The company plans to invest a further RM87 million to build a seven-storey hotel with 148 deluxe rooms and 20 family suites. The proposed resort will be the fourth hotel to be owned and managed by its wholly owned subsidiary UDA Ancasa Sdn Bhd.
“Other than that, a two-storey podium including a banquet hall that can hold up to 750 people at a time, a Balinese-concept spa, restaurants, a badminton hall-cum-multi-purpose hall, a swimming pool and a jetty would also be built there,” UDA Holdings chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed told reporters after the signing ceremony between UDA Holdings and the Pekan District Council for the purchase of the land.
“Construction work on the project would begin in October and is scheduled for completion at the end of 2012,” Jazlan said, adding that UDA has taken a bold move in developing a hotel in Pekan, as many other developers were hesitant to develop a hotel there.
However, Jazlan said UDA is willing to take the chance as part of its corporate social responsibility as a government-linked entity to create a catalyst for development in the district. Currently there are no rated hotels in the Pekan district, as most hotels prefer to be located in Kuantan.
Jazlan said Pekan currently has a few automotive factories in the district owned by DRB-Hicom, including the factory for Mercedes-Benz and Isuzu brand vehicles. as well as factories owned by DRB-Hicom Defence Technologies Sdn Bhd (DEFTECH), which builds vehicles for military usage.
“There is also an automotive college in Pekan that acts as a feeder for the automotive industry in Pekan,” he added.
The head of Pekan District Council, Datuk Abdul Basik Mohd Sah said previously that another automotive company had wanted to invest in Pekan, but withdrew their plans after learning that the district lacked accommodation and other infrastructure.
Jazlan added that the site of the new hotel is located near a new highway and near the Pahang River.
Meanwhile, UDA managing director Datuk Jaafar Abu Hassan expected the hotel to see an occupancy rate of at least 40% to 50% in the first year of operations. He said that the return of investment on the new hotel is expected within six to seven years after the hotel begin operations.
“We target 6.5% to 7% average yield after that,” Jaafar said, adding that this may be considered a modest target for other developers.
The company’s leisure division currently operates the AnCasa Hotel and Spa in Kuala Lumpur (previously known as Puduraya Hotel), the AnCasa AllSuites Resort & Spa Port Dickson at Pantai Teluk Kemang, Port Dickson, and the Jerejak Resort and Spa in Penang.
UDA’s leisure division also operates Kuala Terengganu Golf Resort, which features an 18-hole course and a three-storey, 28,000-square feet clubhouse.
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