THE Employees Provident Fund (EPF), which is charged to lead the development of the proposed prime township sited at Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia (RRIM) land in Sungai Buloh, Selangor, is expected to start distributing portions of the long-awaited project by June.
EPF chief executive officer Tan Sri Azlan Zainol said it will start calling for tenders, which are open to all strong property developers in the country to participate in.
"The project is going through some legal issues and then it will go through the bidding process.
"The development will be spread out over several phases and each phase will be around 12.15ha-20.25ha portions for the development of projects from commercial, residential, industrial, affordable housing and shophouses," he told Business Times in an interview at EPF's headquarters here recently.
Previously managed by RRIM, the 1,215ha land was slated for development over the next 10-15 years, as announced in the 2010 Budget , but until now the project has not taken off.
On May 12, 2010, the government had approved the proposal for the development of the Sungai Buloh land by Kwasa Land Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the EPF.
The EPF will have a master plan where it will allocate a few parcels and allow property developers to bid for those parcels, of which some parcels will be operated on a joint-venture basis while others may be sold outright via bids.
The development is likely to feature a big linear park, green lungs, open spaces, walkways and water bodies.
It will incorporate information technology and data infrastructure (Multimedia Super Corridor city status) and urban transportation integration.
This development will also house the depot for the upcoming mass rapid transit system.
Dubbed the new hub of the Klang Valley, the development is expected to attract RM5 billion in investments.
Monday April 23, 2012
EPF working on the master plan for 926ha RRI land
By THEAN LEE CHENG [email protected]
RRI land tender out soon
PETALING JAYA: The tender for the re-development of the 926ha out of the 1,215ha Rubber Research Institute (RRI) Malaysia land in Sungai Buloh, that is now controlled by Kwasa Land Sdn Bhd, is expected to be called by the third or fourth quarter of this year, sources said.
The new developments would give the RRI land a huge physical and economic boost that would lift the land value of the area.
Sources said the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) was now working on the master plan for the 926ha site so that it would be able to call for tenders for some parcels of the land as the entire development was supposed to take place over a 10 to 15-year period.
Sources said the parcels were likely to be broken down to between 100 acres and 500 acres and as the RRI land had attracted massive interest, sources believed the tenders were something property developers were waiting for.
The tenders were supposed to be out by June but because this development required considerable scrutiny and strategising, it might take a little longer.
Besides the development led by Kwasa, the original owner of the land, RRI, would remain at the same location.
It will get a new hub and under the agreement with Kwasa, RRI will retain 216ha.
It intends to build the most modern research facilities including a museum, a commodity college, its headquarters and business clusters.
This will be funded by RRI from the proceeds of monetisation of the 1,215 ha that it had once owned.
In an interview with StarBiz, Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB) Director-General Datuk Dr Salmiah Ahmad declined to disclose the amount it would be getting for monetising the 1,215ha to Kwasa.
She also declined to reveal how much it would cost MRB to develop the new facilities.
“The proceeds will be given in different portions (over a period of time).
“In addition to this, the Government will continue to fund MRB for its management and operations,” she said. RRI is one of the three agencies that come under the purview of MRB.
She also could not say when the first portion of funds will be disbursed by Kwasa to MRB.
However, she indicated that MRB must submit its master plan for development of the 216ha by this year to the Government.
She said EPF would pay for the land but the pension fund would be able to recoup much of this when it tenders out the remaining 926ha, or 76% of the 1,215ha.
Of the total land bank, 73ha was allocated for MRT Co to build the Sungai Buloh MRT depot. That portion of land is being cleared by the company currently for development.
The Sungai Buloh land is divided by the Jalan Sungai Buloh-Shah Alam highway which slices the 216ha in the middle.
The northern portion is under the authority of the Shah Alam City Council. It houses the RRIM research station and the MRT depot.
The southern portion comes under the Petaling Jaya City Council. Townships around the area include Kg Baru Sungai Buloh, Kg Sungai Kedondong, Taman Subang Bestari, Tropicana Golf and Country Resort and Damansara Indah.
Salmiah said MRB would also be monetising other land bank where its facilities were located.
This included Menara Getah Asli which fronts the Petronas Twin Towers in Jalan Ampang, the RRI building in Jalan Ampang, and two others, one each in Jalan Stonor and Jalan Lidcol.
“MRB is blessed with some very strategic properties.
