PETALING JAYA: Land and General Bhd (L&G), the master developer of Bandar Sri Damansara township, plans to redevelop its club facilities and if successful, would lead the company to having access to 36 acres of prime freehold commercial land.
However, it first needs to get the consent from the members of the club, an exercise the company has already initiated.
Managing director Low Gay Teck told StarBiz that while they were still in initial stages of drawing out plans for the land that the club house sits on, it’s time to unlock its potential value.
“We are proposing for a commercial development and since the clubhouse sits on a prime piece of commercial land, to redevelop it will unlock its potential value.
“We may redesign the facility into a modern day club house as we believe an upgraded version is required to cater to the current residents’ needs,” said Low, adding that it would be integrated into the proposed commercial development, which consist of service apartment, shops and offices.
Bandar Sri Damansara is a matured 1,200-acre freehold township developed since the 1990s and the two-storey Bandar Sri Damansara Club was one of the lifestyle amenities built for residents.
At that time, the community bought the membership for RM5,000 for a 30-year term. Today, the facility has about 1,700 members and the fee for a new member is RM2,408 a year and RM1,908 for second year upon renewal of membership.
Low said L&G would propose to buy back the remaining unutilised term and compensate residents accordingly based on the entitlement in the trust deed.
Primarily involved in property investment and development business, L&G’s history goes back nearly 50 years.
The low-profile firm sits on a cash pile of about RM500mil and has made it clear that it’s on a hunt to acquire more land to replenish its land bank.
L&G has undeveloped land with gross development value (GDV) of RM3.3bil, with unbilled sales of RM29.7mil and new developments in the pipeline in excess of RM2bil.
This would keep the company busy in the next seven to 10 years, said Low.
“Contrary to people’s belief, L&G has over the years transformed and we are familiar with the market needs for the various areas.
“We are in the position to develop mid to upper range products and that augurs well for us to source for more landbank within the Klang Valley area,” he noted.
Low said the company hoped to conclude the acquisition of 112 acres in U10, Shah Alam within the next two months. L&G entered into a share sale agreement with Pembinaan Jaya Megah to buy the latter’s land for RM92.5mil in June 2015.
“This is a mature piece of land and we plan to develop terrace and semi-detached homes with some commercial units.
“This will give us a more balanced product portfolio of landed as well as high-rise properties,” he noted, adding that the project would commence in 2017 with an estimated GDV of RM1.2bil.
On the property market outlook, Low forecast that the property market could pick up in 2017.
Among L&G’s upcoming projects are Damansara Foresta phase 2, Astoria Ampang and Sena Parc projects, which it plans to roll out in the next six months. Damansara Foresta is a 40-acre project that will be developed in four phases over the next five to eight years while the Sena Park project spans 230 acres and is located in Senawang, Negri Sembilan
Low said L&G’s unencumbered land had all been carefully sourced, while it kept abreast with the latest designs for its products.
“As we progress on Damansara Foresta phase 2, 3 and 4, we are optimistic that take-up rates for these phases will be positive based on the response gotten from phase 1,” he says.
On catalyst for growth, Low noted that L&G would be developing land pockets for quick turnaround, adding that the continuous developments in Sena Parc, U10 and Foresta Damansara would be the company’s “bread and butter” for the next five to 10 years. L&G has a 2,500-acre land bank consisting of rubber and oil palm plantation in Ladang Kerling, Ulu Selangor, which it intends to develop into a township, according to Low.
However, the company is still in the stages of submitting papers for this.
“The demographics have changed over the years and an average income earner can no longer afford landed properties.
“Taking this into account, house buyers may opt for properties away from the city,” he noted, adding that Ladang Kerling is accessible via the Lembah Beringin toll, but it would also be linked via other routes.
Meanwhile, on its recurring income, Low said this was derived from rental of 8trium’s 108,000 sq ft retail space and Sekolah Sri Bestari in Bandar Sri Damansara, with each contributing over RM2mil and an average of RM5mil per year.
Its 13-storey office building in Putrajaya, which it bought over from Mayland Parkview Sdn Bhd two years ago for over RM70mil is still vacant and that has a guarantee yield of 5% for the first two years, according to him.
Mayland Parkview is the largest shareholder with a 31.03% stake.
L&G’s net profit for the first quarter ended June 30, 2016 was down 51% to RM10.28mil on the back of more than 80% drop in revenue at RM11.9mil.