WELL-known property developer Datuk Teo Chiang Kok of the See Hoy Chan group is undertaking one of the biggest rehabilitation projects in Klang.
He is turning an almost decade-old abandoned hotel project into a RM120mil, iconic and cutting-edge office and retail complex called Centro.
The 28-storey freehold office tower over a three-storey retail podium will be the tallest building in Klang and boasts a million sq ft of built-up space. Work is going on at a feverish pace to complete the retail podium this November and the office tower by May 2007.
Centro Properties Group Sdn Bhd controlled by Teo is redesigning and rehabilitating the project at Jalan Batu Tiga Lama that fronts the Federal Highway.
Teo, who is behind the success of Bandar Utama and the award-winning 1 Utama shopping centre and the Centrepoint neighbourhood mall, is using Centro to launch his three children into the property development arena as, in his own words, “it is for the next generation.”
It also marks Teo’s return to Klang, where the See Hoy Chan group successfully developed Berkeley Gardens and Port Gardens, after an absence of 20 years.
“I am indeed glad to have the opportunity to be able to return to Klang to develop what will be another icon and a landmark for this royal town,” he told StarBiz.
Teo said that due to the overwhelming demand for freehold and modern office space, the company had received a “very positive response” from companies and investors.
“To satisfy this early demand, we have had to begin pre-launch sales and have to-date received deposits in excess of 20% of saleable office space. These are very encouraging signs as our official launch is planned for June.”
“We believe that this positive response from purchasers is partly due to the fact that construction has reached 60% of completion and is on schedule to be fully completed by this November for the retail podium, and May 2007 for the office tower,” he added.
He said this early delivery would give significant savings to purchasers in the form of having to pay less interest on their loans and rentals incurred at their current premises.
Most of the buyers are in the logistics, shipping and forwarding business with some of them looking for investment purposes.
Centro will offer the biggest and most flexible office space in Klang that is being sold in modules from 490 sq ft to 23,000 sq ft for an entire floor plate. It boasts about 300,000 sq ft of net saleable space with 700 covered parking bays in two basement levels and another 100 bays for surface parking.
As the building has a stepped-up design, the floor size decreases with every floor up and this allows for more corner offices and maximum window perimeter, giving offices an abundance of natural light, openness and panoramic views. There is also an option of corner offices with sky balconies that can be used as roof gardens, smoking areas, staff lounges, or even for social gatherings.
“We hope that Centro will be the catalyst to accelerate the growth in the form of modernising Klang. We are proud that this is in line with the Klang Municipal Council and its president’s commitment and dedication to develop Klang into a modern and world-class city,” he said.
Teo said there was presently no iconic building in Klang where occupiers could own their office space, adding that most of the existing offices were in shop offices.
He said that after an extensive market research, he saw the potential to introduce the concept of a mixed-use complex comprising of a modern strata title office tower and a neighbourhood retail and lifestyle centre.
“Our research indicated a range of growing problems and concerns among businesses in Klang, most notably those in shop houses. These problems included a severe shortage of parking, worsening traffic congestion and a need for better security.”
“Furthermore, we found that there was an increasing need among more and more companies, whether local or multinational, for a signature business address to match their company’s image,” he said.
“Unfortunately, the main or only option for the majority of businesses in Klang are the traditional shop lots, which do not give certain companies the prestigious address they desire,” he added.
Teo said many businesses in Klang were also forced to rent due to the lack of commercial space for sale, whereas those who were able to own their own premises had bought leasehold properties.
He said another main advantage of Centro is its prime location and easy accessibility. It is strategically located at the growth corridor of Klang as it sits at the gateway to the Klang city centre with direct access to the Federal Highway and NKVE. It is also free from the traffic and congestion of the Klang city centre.
The location itself fronts a four-lane dual carriageway for easy access to and from the building. Centro is also in close proximity to a comprehensive network of other highways, including the Kesas Highway and Elite Highway to the south and Guthrie Highway to the north.
The KL International Airport and the West and North Ports are just as easily accessible from Centro.
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