Asian Pac bullish about KK project


BY S.C.CHEAH IN KOTA KINABALU

THE proposed RM1.2bil KK Times Square in Kota Kinabalu continues to draw a lot of interest with the latest sales figure hitting RM75mil for the phase 1 Signature Offices. 

Asian Pac Holdings Bhd general manager Calvin Low Kiang Hoon said this constituted about 40% sales out of phase 1's total gross development value of RM168mil. 

“We’ve sold all the five-storey shop offices. We are confident that we should be able to finish our sales within this year. All of our purchasers are locals. We will be officially launching KK Times Square over the next few weeks,” he told a press conference last week. 

Low said earthwork had been in progress over the past week and should be completed soon.  

“We are calling for tender to do the piling work. Phase 1 is targeted for completion end of 2007 but could be earlier,” he said, adding that the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report, building plans and development plan had been approved.  

Calvin Low Kiang Hoon

Phase 1, covering eight acres of 99-years leasehold land, would comprise 12 blocks of shop offices modelled after Phileo Damansara in Kuala Lumpur.  

There will be two blocks of five-storey shop office (RM1.8mil each), eight blocks of six-storey shop office (RM2.1mil) and two blocks of eight-storey shop office (RM2.7mil) with a total of 72 shop units and 372 office units. There will be 42 lifts with two units sharing one lift while some units will have one lift per unit.  

The stratified shop offices are sold en bloc but the buyer can later sell them on a per floor basis. There are two blocks where one can buy the top two floors on a strata basis. 

Low said phase 2 covering 15 acres would have a shopping centre similar to the Mid Valley Megamall but smaller in size. It would have a gross retail space of 880,000 sq ft.  

There will also be a 300-room business-class hotel, serviced apartments and two office towers each with about 130,000 sq ft gross built-up area. Phase 2 would have 1.5 million sq ft of built-up space and would be developed in stages. 

“Our strategy for the shopping centre is not to sell the retail space but to lease them out for better control,” he said, adding that the company was confident of getting a good complex management company. “We’re still negotiating. We also hope to bring in popular retailers,” he said.  

Low said Asian-Pac planned to expand its land bank in Kota Kinabalu and hoped to contribute to the economic progress of the city. 

Asian Pac senior manager (sales & marketing) Matthew Ng Hock Sing said the price of about RM590 per sq ft for the retail lots and RM200 per sq ft for the offices were “very attractive”.  

An artist's impression of the KK Times Square, a development that is set to change the retail scene in Kota Kinabalu

He expects the retail lots to appreciate in value to RM700 per sq ft or more upon completion. 

Ng said shopping centres like the Suria KLCC, Mid Valley Megamall and 1 Utama were successful mainly because the retail lots were not sold. As such, the company was retaining ownership of the retail lots. 

He said the last recession had shown that people who had bought cheap properties in the wrong location had suffered whereas properties in good locations had managed to maintain if not appreciated in value. 

(KK Times Square is being developed by Syarikat Kapasi Sdn Bhd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Asian Pac) 

Meanwhile, C H Williams, Talhar & Wong (Sabah) managing director Chong Choon Kin said he was “fairly optimistic” with the Signature Offices as it was different from other retail developments that appeared to be facing a glut in Kota Kinabalu. 

Chong said shop offices in the suburbs were still doing well as the residents there supported them but he felt there were too many shopping centres coming up. 

“It looks to me that (it is a case of) the early bird catches the worm. Those who come late won't catch the fat worm but the thin worm,” he said, when referring to Asian-Pac's current efforts to rope in professional firms and reputable companies to set up their base in the Signature Offices. 

The project's architect, Arkitek Billings Leong & Tan Sdn Bhd has also bought four office units. “I’m bullish over this project,” said its director Tan Haw Bin. 

 

 ASIAPAC :  [Stock Watch]  [NewsASIAPAC-L :  [Stock WatchASIAPAC-L :  [Stock Watch]

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