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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Ivory Prop takes over Plaza Rakyat project


MIXED DEVELOPMENT: Group to redevelop Pudu site with
properties worth about RM8b in GDV

The Plaza Rakyat mixed development in Pudu, Kuala Lumpur, is taking off again, 15 years after it was abandoned due to the Asian financial crisis.

Penang-based Ivory Properties Group Bhd yesterday said subsidiary Ivory Place Sdn Bhd had won an open tender by Plaza Rakyat Sdn Bhd to revive the project located on 6.163ha of prime land.

Ivory Properties will redevelop the site with properties worth about RM8 billion in gross development value (GDV) over eight years.

Ivory Properties yesterday signed a pact with Plaza Rakyat to take over the project for RM400 million. It also sealed a joint-venture agreement (JVA) with Dewan Bandaray Kuala Lumpur (DBKL).

As the JVA partner, DBKL is entitled to a payment of up to seven per cent, or a maximum RM560 million, of the total GDV, Ivory Properties said in its filing to Bursa Malaysia.

Plaza Rakyat will transfer the existing sublease and all development rights under the JVA with DBKL to Ivory Properties, the latter’s group chief executive officer Datuk Low Eng Hock said in a separate statement.

“One of the conditions precedent is for the JVA to be revised and amended,” Low said.

The project was originally planned as a mixed development comprising a shopping mall, hotel, serviced apartments and office tower with a GDV of RM1.3 billion in 1993, and was slated to be completed by 2000.

It was meant to be integrated with the nearby Pudu Raya bus station in an effort to create a public transport hub, which includes the Plaza Rakyat LRT station.

It was meant to be integrated with the nearby Pudu Raya bus station in an effort to create a public transport hub, which includes the Plaza Rak-yat LRT station.

The development, under Wembley Industries Holdings Bhd then, was abandoned in 1997 due to the regional financial crisis. All that was completed were the foundations and a six-storey basement car park.

Meanwhile, Low is confident of reviving the project, given the group's proven successful track record as the white knight for abandoned projects in Penang.

"Over the years, the group has creatively and successfully revived several projects including the long abandoned Mount Erskine Development, with its first phase development - The Peak Residences - completing and handing over to purchasers by end of this year," he said.

Low said the original design for the project would be reviewed to cater to current market trends.

The company is looking at an integrated transportation and business hub with serviced apartments to cater to the expatriates as well as providing affordable houses for the young working class in the city.

"The entire development, which already has an LRT station as part of its existing infrastructure, is poised to be one of the massive projects in the heart of the city.

"We hope to turn Pudu into yet another happening sustainable commercial and business hub," Low said.

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