City & Country: Overseas projects

TA Global owns four hotels overseas  —Swissotel Merchant Court hotel in Singapore, Radisson Plaza Hotel Sydney and The Westin Melbourne in Australia, as well as the Aava Whistler in Canada. It also owns the 24-storey Terasen Centre office tower (previously known as BC Gas Centre) in Vancouver, Canada.

In Malaysia, the developer owns Menara TA One, a stone’s throw from the Petronas Twin Towers. The 37-storey building also serves as the corporate headquarters of the TA Group.

“We are actively looking at projects overseas. In fact my son (Tiah Joo Kim) is working on a joint venture called Fantasy Garden in Richmond, Vancouver. It is a joint venture with a local developer for a 22-acre parcel of land that is surrounded by established areas and highways. It is mixed development with landed residential, commercial and office components.

“Richmond is mainly a Chinese area near the airport with immigrants from Hong Kong, Taiwan and China. They send their children to study there and are looking to buy homes, not only for capital appreciation but also for the strong Canadian dollar (which is now on a par with the US dollar). Statistics show that there is a shortage of homes in Vancouver,” TA Global director Datin Alicia Tiah says.

She adds that the project will take over seven years and is expected to bring in some C$35 million (RM111.6 million) profit to the group.

The group is currently in the advanced stages of negotiations for two projects in Vancouver. It expects to announce at least one project this year.

Fantasy Garden will be jointly developed by TA Global’s unit TA Development One (Canada) Ltd and Townline Gardens Inc. It will be developed on the land formerly known as Fantasy Garden World, a garden tourist attraction once owned by a former premier of British Columbia. It was then sold to Townline Gardens.

According to a filing with Bursa Malaysia in November 2009, TA Global said the site would be rezoned and redeveloped into a mixed use residential development comprising about 470 apartments and 70,000 sq ft of retail and office space. More than half the site is agricultural land, which would be developed as a public botanical park and urban gardens. The estimated total development cost of the project is about C$170 million (RM542 million).

This article appeared in City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 810, June 14-20, 2010 

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