‘Pudu regeneration to cost over RM5.5b’


KUALA LUMPUR: The Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC) project here will cost more than RM5.5 billion and project owner UDA Holdings Bhd is looking for a financially-sound developer with a good track record to help it develop the site, say sources.

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

UDA may reveal its joint-venture partner at a media briefing today, albeit rumours that Eco World Development Group Bhd, Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd and Naza Group are among a few companies that have been shortlisted to be the preferred partner.

Government-owned UDA plans to convert the land into an iconic development, which will comprise more than five residential and commercial towers, a hotel, a mall and a retail strip.

It is also expected to have a transport hub, complementing Pudu Sentral (formerly Puduraya Terminal), which is operated by UDA.

Sources said the gross development value for BBCC is expected to be between RM8 billion and RM10 billion and the project will take around 10 years to complete.

According to a source, the Finance Ministry will kick-start the project with a small funding.

A news portal report recently tipped Eco World to win the Pudu Jail redevelopment deal.

Quoting a source from Eco World, the portal said the company is entering into a 70:30 joint venture with UDA to develop the site.

Eco World chief executive officer Datuk Chang Khim Wah was overseas and was unable to comment.

“This (BBCC) is a huge development… UDA wants a developer who is able to sell the project to both local and foreign buyers. For the office towers, they are looking at en bloc deals and for the mall, we can expect an international operator,” a property specialist said.

He said this was the right time to start the project with the ongoing infrastructure developments in Kuala Lumpur, such as the mass rapid and light rail transit lines.

The site has been abandoned for the past few years despite being made an Economic Transformation Programme project.

UDA had called for a request for proposal to develop BBCC last year.

The company held a concept briefing on September 23, which was attended by 24 developers.

Five developers, including one from Singapore, were reported to have submitted proposals for the redevelopment.


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