Monday 15 April 2013

The Amazing Penang World City

The previous article stating that Penang World City is probably a leasehold project (here) is not correct. It is actually freehold with its first residential project, Bay Residences, launched earlier this year.

Enjoy the amazing artist impression of Penang World City. 


        Strategic location

        Bay Residence launched

Tuesday 9 April 2013

Robertson: City Living Ain't Cheap

Gamuda land is ready to launch its first ever high rise project in the heart of KL city - The Robertson.

The 2.94 acres land at Jalan Pudu next to the abandoned Plaza Rakyat & Pudu Sentral, was bought way back in year 2010 at the price of RM820 psf. Now it will be turned into a mixed commercial development with a GDV of RM670 million.

The development comprises a row of 2.5 storey shops, a 10 storey commercial complex and 2 blocks of 41 & 45 storeys serviced apartment.

        The Robertson

The unit sizes for this freehold commercial title serviced apartment ranges from 538 sqft to 807 sqft. Price is expected to be from RM1300 psf for the fully furnished unit.

There will be 6 shop units measuring 28 x 59 sqft with the price starts from RM1250 psf.

The area near the previous Puduraya is notorious for its traffic and crime, with long-distance buses queuing along Jalan Pudu emitting exhaust smoke, and local people and foreigners zig-zagging across the road. The condition may become better after the upgrade of Puduraya to Pudu Sentral and shifting of some southern-bound long distance buses to Bandar Tasik Selatan.

       Facelifted Pudu Sentral

Though it is considered as KL old town, the location is actually quite strategic. It is located within walking distance from Bukit Bintang, Berjaya Time Square, Petaling Street, new Pudu jail development and the future Menara Warisan Merdeka site. The left-rotten Plaza Rakyat if redeveloped, may make this area more attractive.

The initial plan of Plaza Rakyat comprises a 79-storey office tower, a 46-storey condominium, a 24-storey hotel and a 7-storey shopping centre. 

       Location of The Robertson

The best part of Robertson is the convenience of public transport. The LRT station is just next door at Plaza Rakyat, and Pasar Seni/Masjid Jamek and the monorail are not far away. There are plenty of public buses and taxis at nearby Pudu Sentral and Kota Raya.

The price at RM1300psf is quite high at this moment, but after a few years, people may think that it's not. Smallest unit 538 sqft will cost RM700,000 and if rented out, should ask for at least RM3500 per month. Whether it is worth investing in, it depends on how each investor analyses it.

If Gamuda succeed in turning this area into a "classy" area with al-fresco dining along Jalan Robertson, and the Plaza Rakyat project is revived, then it will be good for the buyers.

Wednesday 3 April 2013

New Development In The Crowded Bukit Bintang

Previously, it was YTL who created Bintang Walk and transformed Bukit Bintang area into a bustling shopping heaven. Now, it is Pavillion's turn.

After the completion of Pavillion Kuala Lumpur shopping mall/residence, refurbishment of the old KL Plaza into Fahrenheit 88, construction of Banyan Tree luxury private & service residence, now here comes another new commercial and residencial units next to the Pavillion mall.

       Banyan Tree Signature 

In 2010, the small piece of land between Pavillion mall and Grand Millineum Hotel was transacted at a record price of RM7209 per sq ft, which is 3 times higher than the previous record. Now, The Star has reported that work has been started on the land to build a 50-storey building with retail and residential units.

Last year, The Star also reported that Pavillion plans to build Pavilion Couture Suites, another luxurious residential project on Pavillion mall retail podium between The Westin Hotel and the to-be-demolished Chulan Square. 

The old Chulan Square and Seri Melayu Restaurant will be demolished to make way for the Harrods Hotel which already has its ground-breaking ceremony at the end of Jan 2013. The hotel is estimated to open in year 2018. The land is said to be bought at RM1800 per sq ft.

       Model of The Harrods Hotel

With the emergence of the 55-storey Banyan Tree Residence & 3-block 40 storey Suasana Simfoni at each side of the Prince Hotel, the 50-storey skyscraper and the not-yet-launched Pavillion Couture Suites at each side of the Pavillion mall, Bukit Bintang area will definitely turn into a dense concrete jungle.

       Suasana Simfoni @ Jalan Conlay

From The Star April 2, 2013

Urusharta Cemerlang (KL) Sdn Bhd, the developer of Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, has started work on the piece of land it bought for a record RM7,209 per sq ft three years ago, to put up a 50-storey block consisting of 39 floors of residential units and 10 floors of retail space, according to a source.

The whole development will have a gross development value of RM800mil, with the residential units priced from around RM2,000 per sq ft. The retail portion is not for sale, and will be leased out, the source added.

The source also said the retail space would have a net lettable area of 225,000 sq ft while the residential portion would have a net saleable area of 310,000 sq ft. The residential units of this yet-to-be-named development will range from 700-1,200 sq ft.

“The residential units are expected to be launched by year-end, and there are ready buyers. This development will be directly connected to Pavilion KL and Fahrenheit 88 (a shopping mall in Bukit Bintang, KL),” said the source.

The land for this project measures 29,127 sq ft and is situated between Pavilion KL and the Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur hotel.

Urusharta Cemerlang is said to be controlled by Datuk Desmond Lim Siew Choon, who is said to have big plans to transform the Pavilion KL mall stretch right up to Chulan Square and the Seri Melayu Restaurant into a new “Orchard Road”.

