City & Country: A new hub for KL city centre

Tamansari — a high-end urban renewal project unfolding in Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur, where the Pekeliling flats once stood — is expected to give a fillip to the entire area. Riding on this and expected better times this year, construction firm Prinsiptek Corp Bhd is launching its Vue Residences located near Tamansari mid this year.

The contractor-cum-developer received all the necessary approvals for the project in late 2008, but decided against putting it on the market because of the global financial crunch. Now that the economy is looking up, Prinsiptek Corp says it is ready to unveil the project, which is targeted at executives, expatriates and doctors due to its proximity to several hospitals and public transportation hubs.
Foo: Vue Residences is scheduled for completion by mid-2013. Photo by Lee Lay Kin
The RM130 million Vue Residences, a stone’s throw away from Tamansari, and diagonally opposite Kuala Lumpur General Hospital, will offer 272 units in a 24-storey block.

Prinsiptek Corp group managing director Datuk Foo Chu Jong sees good potential in the Pekeliling area becoming another main hub in Kuala Lumpur after the KLCC area, due to its proximity to the city centre, land scarcity, as well as the infrastructure already in place.

“The Pekeliling area is the single largest landbank in KL city. It is going to be a very high-end development when it takes off, supported by the surrounding amenities such as private and public hospitals, commercial activities, accessibility and public transportation,” he tells City & Country.

Vue Residences will sit on a 0.7-acre tract Prinsiptek Corp acquired in 2006 for RM20 million. The land is now vacant and being used as a car park.

Facilities at Vue Residences will include a gym, an indoor swimming pool, a childcare centre as well as a rooftop garden. The partly furnished units, with built-ups ranging from 500 sq ft to 1,300 sq ft, are expected to cost RM600 psf onwards, and the studio units RM500 psf onwards. It will have 325 parking bays.

There will also be eight retail units in the two-level commercial podium, which has a net lettable area of 10,000 sq ft. The developer plans to keep these for recurring income and to control the tenant mix. However, Foo does not rule out putting these units on the market if the price is right.

He sees the retail units meeting the needs of the residents of Vue Residences, especially those who will be renting the serviced apartments to take care of family members or friends seeking treatment in the hospitals nearby, he says.
Vue Residences — the company’s second development — is scheduled for completion by mid-2013. In 2007, Prinsiptek Corp built its first development, 74 units of 2-storey terraced houses on a 4.62-acre tract of land in Melaka. All the units have been sold.

By end-2010, the firm also plans to launch the last phase of a project in Bandar Baru Bangi, Seri Kembangan, and one in Seksyen 7, Shah Alam, offering 2½ -storey terraced houses with average built-ups of 2,800 sq ft.

Nearly 30 years experience
An artist's impression of Vue Residences
The 51-year-old Foo has been in the construction industry for about 27 years. Together with younger brother Foo Chu Pak, he started a construction firm in 1982. They sold this before setting up Prinsiptek (M) Sdn Bhd in 1990.

Prinsiptek Corp was listed on the (then) Second Board of Bursa Malaysia on Dec 10, 2003, via a reverse takeover of L&M Corp (M) Bhd. The firm was transferred to the Main Board of Bursa Malaysia in 2005. Prinsiptek Corp’s current issued and paid-up share capital is 126.78 million shares of 50 sen each. Chu Pak is the executive director of Prinsiptek Corp.

As at end-2007, the company had undertaken and completed construction projects valued at about RM1.04 billion, consisting of high-rise hotels, multi-storey car parks and staff quarters for the Genting Bhd Group from 1990 to 2001; the rehabilitation of abandoned projects for the Selangor state government; as well as residential and commercial projects in Taman Equine, Shah Alam and Putrajaya.

“We also do a lot of design-and-build for clients, and we know almost all the ‘tactics’ of property development. An opportunity came in 2000 and we ventured into property development via a joint venture in Seksyen 7 Shah Alam. We did turnkey construction for them (construction, sales and marketing as well as management).

“After that, we acquired other land parcels in Bangi and Ampang via joint ventures. We subsequently bought some land in Melaka and Kuala Lumpur for development.”

An artist's impression of the pool areaFoo says they aspire to provide lifestyle and conceptual living for their buyers. Rather than selling bare units, facilities such as air-conditioning are provided to make life easier for buyers.

Prinsiptek’s construction division has branched out to Bangkok, where it bought in 2006 a 16.2-acre tract which is currently pending approval for a RM80 million mixed landed development.

“The Bangkok market has come back and its economy has stabilised. We intend to launch the project in early 2011,” Fong says.

For now, construction remains the company’s main income source, contributing 90% to its total revenue. Foo hopes to see the contribution from property development increase to 40% in three years.

Including Vue Residences and the land in Bangkok, Prinsiptek Corp’s total undeveloped landbank measures about 50 acres — with tracts in Shah Alam, Taman Selasih, Sri Gombak and Bangi in Selangor, as well as Penang. All these should keep the developer busy for the next five years.

This article appeared in City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 794, Feb 22-28, 2010.

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