UDA eyes Pekeliling redevelopment

By BUSINESS TIMES

PROPOSAL UNDERWAY: Company plans to transform area into a Malaysian Battersea

GOVERNMENT-owned UDA Holdings Bhd wants to take over the Pekeliling flats site in Kuala Lumpur, and turn in into “Malaysia’s Battersea Power Station project”.

Newly-appointed chairman Datuk Johari Abd Ghani said UDA is in the process of submitting its proposal to redevelop the site.

Efforts to rejuvenate the area has stalled for 12 years.

“The 15ha development can be turned into our very own Battersea development project comprising mixed development such as condominiums and commercial lots,” Johari said.

The Battersea project is a RM40 billion power station redevelopment in London undertaken by a consortium comprising SP Setia Bhd, Sime Darby Bhd and the Employees Provident Fund.

UDA is ready to develop the Pekeliling area by building affordable homes priced between RM300,000 and RM350,000 a unit strategically located in the city, Johari told reporters after the company’s Hari Raya open house yesterday.

The redevelopment of Tuanku Abdul Rahman flats, better know as the Pekeliling flats, was mooted as early as 1995.

The government decided to redevelop the flats as part of a project called Taman Sari to provide better housing and living conditions in the area.

At the end of 2005, government-appointed developer Asie Sdn Bhd began demolishing Block A and B after most of the residents from the 11 blocks moved out.

Demolition work on the rest of the housing blocks, however, stalled due to a legal tussle.

Built in 1967, the 17-storey flats were one of the city’s earliest public housing projects.

In 2011, property developer Mah Sing Group Bhd secured a deal to develop part of the Pekeliling flats area into serviced residences and retail units with an estimated gross development value of RM900 million.

But the project did not kick off as Mah Sing faced legal and monetary issues with project owner Asie.

Johari said the Pekeliling project has dragged on for too long and it is time that redevelopment takes off.

“If the EPF, Sime Darby and SP Setia can do it in Battersea, a similar project can also be done in Pekeliling by UDA and joint-venture partners,” Johari said, declining to reveal investment details.

Johari said the Pekeliling redevelopment can be partly funded by UDA’s other projects such as the ongoing Pudu development.
He said the project will give high priority to the Bumiputera agenda.

For example, the commercial lots will be awarded to genuine Bumiputera enterpreneurs who really want to do business with no political connections and they will not be allowed to sub-let their lots to non-Bumiputeras.

Johari, who was appointed UDA chairman on July 8, said he wants to go all out to bring UDA back to its former glory with emphasis on affordable houses, especially for the middle income group.

“UDA wants to focus on building homes within the RM200,000 and RM300,000 range,” said Johari.

UDA, which is wholly-owned by the Finance Ministry, owns malls such as the Bukit Bintang Plaza, Pertama Complex and the AnCasa Hotel and Spa chain.

– Malaysia Property News

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