Govt may pay up to RM400m to compensate Ampang Park owners


Strategic location: Ampang Park, which is one of the oldest malls in Kuala Lumpur, was gazetted for compulsory acquisition on July 21, 2015 to make way for the second MRT line project.

PETALING JAYA: The government may be paying compensation of between RM300mil and RM400mil to acquire Ampang Park mall from strata shoplot owners in order to proceed with the second mass rapid transit (MRT) line, according to sources.

It is understood that there will be a separate package for tenants which has been excluded from this valuation.

Three valuers that StarBiz spoke to have reservations about the RM300mil compensation as they felt the figure should be higher. Stocker Roberts & Gupta principal D.B. Das Gupta said total compensation had been estimated at about RM300mil.

“The maximum is RM400mil,” he said, referring to comments on valuations of more than RM400mil for owners.

“This is, after all, a small old mall,” he said of Kuala Lumpur’s first mall, which was completed in 1972.

He also gave a range for the cost of the awards, with compensation price for ground floor units ranging between RM5,200 and RM6,200 per sq ft (psf), first floor lots between RM1,700 and RM2,500 psf and second floor units between RM1,500 and RM1,800 psf.

The ground floor had the highest value with a rental rate averaging between RM30 and RM38 psf a month, he said.

Das Gupta said: “Business for the tenants and owners will not be the same, so all these costs should be built into the compensation award. There will also be a gestation period after the relocation.

“They have a right to claim for lost of profit and goodwill for up to three years, and not between six to nine months,” he said.

The government compulsorily acquired government-owned UDA Ocean Shopping Centre and Plaza Warisan behind Klang Bus Stand for the first MRT line between Sungai Buloh and Kajang.

The compulsory acquisition of this privately-owned mall would set a precedent, said Das Gupta, adding that the government must be fair in giving out awards as business owners would be economically affected by the acquisition.

Another valuer, who declined to be named, said the RM300mil figure “is questionable”. He reckons total compensation should be more but declined to give any figure.

“So far, only verbal awards were given and the matter is confidential,” he said.

Meanwhile, PPC International managing director Datuk Siders Sittampalam estimated total compensation could run up to more than RM300mil.

Both shoplot owners and tenants will be compensated. If translated into a vacant land of 4.5 acres, this worked out to RM2,040 psf, “which is an acceptable figure”, he said.

Shoplot owners said the Federal Territory Land Office completed the hearings on Sept 2.

“We were told to wait for a formal written award after being told verbally,” one of the sources said, adding that the ground floor owners were offered between RM55,000 and RM75,000 per sq metres, or about RM6,000 per sq ft.

About four-fifths of shoplot owners have received their formal awards. Compensation is expected to be paid by this November.

The government is buying the premises to build a link between the existing Ampang Park LRT station and the new MRT and to build train tunnels.

Ampang Park was gazetted for compulsory acquisition on July 21, 2015. Some owners took the government to court but lost their legal battle. Work for Ampang Park station has started but has been confined to outside the Ampang Park property.

The five-storey Ampang Park, which fronts Jalan Ampang, has a net lettable area of about 355,489 sq ft, a source said.

Low Keng Huat Brothers Realty Sdn Bhd, the mall’s developer, owned 63 of the total 253 lots, sources said.

The last vacant land transaction in Jalan Ampang was by Singapore’s Oxley Holdings Ltd, which bought 3.2 acres in Jalan Ampang next to Wisma Central for RM3,300 psf in 2013.

Valuers concede the acquiring authorities must not keep owners and tenants in limbo. “Tell them when they want full vacant possession of Ampang Park. They are now in a limbo,” one of them said.

Owners have up to six weeks from the date of the formal written awards to file an appeal. They can appeal with “Borang N” and pay about RM3,000 in court fees with a bank draft and hand this to the Land Administrator, who has one year to refer the matter to the High Court.

Owners can appeal right up to the Federal Court.


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