WCT LAND Bhd wants to expand its presence outside its market stronghold of Klang in a move to build up its brand name in other growth markets.
It is looking for opportunities to build more townships in well sought-after locations and smaller projects such as condominiums and commercial developments in Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur, executive director and chief operating officer Lai Yeng Fock said.
The group specialises in building affordable homes within well-planned townships that come equipped with facilities to promote healthy community living.
WCT Land, which built its name with the launch of Bandar Bukit Tinggi 1 in south Klang in 1998, has become one of the leading developers there with three ongoing projects in the corridor.
Bandar Bukit Tinggi has become one of the largest growing townships with a population of close to 50,000. The recent launch of Bandar Parklands - Bukit Tinggi 3 would expand the population to over 150,000 in the next few years.
To-date, more than 9,300 property units, including terraced houses, semi-detached homes, apartments and shop houses worth more than RM1.7bil, have been sold.
The 347-acre freehold township has reached about 84% of its planned development (for completion in 2008). Its sister development, Bandar Bukit Tinggi 2 on the adjacent 562 acres, would also be completed in 2008. Lai said the group's land bank of 1,300 acres, of which 650 acres were still undeveloped, would last the group until 2013.
“There are RM1.7bil worth of properties more to be built that will keep the group busy for the next eight years. Our sales have been quite strong and we have a strong following, including repeat buyers. On a weekly basis, sales of RM7mil are achieved,” he told StarBiz in an interview.
Lai said the group's strength lay in the affordable pricing of its properties, quality workmanship and good after-sales customer service.
“There is also scope for more commercial development in the right location and we are on the lookout to build more integrated commercial projects in well sought-after areas.”
The commercial component in Bandar Bukit Tinggi 1 was rather high, comprising about 45% of the development. It has today grown into Klang's southern commercial hub.However, only 16% of Bandar Bukit Tinggi 2 comprises commercial space.
The development that has a gross development value (GDV) of some RM1.5bil would have RM260mil worth of commercial space.
Lai said Klang was fast developing with a growing population of affluent people.Although the Klang population is still rather small at about 800,000 people, the many new township developments in the pipeline would change the landscape there soon.
“In the absence of a well-planned retail cum entertainment hub, there is potential for us to venture into such developments. We hope to create more positive changes for the people,” he said.
He said a shopping mall with lettable space of 500,000 sq ft had been planned for Bandar Bukit Tinggi 2.
The mall is under construction for completion next year and will be leased out to generate regular income stream for the group.
“We see a good opportunity to expand our property investment portfolio and hope to generate revenue contribution of between 8% and 10% from these properties.”
Lai said the group was also considering the potential of injecting its investment property into a real estate investment trust to unlock the value of its assets.
The shopping mall will have an asset value of RM200mil while its existing portfolio of residential and office properties are worth RM50mil.
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