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Dijaya acquires 227 acres in Plentong

JOHOR BAHRU: Dijaya Corp Bhd is expanding its presence in Johor with the acquisition of 227 acres (90.8ha) of land in Plentong, Johor Bahru.

On Monday, Aug 15, the developer announced that Magical Heights Sdn Bhd (MHSB) will be purchasing two parcels of property with a aggregate potential gross area of 227 acres from Trident World Sdn Bhd for RM220 million, or about RM22.25 per square foot.

MHSB is a 50-50 joint venture between Accroway Sdn Bhd (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dijaya) and Iskandar Waterfront Sdn Bhd (IWSB).

Dijaya managing director Datuk Tong Kien Onn was optimistic about the project's prospects, claiming Johor to be "three to five years behind Penang and has a good growth potential."

"We will be targeting both local and Singaporean buyers and investors. In terms of pricing, it will be somewhere between middle and middle-upper," he told The Edge Financial Daily on Monday.

The project is located close by to the Senibong Cove development, a successful joint venture between IWSB and Australia's Walker Group, and faces the coastal highway, which connects to Johor Bahru city and the Johor-Singapore causeway in 15 minutes, or 12km away.

The project, dubbed Tropicana Danga Cove, is expected to generate a gross development value of RM2.8 billion.

This marks Dijaya's second major foray in Johor.

IWSB and Dijaya previously worked together on the Danga Bay joint venture which is scheduled to be launched by the year-end. It covers 37 acres and comprises mixed commercial units, serviced apartments and even a small hotel, said Tong.

According to Tong, the first phase of development will see slightly over 11.3 acres of commercial land developed into 112 units of 3-storey shop offices measuring 24 ft by 70 ft and will likely be priced at between RM1 million and RM1.8 million.

Tong said the subsequent phases will consist primarily of residential developments which will take up most of the remaining land. Plans for the residential developments are still being drafted, he said, but will consist of landed properties, condominiums and gated communities and are expected to take eight to 10 years to complete.

Dijaya CEO Tan Sri Danny Tan said the decision to enter into the next significant venture in Johor via the purchase of the land was in line with its expansion strategy into the southern region of Peninsular Malaysia.

"This provides a balanced approach of the expansion in Johor in which the Plentong development will focus on landed residential and commercial properties while Tropicana Danga Bay will offer high-rise residential and commercial development", he said in a statement.

"The Plentong development will cater for the growing demand from purchasers who prefer to stay close to the city centre and those who commute to Singapore daily via Singapore-Malaysia causeway," he added.

With regards to the recent global economic crisis, Tong said "development is an industry that cannot slow down. Every 10 to 15 years, we have a downturn but we have to weather it and keep going. For us, it will be business as usual."

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