“(But) anything we need to do with these properties would be decided by the board and has to be approved by the Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry. We also need to consult the Finance Ministry. It is really up to board to decide what it wishes to do with these assets and when it wants to do it.
“Our core activity is research and while we want to realise the value of our assets, (we have to do it systematically). We have to building our new premises before we can move out from our present offices that are located all over the Klang Valley,” she said.
She added that whatever the plans might be for the 926ha was not going to affect MRB, however, being on that site itself, the MRB would have to be kept in the loop, especially those near the 216ha.
RRI Land deal to be sealed soon
Tuesday 12 June 2012
KUALA LUMPUR: The Employees Provident Fund Board (EPF) is set to complete its acquisition of the Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia (RRI) land in Selangor from the federal government by month’s end for over RM2 billion, a property industry executive close to the deal said.
"The land, about 2,200 acres [890ha] of which are available for development, is to be bought as agricultural land for over RM2 billion,” said an executive who asked not to be identified. Under the proposed plan, the federal government will be entitled to a further share of the profit should certain tracts of land be tendered out are sold for higher than expected prices, the executive said.
"Announcements in relation to RRI should come by end of the month,” he said, adding that only 890ha are available for development after taking into account land retained by the Malaysian Rubber Board as well as what is earmarked for the mass rapid transit (MRT) system and other infrastructure needs.
Details on the tracts of land available for sale and joint development — long awaited by property developers — will be made public after the signing of the agreement with the government. The land transfer deal will make the EPF the landowner and master developer of the 1,215ha of land earmarked for phased development over 15 to 20 years.
"The land parcels] are expected to be a mix of freehold and leasehold,” said the executive. The state government will benefit from the conversion of land titles and receive higher income from development land than agricultural land,” he said.
Kwasa Land Sdn Bhd, the EPF’s wholly owned unit tasked with spearheading the preparation of the overall layout of the RRI development, is said to be ready to share details of its master plan. It is understood that Kwasa Land will soon be calling for tenders for land parcels slated for outright sale and make requests for proposals (RFPs) for parcels set aside for joint development that could give the EPF a higher income yield in the longer term.
The redevelopment of the RRI land in Sungai Buloh forms part of the greater Kuala Lumpur Strategic Development initiative, a project under the 10th Malaysia Plan. The southern portion of the RRI land, which includes parcels bordering the upmarket Tropicana Golf & Country Resort development, falls under the jurisdiction of the Petaling Jaya City Council. The northern portion, which houses the MRT depot, comes under the purview of the Shah Alam City Council.
Earlier this year, EPF CEO Tan Sri Azlan Zainol was reported to have said each phase of the RRI land parcels would be in portions of 12.15ha and 20.25ha. It was also previously reported that the Malaysian Rubber Board will retain about 217ha of the RRI hand while the MRT Depot would take up about 72ha.
This article appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, June 12, 2012.
On top of that, the merged IJM Land - MRCB company is also expected to benefit from another prime development - that is the 3,300 acre RRI Land in Sungei Buloh, which has been awarded to EPF - who is currently the MRCB majority shareholder. MRCB had been a niche developer - with its KL Sentral mixed and integrated development, and then IJM Land has been an experienced township developer - both add up, one has awesome land in Sungei Buloh, the other with experience and portfolio - combined together they are a formidable pair.
The prequalification process for bids for the Rubber Research Institutes of Malaysia (RRI) land in Sungai Buloh, Selangor, will start by the end of this year, says a source close to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF).
The source said EPF would call for the prequalification bids as soon as it gets the government's nod for the proposed development of the land.
Pre-qualification bids would be opened to developers who meet the requirements, he said.
"EPF will pen out the requirements and post them on its website soon. Among the criteria are strong financing, expertise, reputation and innovation," the source said.
EPF is the land owner and master developer of the project. It is buying 890ha of the available 1,215ha RRI agricultural land from the Federal Government for over RM2 billion.
The pension fund is expected to carve out the land in parcels of 20ha to 200ha each, depending on the use of it. The idea is to build low-end to luxury housing and commercial properties.
The balance of the RRI land is to house the Malaysian Rubber Board hub (217ha) and the My Rapid Transit (MRT) Sungai Buloh depot (72ha).
The master planning for the land development is being carried out by EPF's wholly-owned unit, Kwasa Land Sdn Bhd.
