each facility is expected to provide between 4,000 and 5,000 parking bays.

Under DUKE Phase 2, the SDL will start from a new interchange in Segambut, which is located between the existing Kuching and Duta interchanges on DUKE Phase 1 and end at another new interchange in Menjalara.

The Segambut Interchange will feature DUKE’s first park-and-ride integrated commercial complex called Segambut Rest and Service Area (Segar), which will be developed concurrently with the SDL.

Spanning 7km, the SDL will have one open toll plaza, two interchanges and a pair of directional ramps near Desa Park City.

As for the 9km TRL, it will link up with DUKE Phase 1 through the Sentul Pasar Interchange as well as the Karak Link via the new Gombak Interchange, a new trumpet interchange providing access to DUKE Phase 1 from Jalan Gombak and Jalan Genting Klang.

Construction of the DUKE Phase 2 is well underway, and is now set for completion in 2017.

Ekovest-MRCB consortium was also appointed as the project delivery partner (PDP) for the River of Life (RoL) project, which is a key national economic project to clean up and revitalise the rivers of Kuala Lumpur. This project is also well underway in Precinct 7 (Masjid Jamek to Pasar Seni), the first sector of the river alignment.

In the coming years, Ekovest’s property development arm is expected to launch large property projects along DUKE and RoL projects. It has several ongoing projects in Klang Valley such as EkoCheras and EkoTitiwangsa.

Meanwhile, as part of its obligations under the concession agreement, Ekovest will provide training and career opportunities to suitable young graduates or professionals.

It will soon launch a graduate training programme that will provide career opportunities and on-the-job training to young Malaysian graduates and professionals in various fields such as engineering, architecture, quantity surveying and finance.

 

Online bidding for auctioned properties starting July 2016 Registration

Arifin announced that the e-Bidding process will be launched to replace the manual Public Auction process in the High Court in Malaya.

“With the e-Bidding, the bidding process will be more transparent as it will be opened to more prospective bidders. This will also help to hasten the debt recovery process.

“And of equal importance, the e-Bidding will eliminate any syndicate which tends to interfere with bidding process which may lead to artificial pricing,” he announced today during the ceremonial opening of Malaysia’s Legal Year 2016.

Arifin said the judiciary is currently collecting views from the Malaysian Bar, the Attorney-General’s Chambers and auctioneers on the planned e-Bidding initiative, with a preliminary workshop already held last November with the cooperation of the Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) and the Special Task Force to Facilitate Business (PEMUDAH).

Arifin also announced that there will be a one-stop centre in Kuantan to deposit all Power of Attorney documents from the High Court throughout peninsular Malaysia, adding that online filing and searches for such documents will also be available.

 

News Source: The Malay Mail, 8 January 2016