JOHOR BAHRU/SINGAPORE (Aug 29): Singapore Exchange Ltd-listed Astaka Holdings Ltd unveiled the master plan for its flagship One Bukit Senyum (OBS) development at the groundbreaking ceremony yesterday for the new headquarters of the Johor Bahru City Council (MBJB).
A one-minute drive from customs, immigration and quarantine complex connecting Singapore and southern Peninsular Malaysia, OBS will be Johor Bahru’s new central business district when it is fully completed in 2021, the company said in a statement. It will occupy 11.85 acres (4.8ha) of freehold land — approximately the size of nine football fields — with a gross floor area of 6.3 million square feet (sq ft).
OBS will be developed in two phases. The first comprises The Astaka @ OBS, two residential blocks with a total of 438 units. At 65 and 70 storeys respectively, they are tipped to be the tallest residential towers in Southeast Asia.
Phase two will comprise MBJB’s new headquarters (Menara MBJB), a 450-room five-star hotel, 1,012 residences, 254 serviced apartments, a 1.5 million sq ft shopping mall and a Grade A office building. Astaka expects to obtain preliminary regulatory approvals for phase two by the end of 2016.
The groundbreaking for Menara MBJB marks the start of construction for phase two of the entire OBS development. Some 800 staff from MBJB will move to the new headquarters once the building is completed by the end of 2019.
The groundbreaking ceremony was officiated by the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, the Tunku Mahkota of Johor, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin, Astaka founder and controlling shareholder Datuk Daing A Malek Daing A Rahaman and Astaka chief executive officer and executive director Datuk Zamani Kasim. Guests included government officials and several distinguished guests.
The ceremony comes four weeks after Astaka signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding to construct and develop the 15-storey Menara MBJB, which will be sold to MBJB. A sale and purchase agreement is expected to be concluded this year. Slated for completion by 2019, Menara MBJB will have a gross floor area of approximately 445,848 sq ft.
Zamani said: “The groundbreaking ceremony marks another milestone for Astaka and we are proud to contribute to the transformation of Johor. We believe major projects such as the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System and the high-speed rail will raise capital values of properties in the region and also increase demand for our development. In view of these developments, we are expecting the gross development value of OBS to be increased and we will update shareholders in due course.”
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on Aug 29, 2016. Subscribe to The Edge Financial Daily here.