An official from the EPF said Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) was not involved in the master planning.
"MRCB's involvement in the project is on an arm's length basis. Like other developers, they will also have to bid for the land parcels," the official told Business Times.
EPF has a controlling stake in MRCB, the master developer of the KL Sentral project in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur.
It is understood that several property players like Glomac Bhd, Mah Sing Group Bhd and Gadang Holdings Bhd have presented their ideas to the EPF.
The redevelopment of the RRI land forms part of the greater Kuala Lumpur Strategic Development initiative, a project under the 10th Malaysia Plan.
The southern portion of the RRI land, which includes parcels bordering the Tropicana Golf & Country Resort, falls under the jurisdiction of the Petaling Jaya City Council.
The northern portion, which houses the MRT depot, comes under the purview of the Shah Alam City Council.
PETALING JAYA: The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Dijaya Corp Bhd are presently in talks to jointly develop certain parcels of the Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia (RRIM) land in Sungai Buloh, as well as to build an access road, according to a source.
Currently, the RRIM land that begins from the Sungai Buloh My Rapid Transit Depot in the north and ends with its southern portion bordering the Tropicana Golf & Country Resort, belongs to Dijaya.
The source said that the EPF would need an access road connecting the RRIM land to Petaling Jaya, and that access road would have to cut across the Tropicana Golf resort.
“Dijaya will probably need to relocate a small part of its golf course to make way for this access road. At the same time, the EPF has also invited Dijaya to jointly develop certain parcels of the RRIM land. While no concrete details have been decided, both parties have expressed their intention to work together,” it said.
The source added that the EPF wanted to start developing the RRIM land from the south, as it would make more commercial sense.
“By developing from the Tropicana side, it will also be easier for the EPF, as it is empty lots on that side, and hence being less complicated to develop.
“The mid-portion of the RRIM land is already developed and needs to be teared down and redone. Furthermore, land beside the Tropicana Golf Resort will also fetch better pricing for now,” it said.
When contacted, a spokesperson for the EPF said this market talk was not true.
Currently Dijaya is also in the midst of an amalgamation deal where in April it entered into agreements with several vendors for a proposed acquisition of 73 properties, comprising 49 parcels of land and 16 buildings, for RM949.9mil.
Meanwhile, it is understood that Kwasa Land Sdn Bhd, which is the EPF's wholly-owned unit, will be calling for bids for the RRIM land in Sungai Buloh by year-end. Kwasa Land is the master planner for the RRIM development.
Pre-qualification bids will be opened to developers who meet the requirements, which will include financial muscle, reputation and innovation, according to recent reports.
Kwasa Land is expected to divide out the RRIM land in portions of 20ha to 200ha each, which will be used to develop affordable residential and commercial properties.
The other parts of the RRIM land is to house the Malaysian Rubber Board hub (217ha) and the My Rapid Transit Sungai Buloh depot (72ha).
The redevelopment of the RRIM land is part of the greater Kuala Lumpur Strategic Development initiative and is a project under the 10th Malaysia Plan. The EPF is buying 890ha of the available 1,215ha RRIM agricultural land from the Federal Government for over RM2bil.
PETALING JAYA (Aug 5, 2012): Kwasa Land Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned unit of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and master developer of the 1,215ha Rubber Research Institute Malaysia (RRIM) land in Sungai Buloh, Selangor, has dismissed a report that it was in talks with Dijaya Corp Bhd to jointly develop the RRIM land as well as build an access road.
A local daily had reported on Saturday that EPF and Dijaya may develop certain parcels of the RRIM land together.
"Kwasa Land would like to categorically state that the news report is unfounded and that no developers have been selected as partners for the RRIM development at this point," said Kwasa Land CEO Mohd Lotfy Mohd Noh in a statement yesterday.
"We view such speculative stories with concern as there will be a clear process for developers to qualify as potential partners for this development. We will announce our pre-qualification process shortly, inviting developers to submit their credentials for shortlisting by the master developer," he added.
PETALING JAYA: Kwasa Land, a wholly-owned unit of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and master developer for the redevelopment of Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia (RRIM) land in Sungai Buloh, has denied talk that it is partnering Dijaya Corp Bhd.
In a statement released yesterday, Kwasa Land stated that a newsreport titled "EPF and Dijaya may develop RRIM Land" published two days ago was unfounded.
