Gapurna’s new integrated green township with future in mind


By LIZ LEE
  • Business
  • Saturday, 17 Nov 2012

Salim: ‘PJ Sentral reflects the intense work ... to transform Malaysia into a high income country by 2020.’

PUTRAJAYA: Gapurna Sdn Bhd's 16.18ha development, PJ Sentral Garden City, with an estimated gross development value of RM11bil, will be Malaysia's first commercial development to be fully rated Leadership in Environment & Energy Design (LEED).

Project director Imran Salim said the township would be an integrated green development with one of the features being electric car-ready parking lots.

“All our car park areas will have mobile or console charging facilities where people can use their debit or credit cards, for example, to pay for a half-hour charge,” he said at the last Economic Transformation Programme Progress Update for 2012.

“We are not planning this for the next five years but the next 10 to 15 years, in terms of design, capacity and infrastructure,” he added.

Imran is the son of Datuk Mohamad Salim Fateh Din, the group managing director of Gapurna.

In a statement, Salim said: “PJ Sentral reflects the intense work and partnership between the public and private sector to transform Malaysia into a high income country by 2020.

“Being part of the Economic Transformation Programme has also assisted our development in obtaining facilitation and coordination support from various Malaysian government agencies, which in turn has expedited the implementation of the development.”

The development will be helmed by PJ Sentral Development Sdn Bhd with various main and specialist contractors. Construction is expected to begin full swing in the second or third quarter of 2013.

Imran also shed light on the possibility of creating attractions rather than infrastructure in the future, which are not only to address tourism but also the local market.

“We may have a humble retail element such as a gross 1 million sq ft mall, mostly F&B-driven, and perhaps reinvest into this retail element,” he said.

Beyond the RM5.23bil investment planned, Imran revealed that the group was studying the option of opening an indoor skiing resort in the mall in six years' time.

“Initial investment is RM5.23bil based on our current planning. As this is a project for the long haul, it will take a 12- to 15-year development cycle and we will enhance and revisit our investment as we go along,” he said.

Citing Ski Dubai as an example, Imran said this was one of the key attractions Gapurna had in mind and was already in talks with European companies, pointedly German companies that had done such projects, to evaluate the potential of the idea.

However, he said the idea was subjected to cost viability, total carbon footprint and whether it could be affordable for the local and regional markets.

In terms of accessibility, Imran said Gapurna, together with MPPJ, State Public Works Department (JKR) and other developers, were looking at a five-year cohesive masterplan for infrastructure upgrades around the area.

PJ Sentral's initial investment would be funded through a mix of short-term and long-term borrowings from lenders such as RHB Bank, Standard Chartered, CIMB Bank and some Islamic banks.

“We're looking at short-term conventional financing and probably raising funds through bonds for the long term. Ultimately, we want to park the assets into a real estate investment trust (REIT),” he said.

Imran added that Gapurna hoped to form the REIT in four years' time.

The development is expected to create a gross national income impact of RM522.97mil in 2020 while generating 36,828 jobs up to that year.

The first phase, cut out as a 4.85ha development of six customised-commercial buildings, already has four blocks completely taken up by local and multi-national companies for long-term leasing.

Gapurna is looking to lease its office developments for a 15-year or 15 + 5-year tenure and will announce in the coming months the anchor tenants it has secured thus far.

The first four buildings in Phase 1 would be completed three-and-a-half years.

The development will be planned according to the Green Building Index Gold rating for individual buildings as well as LEED Neighbourhood and Township Development Gold for the entire township.

The development, sited behind PJ Hilton, would revitalise and rehabilitate the area around Section 52, serving as a new central business district of Selangor and a catalyst for future redevelopment projects in the area.

PJ Sentral Garden City is undertaken by Nusa Gapurna Sdn Bhd through its subsidiaries, in a joint venture with Selangor State Development Corp.

Nusa Gapurna is 60:40 owned by Gapurna Sdn Bhd and the Employees Provident Fund.

Aside from Gapurna's project, another 10 National Key Economic Area projects were announced by the Prime Minister at the event.

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