WCT plans township project in Vietnam

By THE STAR

KLANG: WCT Land Bhd is looking to venture into Vietnam within a year, banking on the country’s high population and its “market openness”.

“We have set up a representative office in Ho Chi Minh City and are awaiting the relevant approvals before starting development there,” executive director Lai Yeng Fock told StarBiz.

Lai said WCT hoped to establish an integrated township in Vietnam.

“Vietnam is exciting – since the country joined the World Trade Organisation, the market there has become more open,” he said.

Locally, the property developer’s projects are thriving. Its flagship development is the Bandar Bukit Tinggi (BBT) in Klang, which comprises BBT 1, BBT 2 and BBT 3.

Lai Yeng Fock with a scale model of Bandar Bukit Tinggi 1

BBT 1 will comprise two 12-storey office towers known as The Towers, 20 units of four-storey retail shops and offices and a 12-storey hotel, known tentatively as BBT Hotel.

Total gross development value (GDV) for the 7-acre BBT 1 is RM1.02bil.

Lai said all the shops and offices had been sold while the launch of the Two Towers was scheduled for June.

“We expect a 100% take-up rate within a year of the launch,” he said, adding that construction of the two towers had started and was expected to be completed by mid-2008.

Lai said office space at The Towers would be suitable for those in port-related businesses, such as shipping companies, freight forwarders as well as financial and insurance entities.

“Pricing is competitive as we also provide air-conditioning units, light fittings and card access systems, so tenants can move in without much renovations, “ he said.

He said the Allson International Hotels and Resorts group was currently providing technical services for the hotel.

“We are at the final stage of negotiations with Allson for it to become the operator of the hotel, of which we will remain the owner,” Lai said, adding that the hotel would open for business by end-2008.

WCT has another project in Kelana Jaya where it plans to put up the Paradigm, a building comprising six blocks of office suites and a shopping mall. Total GDV for the Paradigm is RM1.2bil.

“We target to start construction by the middle of this year while the whole development would probably take five to six years,” he said.

The company has land bank of about 500 acres left. They are located in the Klang Valley and Kota Kinabalu, which, according to Lai, should keep it busy for six years or so.

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