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106,805 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
City Square Complex and Plaza Ampang Redevelopment

This complex comprises a 62 storey office building, 35 storey (Crown Princess) hotel, six level retail mall and an 11 storey shopping centre. It has a combined gross floor area of 2.2 million ft² and is located 500 meters from the Petronas Towers.

Investment strategy MGPA intends to undertake a major refurbishment programme to the office and hotel elements, a redevelopment and extension to the retail space and then hold and sell into an improving market.

106,805 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
RM2bil Integrated Developement in KL

Michael Wilkinson (left) and MGPA Asia Developments managing
director Moon Duck Kim posing with the replica of The Intermark

“Construction cost is now at a moderate rate and with careful selection of investment, we can still benefit,” he said during the launch of The Intermark, a fully integrated world class mixed-use development, yesterday. MGPA will invest RM2bil (including acquisition and construction costs) in The Intermark.

The amount involves the complete refurbishment of 62-storey landmark grade A office building Vista Tower (formerly known as Empire Tower), a new international grade A office building Integra Tower, retail centre Intermark Mall (formerly known as City Square) and Malaysia’s first Doubletree by Hilton Hotel (formerly Crown Princess Hotel).

MGPA - through it’s Asia Fund 2 - acquired the Empire Tower, City Square, the Crown Princess Hotel and Plaza Ampang in 2007 for about RM760mil.

Wilkinson says the reason to refurbish and build the grade A office buildings was because such buildings were limited in the city.

“Besides that, the location of the development - at the junction of Jalan Tun Razak and Jalan Ampang - is very strategic, just 500 metres from the Petronas Twin Towers and also about a two-minute walk to the Ampang Park LRT,” he says.

The company is comfortable with the investment in Malaysia and will be here for a long time, he says, adding: “In fact, we are looking for more investment opportunities in Malaysia and will announce that when the time comes.”

He says Malaysia was fortunate to be still resilient in the current climate and, with a strong market, the country was still attractive to investors.

Vista Tower is expected to be completed by year-end while the Intermark Mall and DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel will be completed in the first quarter next year. The other building, Integra Tower, is scheduled for completion by end-2012.

106,805 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Landmark makeover
By Sharon Kam

The Intermark
The Intermark is derived from the phrase "integrated landmark". The "Inter" also refers to the international quality of the project and the inter-related components within the development, explains Wilkinson.

"Our key goal is to integrate these four buildings (in The Intermark) into one contiguous property," he says. MGPA is confident of reaping returns from its investment in The Intermark, based on its experience in managing similar international class commercial properties in Asia.

Says Kim: "We have been managing commercial properties in Asia and have set international standards in our buildings. We have experience in serving multinational tenants, so we want to do the same thing here and improve quality for our tenants."

He adds that basic services, such as air-conditioning, lifts and power supply, have to be managed properly. The gross floor space will be expanded from 2.2 to 2.7 million sq ft. Parking bays will also be increased from 1,600 to 2,600.

"We will improve traffic flow in the vicinity of the area. Our plan is to make The Intermark accessible from all directions," says Wilkinson.

Aedas Architects, an architectural company well known for its high-density mixed commercial designs, has been appointed to design The Intermark.
Under the master plan, the retail component, known as the Intermark Mall, will be the "artificial glue" to integrate all the components. The gross floor space at the former City Square Shopping Centre will be reduced to 400,000 sq ft after it has been refurbished. According to data from Henry Butcher Retail, supply of retail space in the Klang Valley as at end-2008 was estimated at 46.90 million sq ft while new retail supply for 2009 is estimated at 2 million sq ft.

Vista Tower
The first component to be launched for lease will be the Grade A offices in Vista Tower, or the refurbished Empire Tower.

Vista Tower will have a glass-wrapped, clean and contemporary façade. It will have a lobby with double-height ceiling in contemporary design, high-speed lifts, disabled-friendly features, security access control and a new air-conditioning system.

The current rent at Empire Tower is RM3.50 to RM4 psf but with the upgrading, the new rates may start from RM7 onwards, depending on the length of lease and location of the space. "We will adopt global standards for the building and in serving our tenants. We believe demand for office buildings with large floor space and quality fittings will continue to fetch premium rents," says Wilkinson.

According to data from Knight Frank Malaysia, the current supply of office space within the Golden Triangle and the Kuala Lumpur central business district (CBD) in 4Q2008 is about 41.1 million sq ft, while average rents for Grade A offices and Grade A+offices in the Golden Triangle are about RM6.17 and RM9.67 psf respectively.

The rents of offices at Petronas Twin Towers and Maxis Tower is an average RM8.70 psf and RM6.80 psf (minus service charges), according to KLCC Property Holdings Bhd's half-year results ended Sept 30, 2008.
Prospective tenants at Vista Tower will be multinational companies in various sectors such as the oil and gas sector. Several current tenants have renewed their leases, including a media agency, an embassy and an aviation company.

About two-thirds of the building is still being occupied by tenants. Conglomerate Ranhill Bhd, which leased about 50% of Empire Tower, is moving out gradually, hence the refurbishment can only be completed when the lease for the present tenants ends. Nevertheless, the renovation is expected to be completed at year-end.
"The building was more than 80% occupied when we first took over. Today, among the top 10 office buildings in KL, occupancy is more than 90%," says Kim. "Vacancy rates have been consistently low for Grade A offices in the city centre, so we are confident that demand for office space will continue," says Wilkinson. Knight Frank Malaysia has been appointed property manager of Vista Tower.

Intermark Mall
The former City Square Shopping Centre will be partially redeveloped and extended into a retail centre called Intermark Mall. It will cater for international tenants and visitors at The Intermark.
"We are in an affluent area. So our strategy is to have a mix of retailers and food and beverage outlets to service occupants and visitors. The mall will have quality finishes equal to Pavilion KL," says Wilkinson.
"When the whole Intermark is completed, we expect 10,000 people working and visiting here daily," says Kim.
The mall will have more than 200,000 sq ft of nett lettable space to accommodate about 100 tenants such as cafes, spas, gymnasiums, beauty shops, bookshops, and others. Work on the mall will start in the next quarter.
Although it caters for high-end shoppers, it will not boast luxury brand names that are available at Suria KLCC and Pavilion KL. Instead, Wilkinson sees "a mass flow of workers and visitors coming across from Jalan Tun Razak to The Intermark for lunch".

The current Crown Princess Hotel will be replaced with Doubletree Hotel, an upscale product managed by Hilton Hotels Corp. The 571 rooms of the former hotel will be entirely stripped and redone while facilities will be expanded. The lobby entrance will also be relocated.
"By the time Doubletree opens, very little of the old Crown Princess will be recognisable," says Wilkinson, adding that the new hotel is targeted at business travellers.

Integra Tower
Plaza Ampang has already been demolished and coming up in its place will be the flagship of The Intermark — a state-of-the-art sustainable office building called Integra Tower.
"Integra Tower is the sizzle at Intermark. It is not often that we have the opportunity to put up a building of this quality. We are confident that with the combination of Aedas' design and the formula that worked for us in other cities, we will meet or exceed our tenants' requirements. We are building from scratch. It is going to be a cutting-edge office building," says Wilkinson. The 30 to 40-storey high tower is expected to be ready by 2012.
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