CREST BUILDER CHANGES PROJECT PLAN
Construction and engineering group, Crest Builder Holdings Bhd, is converting 17 floors of office space in its transport-oriented development (TOD) to mainly small offices, home offices (SoHos). The company will also reduce the size of a handful of larger-sized units of about 2,000 sq. ft. to overcome issues of affordability and is in the process of resubmitting its plans to the local authorities. Latitud 8 was touted as the city’s first TOD, with a gross development value of RM1.1 billion, which was reported as a joint land development between Crest Builder’s 51%-owned subsidiary, Intan Sekitar Sdn Bhd, and Prasarana Malaysia Bhd. Intan Sekitar is a joint-venture holding company between Crest Builder’s wholly owned subsidiary, Crest Builder International Sdn Bhd and Detik Utuh Sdn Bhd. In a Bursa Malaysia filing on September 26, 2018, Crest Builder denoted that it had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with T7 Global Bhd to jointly construct Latitud 8. The decision to change the office component into SoHo units was made after studying the oversupply situation in the office market, coupled with subdued sales for its office space.
The 44-floor project is located on Lot PT 21 (originally Lot 60), in Jalan Ampang. It was initially planned as a single commercial block comprising 17 storeys of office space with 418 SoHo units on top of the office component with a retail podium. Below it is the Dang Wangi LRT station. The original 418 SoHo units have built-up areas ranging from 650 sq ft to about 1,000 sq. ft., whereby a handful of them have built-up areas of about 2,000 sq. ft. In order to address current issues of affordability, the company has decided to reduce the size of these larger units. The project was soft launched in early 2018, in which sales were better for SoHos but subdued for office space. In view of changes in plans, the company has returned the cheques to buyers and sales are at approximately 20%. Each of the 17 floors has a floor area of about 20,000 sq. ft., whereby the total office portion totalled about 340,000 sq. ft. before the change. Latitud 8 will now have 840 units and the change would involve a number of parties and a re-submission of plans, which the company is in the process of doing. As a result of the change, construction has been halted, whereby the company has merely built up to the third floor. Once approval has been given, the company plans to continue with construction to a certain level before re-launching the project in 2020.
(The Star, 04/02/2019)
DAISO TO SET UP REGIONAL DISTRIBUTION CENTRE IN MALAYSIA
PKT every24 Logistics Sdn Bhd (PKT) has signed a service agreement with Daiso Industries Co Ltd to operate the latter’s regional distribution centre (RDC) in Port Klang, in 2Q19. Daiso decided to locate their RDC for their popular household products in Malaysia, serving few countries initially in 2019 and increasing to more than 15 countries once the new warehouse is completed. This RDC is the centrepiece in Daiso’s business expansion strategy to streamline their logistics operations for the South-East Asia and Middle East regions, allowing them to better serve these two fast-growing markets. PKT every24 Logistics is a joint venture company between PKT Logistics Group Sdn Bhd and Daisei every24 Co Ltd.
(The Star, 04/02/2019)
BIO OSMO SWITCHES TO HOSPITALITY AFTER ACQUIRING IMPIANA HOTELS
Bio Osmo Bhd (a bottled drinking water business) will be known as Impiana Hotels Bhd upon the completion of its proposed acquisitions and injection of the Impiana Group hotel assets into the company. The company had signed a total of six share sale agreements to acquire hotels under the Impiana brand in Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh and Cherating, commercial land in Pangkor, and Impiana’s hotel management company, for a total purchase consideration of RM425.9 million. An extraordinary general meeting to deliberate on the proposed corporate exercise is set on February 21, 2019.
(The Edge Property & NST, 01/02/2019)
CREST BUILDER SECURES RM99.6 MILLION CONTRACT TO BUILD A HOTEL AT JALAN P RAMLEE
Crest Builder Holdings Bhd’s unit has secured a contract worth RM99.6 million from Techvance Properties Management Sdn Bhd to construct a 26-storey hotel at Jalan P Ramlee, Kuala Lumpur. The contract period is for 27 months, starting from February 18, 2019.
