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French embassy land in Jln Ampang up for sale

KUALA LUMPUR: The eight-acre (3.2ha) piece of land that belongs to the French embassy in Jalan Ampang here will be sold via an exclusive tender by CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) Malaysia next week, its associate director Nabeel Hussain told The Edge Financial Daily yesterday.

The freehold institutional land, which houses the ambassador’s residence, two bungalows, and the embassy office, is directly opposite the British High Commission. It is also next to the Intermark building, in which the Doubletree by Hilton hotel, together with some offices and retail lots, are located.

The tender exercise will be carried out next week and will be concluded by Chinese New Year in February, said Nabeel.

“We are setting a relatively long period for the tender exercise because it is a big and expensive piece of land,” he said.

No reserve price has been set for the land yet, said Nabel. However, it is learnt that the French government is expecting bids of around RM600 million, which equates to about RM1,800 per sq ft (psf), given the winning bid for the British High Commission’s land two years ago.

“For the land to fetch RM2,000 psf is no problem because the British High Commission tender fetched around RM2,200 psf. However, the British High Commission property is more expensive because it is zoned for commercial use, compared with the French embassy, which is for institutional use,” said Knight Frank Malaysia managing director Sarkunan Subramaniam.

Two years ago, S P Setia Bhd won the tender for the 3.07-acre British High Commission property that fetched RM294.96 million or RM2,200 psf in 2012.

It was reported that the developer planned to redevelop the property — which includes a 3-storey building, a 2-storey clubhouse, and a swimming pool — into an integrated commercial development with a gross development value of RM1.04 billion.

Nabeel said the French embassy has a year to vacate the premises after the tender is concluded next year, but claimed that he did not know where the embassy will relocate to.

“However, it is a worldwide trend for governments to sell embassy land to trim their budgets and move the embassies to office buildings because of better security and facilities,” he added.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on December 2, 2014.

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