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WCT to venture into hotel management

KLANG: WCT Bhd opened the doors of its first hotel in Klang on Monday, Oct 11 with the goal of making hotel management a viable component of its business within the next few years.

“It is certainly an area we are looking into, starting with Premiere Hotel. Premiere is an opportunity for us to build a strong hotel management team and demonstrate our expertise in hotel management so we can tapped into this market,” said WCT executive director Loh Siew Choh.

Loh was speaking to theedgeproperty.com after the opening ceremony of WCT’s first hotel development, the 250-room business class Premiere Hotel in Bandar Bukit Tinggi, Klang.

The hotel was built at a cost of RM75 million and is part of BBT_ONE, a development comprising office towers and a retail boulevard.

altAccording to Loh, WCT’s decision to venture into hotel management started with the idea of building a business class hotel in Bandar Bukit Tinggi to cater to the needs of business operators and residents in the area.

“We then decided to manage the hotel ourselves. We look at hotel management as part and parcel of facilities management,” said Loh.

Eddie Tan, director of a WCT subsidiary, BBT Hotel Sdn Bhd, added that another two hotels are in the works – one within the Paradigm Petaling Jaya development and another in its Platinum Plaza development in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam.

The RM1.4 billion Paradigm PJ in Kelana Jaya comprises a shopping mall and three Grade A office towers with a combined floor space of 2.1 million sq ft.

Meanwhile, the RM1 billion Platinum Plaza in Vietnam comprises a shopping mall, a block of SoHo offices, two office towers of 22-storeys each and a hotel. The project has a total development area of 7.2 million sq ft and will be developed in three phases over four years.

The hotel business will also help boost recurring income, said Loh, adding that presently, recurring income is mainly derived from AEON Shopping Centre at present and Premiere Hotel.

“We will soon add Paradigm PJ within three years and Platinum Plaza within four to five years to the list,” added Loh.

On the construction front, WCT on Oct 8 secured the contract from Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) for a build-operate-transfer concession for an integrated complex and all associated works at KLIA2.

KLIA2 comprises a transportation hub for taxis and buses; one building with net lettable area of approximately 437,000 sq ft and car parks with up to 6,000 parking bays. The development is scheduled to be completed by June 30, 2012.

On the property development front, Loh said that its property division is doing better this year compared to last year and it currently contributes about 30% to the group’s revenue.

“We are also looking to acquire more landbank, especially in the vicinity of Bandar Parkland, which will cushion us for the next four to five years,” said Loh.

WCT presently has about 343 acres of landbank including 12 acres in Kota Kinabalu and 11 acres in Iskandar Johor.
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