(The Edge Property, 01/02/2019)
PRIVATE VARSITY OPENS MEDICAL CENTRE
The Management and Science University (MSU) has soft launched the MSU Medical Centre (MSUMC) in Shah Alam. MSUMC has six operating theatres, five intensive care units, six labour rooms and facilities for dental and ophthalmology and other specialist clinics. When fully operational, the 250-bed medical centre will have medical consultants in 24 disciplines, including internal medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics, orthopaedics, ophthalmology, psychiatry, urology, endoscopy, otorhinolaryngology rehabilitation and traditional and complementary medicine.
(The Star, 31/01/2019)
‘NO STATEMENT ON HSR YET AS TALKS ARE ONGOING’
Malaysia is negotiating with Singapore on compensation following the postponement of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project. The ministry would not issue any statement until a decision had been reached by both parties. The postponement of the HSR project involves a government-to-government discussion. Malaysia had remitted payment for abortive costs relating to the postponement of the project.
BUKIT KUKUS PROJECT TO PROCEED WITH EXTRA CAUTION
The stop-work order for Yuta Maju Sdn Bhd (contractor for the RM545.6 million Jalan Bukit Kukus paired roads project) has been lifted by the Department of Safety and Occupational Health and the Penang Island City Council. The contractor will now focus on slope mitigation works besides preparing an assessment to increase safety precautions at the worksite and prepare a ‘method statement’ for work done at the site. To date, the project is 73.24% complete and the project is slated for completion in mid-2020.
(The Star, 31/01/2019)
VIZIONE-VERTICE JV ACCEPTS RM815 MILLION PENANG MEGA INFRASTRUCTURE JOB
The joint venture company between Vizione Holdings Bhd and Vertice Bhd has accepted the RM815 million contract from Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd to undertake construction works for Package 2 of the Penang Mega Infrastructure project. With a construction period of 36 months, the award is for the construction of a 5.7km bypass from Bandar Baru Ayer Itam, which connects to Lebuhraya Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu.
(The Edge Property, 01/02/2019)
PENANG HILL TICKETS UP BY RM1 IN APRIL 2019
Penang Hill Corporation announced on February 1, 2019, that the ticket price for the funicular train to the country’s oldest colonial hill station will increase to RM6 from April 1, 2019. The new one-way ticket price is for MyKad holders and their spouse, MyKid holders and foreign nationals with a permit to work on Penang Hill. However, prices for the monthly pass (RM40), foreign tourists (RM15 one way) and the sunrise/sunset promotion (RM3.50 one way), remains the same. Among the reasons for the new price are higher train operating and maintenance costs, public facility and infrastructure upgrades, the weak ringgit and inflation.
(The Star, 02/02/2019)
ARK RESOURCES DEVELOPS 90 ACRES IN BALIK PULAU
Ark Resources Holdings Bhd has entered into a joint venture agreement with Koperasi Kampung Melayu Balik Pulau Bhd to develop 90 acres of land in Balik Pulau, Penang. With a gross development value of RM600 million, the mixed-use development comprises 2 double-storey retail shop blocks, a bazaar, 276 double-storey terrace houses, 214 double-storey semi-detached houses, 91 double-storey bungalows, two 16-storey condominium blocks, and two 16-storey low cost apartment blocks.
(The Edge Financial, 31/01/2019)
ASPEN-IKEA JV INVESTS RM2.6 BILLION IN WORLD-CLASS METROPOLIS
Aspen Vision City Sdn Bhd, a joint-venture (JV) company between Aspen Group Holdings Ltd and IKEA Southeast Asia, has invested more than RM2.6 billion in its 245 acre master-planned metropolis in mainland Penang. Aspen Vision City is a meticulously planned integrated multi-phase mixed development envisioned as the commercial hub and central business district in Batu Kawan, with development components including Central Island Park, Vervea Commercial Precinct, Aloft Hotel (308 rooms) and the first IKEA store in the northern region of Peninsular Malaysia. Approximately RM105 million was invested for the first phase of Central Island Park with a 50-metre high water jet, which is currently a hotspot in Penang ever since its grand opening in October 2018. Vervea Commercial Precinct has a gross development value of RM845 million and was completed in December 2018. Overall, RM60 million was invested in a 3,530 sq. m. trade and exhibition centre and RM25 million for the ETFE (ethylene tetra flouro ethylene) roof. Aspen is targeting to open Vervea for business from 1Q19 onwards, and welcomes all established local tenants and brands that can cater for the community’s needs in the urban township.
