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M'sia-S'pore investors form JV to develop project in Danga Bay

JOHOR BAHRU: Singaporean and Malaysian investors on Monday, Dec 6 announced a partnership to jointly develop a RM500 million new waterfront residential and commercial project in Johor.

To be known as Azea Properties, the high-end development will be coming up on a 1.68 hectare site in Danga Bay — one of the key flagship zones within Iskandar Malaysia.

The Singapore investment, valued at an estimated RM150 million, is by Imperial Marina Pte Ltd — a property investment company helmed by businesswoman Tan Yang Po.

The company is a special purpose vehicle set up by Tan to explore and seize investment opportunities in the booming Iskandar Malaysia real estate sector.

According to a statement issued here, on Monday, she will be teaming up with Danga Bay Sdn Bhd (37%) and Pembinaan Sahabatjaya Sdn Bhd (33%) to develop the project through a joint-venture company — Para Impiana Sdn Bhd.

Witnessing the joint venture signing ceremony here on Monday was Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, who — with the Prime Minister — is joint-chairman of the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA).

Danga Bay is a waterfront master developer with a land bank of over 450 acres along the Straits of Johor, while Pembinaan Sahabatjaya, a building and civil engineering company, has successfully undertaken projects worth over RM1.3 billion since 1999.

Tan, who is also chief executive officer of Azea Property Investment Pte Ltd, has property investments around the world.

Her latest foray was into the United Kingdom and the United States, where over RM50 million worth of choice residential properties were snapped up.

This joint-venture comes on the heels of several major recent investments in Danga Bay, including the RM40 million hotel by Tune Hotels Sdn Bhd and a RM150 million 4-star hotel project to be built by a Kuala Lumpur-based developer.

In August this year, property developer Dijaya Corporation Bhd had also entered into a 60:40 joint venture with Danga Bay Sdn Bhd (DBSB) subsidiary, Iskandar Waterfront Sdn Bhd, to develop high end condominium and retail properties on 37 acres of land.

DBSB chief executive officer Datuk Lim Kang Hoo said the latest joint venture with Imperial Marina was a clear signal of the growing confidence of Singapore investors in opportunities across the causeway since the Prime Ministers of Malaysia and Singapore announced a resolution to the long-standing issue of Malaysian railway land in the Republic earlier this year.

Lim also noted a marked increase in investment interests since Khazanah Nasional Berhad and Temasek Holdings Limited announced the setting up of a joint-venture company to explore iconic property developments in Iskandar Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Tan said the proposed waterfront development in Danga Bay would comprise 700 units of serviced apartments spread over several tower blocks.

Retail space would also be incorporated into the buildings.

"All available units in one of the tower blocks has already been booked even before the project launch," she said, with selling prices ranging from RM650-RM880 per sq ft.

She said the premier seafront project offered exceptional value because of its prime location and proximity to Singapore.

Most of the prospective buyers, she admitted, would be members of the Azea Property Investment Club — a 1,000-strong member club of ordinary individuals who invest in properties around the globe.

The group recently acquired £3 million (RM14.83 million) worth of 12 Victorian-styled apartment units in London and another 200 units of landed properties valued at over US$7 million (RM21.98 million) in Houston, USA — all of which were going for sale below market value.

"We’re also looking into developing commercial properties on an adjoining parcel of land in Danga Bay," she said. — Bernama
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