26 June 2014

BBCC project tostart next year

  26 June 2014

RM10B GROSS VALUE: UDA Holdings ropes in Eco World and EPF to kick-start redevelopment

WORK to redevelop the former Pudu jail site here into a mega development worth up to RM10 billion will be started early next year by a consortium comprising Eco World Development Holdings Bhd.

Eco World and landowner UDA Holdings Bhd will have a 40 per cent stake each in a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to be set up soon, while the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) will own 20 per cent.

The equity structure is similar to the Battersea Power Station redevelopment in London undertaken by a Malaysian consortium of SP Setia Bhd, Sime Darby Bhd and the EPF, said UDA Holdings chairman Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani.

He said Eco World was chosen as the preferred partner for the project, known as the Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC), because of the people behind it led by Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin.

“We invited Eco World to participate in the project. We want BBCC to be a world-class tourist destination. With the experience and connection of Liew, we are quite confident of the project’s success.

“We are targeting local and foreign investors and property buyers. With Liew behind it, we are sure it will be a success.

“This is the last piece of prime land in Kuala Lumpur that we have and we don’t want it to turn into another abandoned project like Plaza Rakyat,” Johari said at a media briefing, here, yesterday.

BBCC will be developed on a 7.85ha site that once housed the 101-year-old Pudu Jail, which was closed in 1996.

He said three developers, including Naza Group and Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd, were shortlisted for the project last year after a request for proposal, but their proposals were found unsuitable for the development.

“Their proposals were to take the land outright and give us royalty. Through this consortium, UDA Holdings will execute the development rights to the SPV, which will be the master developer.

“The SPV will procure project funding, while UDA Holdings will grant it the development rights with the land valued at RM1,200 per square feet, slightly over RM1 billion. UDA will ensure that the SPV will not sell nor charge the land to a third party,” Johari said.

BBCC, to be developed in seven years, will have three residential towers consisting 2,000 units, a 40-storey block, a one million square feet retail mall, an entertainment hub, a transit hub and a mosque.

The jewel in the crown will be an 88-storey signature tower, a close comparison to Burj Khalifa in Dubai, Johari said.

He said one third of the tower will comprise strata title office, and the rest will feature up to 400 hotel rooms and exclusive condominiums.

Business Times reported yesterday that the BBCC project will cost more than RM5.5 billion.

According to Johari, more than RM1 billion will be invested in infrastructure, including the transit hub and traffic dispersion system, to ensure smooth traffic flow.

“We even plan to have high ceiling for underground parking so that buses will have ample parking space.

“BBCC will offer another iconic tower for Kuala Lumpur, and I am sure every developer in the Pudu area will want to have our 88-storey tower as a backdrop for their project, just like the Petronas Twin Towers,” he added.



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