Lim is also behind the development of the Banyan Tree Signatures Pavilion residences and the upcoming Harrods Hotel, which is expected to be launched next year.

This would ultimately mean that Lim will control an enormous piece of development stretching from Fahrenheit 88 to Seri Melayu.

The source said Lim planned to create a walkway that would connect Pavilion KL, Fahrenheit 88, Banyan Tree Signatures and Harrods Hotel and transform it to a vibrant retail street.

“Lim was very encouraged by the overwhelming sales of Pavilion Banyan Tree. It recorded close to a 100% take-up rate for the 441 units launched. While the average selling price for Banyan Tree was RM2,000 per sq ft, it even managed to transact at a record RM3,000 per sq ft for one of the smaller units,” said the source.

Lumayan Indah Sdn Bhd is developing Banyan Tree Signatures on 1.46 acres at the junction of Jalan Conlay and Jalan Raja Chulan and is opposite Pavilion KL. Qatar Holding LLC is said to have a 49% stake in Lumayan Indah, while Lim holds the remaining 51%.

Meanwhile, the Harrods Hotel will be located right between Pavilion KL and Banyan Tree Signatures.

In 2010, Lim caused a sensation when he paid a record RM7,209 per sq ft or RM210mil for the tiny parcel of land next to Pavilion KL mall.

The land was acquired by Urusharta Cemerlang from CDL Hotels (M) Sdn Bhd, a unit of London-based Millenium & Copthorne Hotels plc.

Millenium & Copthorne is a company controlled by Singaporean billionaire Kwek Leng Beng through his 53% stake in Singapore-listed property and hotel group City Developments Ltd.

With the “Orchard Road” plan unveiled, it begins to make sense why Lim forked out such a hefty sum for that tiny piece of land back then.

From The Star Sep 8, 2012

Two things came as a surprise to the marketing consultant behind what will be the world's first Banyan Tree Signatures in Kuala Lumpur: how quickly it was sold out, and more astoundingly, that most of its customers were Malaysians.

“As you know, Malaysians are currently not a condo-buying group, especially when the price is high, and they usually prefer landed property,” remarks Tracey Lai, the marketing director of 1 Pavilion Property Consultancy Sdn Bhd, which handles sales and marketing for the RM1.4bil high-rise due to be completed in 2015.

Sandwiched between the Prince Hotel and Residence and Hakka Restaurant on Jalan Conlay opposite Pavilion KL, which some may remember as the site of the former Wisma MISC, Banyan Tree Signatures is well on its way to becoming the “most desirable add ress” in the capital, if its selling price and speed are any indication.

Lumayan Indah Sdn Bhd is developing Banyan Tree Signatures on a 1.46 acre plot at the junction of Jalan Conlay and Jalan Raja Chulan.

Set to tower over the Golden Triangle at a whopping 55 storeys, it will also be one of the tallest residential landmarks here.

Lai tells StarBizWeek in an interview that while its average selling price per sq ft was RM2,000, which is already at the top end for its location, the highest transacted price came close to RM3,000 per sq ft for the smaller units at the upper floors. In terms of the rental, Lai reveals that Banyan Tree Signatures is expected to be priced at RM10 per sq ft or higher, eclipsing even Pavilion Residences' RM8 per sq ft.

And for a development of its stature, Banyan Tree Signatures is sure to have courted some similarly high-profile, high net worth tenants. On this Lai is coy, holding firm to the confidentiality of her clients.

“There were prominent people who bought this but we can't divulge,” she says with a smile.

“About 70% of our buyers were local and 30% from Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, the UK, Middle East, and Singapore, as well as a smattering from Indonesia. We did approach foreign buyers but the local take-up was so fast. Many were actually referred to us.”

Lumayan Indah had, in fact, only signed the agreement with Singapore-listed Banyan Tree in October last year, after which some 80% of the private residences were snapped up within months.

The next item on Lai's agenda is the Pavilion Couture Suites, the last piece of the puzzle for Pavilion KL.

Situated on the corner between Chulan Square and the Westin hotel, the suites will be built exactly above the mall's retail floor, on which the street-fronting stores of Hermes, Chopard, Versace and the rest currently stand.

“The interesting thing is we have been getting enquiries even though there isn't much information about it,” Lai says of the serviced residences, whose preview was on Thursday.

The suites, 175 of them, will feature sizes ranging from 686 sq ft to 2,206 sq ft, with some 70% of them smaller than 1,000 sq ft, Lai points out.

“We haven't determined the pricing yet, but it should be within RM2,500 to RM3,000 per sq ft,” she says, explaining that this was originally intended to form Pavilion's hotel component, but those plans were shelved in favour of the demand for private residences.

But with so many developments descending on the Bukit Bintang-KLCC stretch, most recently the proposal to build the Harrods Hotel right between Pavilion and Banyan Tree Signatures, is there cause for concern?

“A prime location is where everything comes together. You can't have your own brand standing alone without the support of other brands. A consumer wants choice,” Lai retorts.

“When you see many world-renowned brands converging in one place, it is a good sign, it means we have the potential to grow.”

Besides, she contends, the sheer force of big-ticket projects such as the RM26bil Tun Razak Exchange a few blocks away would only serve to enhance the appeal of the surrounding real estate.