(The Edge, 02/02/2019)
JAGAAPP FOR SABAH, SARAWAK
RED Ideas Holdings Bhd plans to expand its flagship product, JaGaApp, a private residential community platform, into Sabah and Sarawak. Red Ideas is listed on Bursa Malaysia’s Leading Entrepreneur Accelerator Platform Market. The company has been growing since the launch of the JaGaApp in 2016, in terms of neighbourhood coverage. It now covers more than 280 neighbourhoods with about 100,000 property units in the Klang Valley, Seremban, Penang, Perak, Johor and Melaka. The mobile app features community security, a communication platform, property management, facility management, tenant management, smart community and other services.
ONLY AIRASIA NOT COMPLYING WITH PSC
All airlines operating from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) except AirAsia and AirAsia X are collecting the revised rate for Passenger Service Charges (PSC), according to Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd. AirAsia continues to collect RM50.00 for non-Asean international flights, whereas other airlines are complying with PSC rates gazetted by Mavcom at RM73.00 for non-Asean international flights.
MAHB REJECTS AIRASIA’S OFFER OF MEDIATION
Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) has rejected AirAsia Group Bhd’s offer of mediation, in an attempt to amicably resolve the parties’ ongoing dispute over “Passenger Service Charges” at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2). Section 74 of the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) Act 2015 requires AirAsia and MAHB to first seek mediation before resorting to other legal proceedings.
(The Edge, The Sun, The Star & NST, 07/02/2019)
BOTA BRIDGE PROJECT 25% COMPLETE, TO GO ON AS SCHEDULED
The RM48 million bridge project connecting Kampung Lambor Kanan to Kampung Lambor Kiri across Sungai Perak in Bota, Perak, which began in March 2018, is 25% complete and will proceed regardless of certain disputes over the compensation totalling RM1.5 million, for 11 plots of land belonging to residents of Kampung Lambor Kanan and Kampung Lambor Kiri.
(The Edge, 06/02/2019)
PERAK TO PROVIDE AFFORDABLE HOUSES COSTING FROM RM20,000
The Perak government will provide affordable homes for as low as RM20,000 for low-income households (B40) via a new housing policy to be implemented shortly. Under the new policy, the state government, through the Perak Housing and Property Board, will finance the construction of affordable housing, via development costs generally imposed on housing developers based on pre-defined terms.
(The Edge, 05/02/2019)
MALAYSIA: THE TREND FOR SMALLER HOUSE SIZES IN THE NEAR FUTURE
According to the United Nations Commission on Human Settlements (UNCHS), the availability of sufficient space for dwellers is an important element of housing. According to UNCHS, adequate space not only means the provision of physical accessibility and basic infrastructure, such as water-supply, sanitation, and waste management facilities, but also includes adequate privacy, lighting, heating or ventilation, suitable indoor environmental quality, and health-related factors; all of which should be available at an affordable cost. Based on data collated from the Valuation and Property Services Department, UNCHS and the World Bank, a “larger house means better living quality” and in the global context, Australia has the biggest average house size of 2,592 sq. ft., followed by the US at 2,163 sq. ft. and Canada at 1,948 sq. ft. Malaysia came in ninth with an average house size of t 1,264 sq. ft., the only Asian country that made it to the top 10 out of 52 countries.
But house size and individual living space are two different things. While comparison of average house size is informative, it does not truly reflect housing quality because household size varies among countries. For instance, the Philippines has an average household size of five and Sweden’s only two. Thus, floor area per person has become a better indication of a country’s housing conditions. The floor area per person in Malaysia is 293.9 sq. ft., putting it in seventh place among 14 countries in Asia (in 2017). It is worth noting that Malaysia is even behind some Asian countries often presumed to have smaller dwelling units, such as Japan (379 sq. ft.), Taiwan (370 sq. ft.) and South Korea (357.4 sq. ft.). Many speculate that rising house price coupled with stringent lending regulations in Malaysia are shaping the trend for even smaller house sizes in the country in the near future. Already, the country’s average house size has fallen to 1,264 sq. ft. in 2017 (based on new launches), the smallest since 2009. The average sizes of new residential launches among the Malaysian states in 2017 provided some interesting data. In the Klang Valley and Kuala Lumpur, homes launched had an average size of 827 sq. ft. mostly comprising high-rise residences. The state with the largest average size among its new residential projects was Negeri Sembilan at 1,970 sq. ft. followed by Perlis (1,833 sq. ft.) and Johor (1,785 sq. ft.).
