Big plans for the big city

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  • Thursday, 02 Jul 2015

1 M101 Holdings founders Chua (left) and Yap aim to launch 10 projects in Kuala Lumpur.2 A rendering of M101 Holding’s proposed project in Bukit Bintang, which is popular with tourists.

Did you know that Malaysia is located 101 degrees east of Greenwich?

M101 Holdings Sdn Bhd, or Meridian 101 Degree, was named after Malaysia’s coordinates back in 2012 when its founders, Datuk Seth Yap Ting Hau and Datuk Chua Eng Pu, decided to enter the property market officially as a developer.

Despite being the new kids on the block, M101 Holdings is making waves in the property market with its plan to introduce a series of “small footprint, big statement” developments based on the concept of metropolitan living.

With projects M101 Dang Wangi and Bukit Bintang underway, M101 is set on advancing the real estate industry with a concept that it thinks will be able to draw foreign investors.

The founders had been involved in the real estate industry for a good numbers of years before the formation of M101 and the decision to enter the market officially as a developer materialised when both Yap and Chua saw the opportunity for growth in property development after the market rebounded in 2010.

Chua has 19 years of experience in property development and construction.

He was appointed managing director of Vision Development Concept Sdn Bhd in 1999 and managing director for Kejuruteraan Janaperak Sdn Bhd and Vision Contracts Two Sdn Bhd in 2000.

He successfully launched and completed flagship projects such as Anjung Tiara, Desa Tiara, Summit City, Desa Residensi Condominium, Taman Pagoh Indah, and Taman Jus Perdana to name a few, in conjunction with other prominent property developers in Malaysia.

Yap, on the other hand, graduated from the University of Liverpool in 2001 and was admitted to the Bar in England.

Upon his return to Malaysia, he was admitted to the Malaysian Bar in 2010.

In more than a decade practicing law, Yap has dealt with most of the banks in Malaysia through his specialty in property law.

A rendering of M101 Holding’s proposed project in Bukit Bintang, which is popular with tourists.
A rendering of M101 Holding’s proposed project in Bukit Bintang, which is popular with tourists.

He has also developed relationships across the retail and commercial property sectors around the region.

In 2012, the duo joined forces and founded M101 Holdings.

“The decision came after we saw an opportunity to build small, boutique buildings in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, a niche other developers were ignoring,” Chua said.

The company now has four projects underway in Kuala Lumpur as of this year.

“We see opportunities in small undeveloped parcel of lands in the city centre. The metropolitan living conceptualised by M101 encourages foreigners to invest in Malaysia.

“We rely on our instinct to make new markets or find untapped value in existing ones,” said Yap.

With plans for projects worth RM4bil in gross development value over the next three years, the company aims to launch 10 integrated commercial and retail developments featuring small, flexible offices, hotels, retail space and lifestyle amenities.

“We are looking at areas such as KLCC, Bukit Bintang and Raja Chulan, which draw tourists,” said Yap.

The company’s latest project will be located along Jalan Tun Razak, and will be “something different from other developments” in the area, according to the duo.

“We are also securing land along Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, in Kampung Attap and Kampung Baru. So, the next few years will be very exciting for us. We hope to complete all our projects by 2020,” said Yap.

The company has already started looking beyond Malaysian shores with two other cities in Asia in its sights.

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