Developers are building housing environments that foster the desired lifestyle of the younger generation, which wants to socialise, engage, and connect with each other. When this younger generation enquires about a project, questions about the facilities and views are often asked followed by questions about the size of the unit and number of bedrooms. Hence developers are offering more facilities and amenities within their residential developments and niche facilities such as yoga rooms, movie rooms and lounge areas with a view are becoming increasingly common.
GRAB LAUNCHES NEW REGIONAL CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE
GRAB, Southeast Asia’s leading Online-to-Offline mobile platform, recently launched its new Regional Centre of Excellence (RCoE) in its newly expanded 54,000 sq. ft. office space in First Avenue, Petaling Jaya. The RCoE will house the company’s core business strategy and operational functions, including legal, customer experience, financial and creative services. The expanded office space is the second showing of Grab’s strong investment back into the country after the launch of its R&D Centre in Malaysia in January 2019.
(The Sun, 07/02/2019)
ELECTRONICS RETAIL CHAIN OPENS REVAMPED STORE IN MELAKA BARU
Grand Senheng has opened its ninth outlet in the country, with its latest one being situated in Melaka Baru. It is set to be a one-stop consumer electronics store where customers can shop for a variety of electrical goods and electronic gadgets.
(The Star, 08/02/2019)
SCEB PARTNER WITH BSCE TO DEVELOP AFFORDABLE HOUSES IN KEDAH
SC Estate Construction Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SC Estate Builder Bhd (SCEB), has entered into a joint venture agreement with BS Civil Engineering Sdn Bhd (BSCE) to develop 19.5 acres of freehold land in Bandar Alor Setar, Kedah into a mixed development. SECB will develop the land owned by BSCE, which will be paid RM9 million by the developer. The mixed development will comprise apartments, low cost apartments and shop-lots, with an estimated gross development value of approximately RM93 million.
(The Edge, 05/02/2019)
PJBUMI GETS RM18.7 MILLION BUILDING REFURBISHMENT PROJECT
PJBumi Bhd’s subsidiary, PJBumi Construction Sdn Bhd, has been awarded with an RM18.7 million contract to refurbish residential and commercial buildings, and infrastructure in Chenor, Pahang. The contract was awarded by Salam Properties Sdn Bhd, a group specialising in engineering and construction services. The tenure of the contract is for a period of 36 months from the date of site possession.
(The Edge, The Star, NST & The Sun, 08/02/2019)
DRAWBRIDGE SET TO ENCOURAGE TERENGGANU TOURISM
The iconic RM240 million drawbridge at the Sungai Terengganu estuary is expected to be completed by April 2019 and attract many sightseers. The overall bridge is 638m long with a width of 23m. The drawbridge component spans 50m and connects the two reclaimed sites on the north and south portions of Sungai Terengganu.
MALAYSIA RANKS 1ST IN WORLD’S BEST HEALTHCARE CATEGORY
With a score of 95 out of 100, Malaysia ranked first in the Best Healthcare in the World category of the 2019 International Living Annual Global Retirement Index. According to the International Living website, among the top six countries that obtained best ratings in the category of Best Healthcare in the World for 2019, Malaysia was ranked first underpinned by “its world-class healthcare services and sophisticated infrastructure.”
(NST & The Sun, 07/02/2019)
TROPICANA ABORTS DEAL TO SELL JOHOR LAND FOR RM570 MILLION
Tropicana Corp Bhd has called off its proposed disposal of 251.59 acres of freehold land in Gelang Patah, Johor, for RM569.87 million. The Sale and Purchase Agreement lapsed on February 1, 2019, as The Conditions Precedent (CP) were unfulfilled. Therefore, parties involved have mutually agreed not to extend the first extended CP period and accordingly, the timeframe to fulfil such conditions has thereby lapsed. The agreement was inked in July 2016 by the group’s unit, Tropicana Desa Mentari Sdn Bhd with Tiarn Oversea Group Sdn Bhd, in which Tropicana expected to realise a gain of approximately RM55.5 million. Tiarn intended to undertake a two-phase development, with Phase 1 comprising 60 acres and the remaining 191.6 acres constituting the second phase.
(The Edge, The Star, NST & The Sun, 08/02/2019)