The company reiterated that so far, it has not selected any property developers as partners for the RRIM re-development.
"We view such speculative stories with concern as there will be a clear process for developers to qualify as potential partners for this development," said Kwasa Land chief executive officer Mohd Lotfy Mohd Noh.
"We will announce our pre-qualification process shortly, inviting developers to submit their credentials for short-listing by the master developer," he added.
Kwasa Land was established in September 2010 to manage the EPF's multi-billion property development investments in the country.
The government has asked Kwasa Land to incorporate an integrated transportation system into Sungai Buloh, like that of KL Sentral, into the new township and link it via mass rapid transit MRT to the rest of Klang Valley
AS a person who was born and spent his childhood years in the Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia (RRI), Sungei Buloh, it is with some nostalgia that I read about plans to develop the area.
That piece of land now straddling a bustling area near Kota Damansara, Subang Airport and the rapidly developing area of Subang, houses the RRI's research facilities and rubber estates.
For those who lived there a long time ago, it was a tranquil and idyllic area with swimming and paddling in the streams, sports of all sorts in the evenings, hunting, biking and excursions into the jungle nearby. Tigers were said to have been sighted and someone even shot a leopard once.
But the area around it is virtually unrecognisable now and the RRI land stands like an oasis in a desert of poorly planned development. But it will fall to development too as the land has been sold, reported for RM2bil to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF). RRI will get to retain 216ha for its research facilities.
EPF’s wholly-owned unit Kwasa Land now owns the RRI land in Sungei Buloh.
EPF's wholly-owned subsidiary Kwasa Land Sdn Bhd will undertake a master plan of the entire area, the area for development will be split up into smaller parcels and the private sector will be invited to tender for their development.
There are plans to have an MRT station too in the area and the whole development is expected to take 10 to 15 years.
No doubt, EPF was chosen by the Government to get the RRI land because it is a provident fund whose members comprise most of the workers in the country and it would therefore be seen as a more neutral and independent party to develop the land.
It is necessary that it gets expertise to both produce the master plan as well as to see how it can maximise the value of the land for itself.
Land scarcity in the Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley area means the people will be closely watching the former RRI land, possibly among the largest available so close to KL city, to see who gets what.
In fact the jostling seems to have already started. It was reported that listed Dijaya Corp was in talks with top officials of EPF on developing some parcels there. This was promptly denied by Kwasa Land.
Dijaya has declined comment but continued to express its interest in developing some parcels of the land, dangling as a carrot an access road which can be built on its own land that it says will link the RRI land to Petaling Jaya.
In future, more are likely to stake their claims and make their cases for why they should be chosen over others.
EPF and Kwasa should come up with a master plan. This is not something that can be done in a month or two and even if it is finalised there should be provisions to accommodate changes in future demand.
That requires technical expertise. What can be done is to have an international tender process to invite property players to come up with the best master plan and choose one. It will mean input from some of the best brains in the world in the area would have been tapped.
Next would be to get the best local construction companies involved not necessarily developers. They can then build the projects according to the exact specifications set by EPF and EPF will have complete control of the development at all times.
Completion schedules need not be left to the mercy of developers who might finish their projects at different times. Importantly, it also means that EPF would be able to maximise the returns from the development of the land instead of sharing it with other developers.
If whole parcels of land are sold to other developers, then it is highly likely that the entire project will not be properly integrated and there will be a mishmash of different looking structures with no continuity or theme through out the entire development.
On the flip side, that would mean that EPF would have to take on plenty of close management, tough but not impossible with the right staff and the right consultants.
But above all what is needed is honesty, competence, integrity and transparency in all the efforts to do something good with this massive piece of land. That means instituting the right processes from the start open tenders, picking the best to do the job, etc.
EPF through Kwasa must maximise the use of this land it must come up with an overall master plan which combines all elements of a good development, execute well to give a project that satisfies customers while at the same time bringing it good returns.
Published: Monday August 27, 2012 MYT 11:54:00 AM
Updated: Monday August 27, 2012 MYT 12:28:05 PM
EPF buying RRI land for RM2.28bil for Kwasa Damansara township
KUALA LUMPUR: The Employees Provident Fund's (EPF) unit Kwasa Land Sdn Bhd has finalised the purchase price of RM2.28bil for 2,330 acres of prime Rubber Research Institute land in the heart of the Klang Valley.
"This new Kwasa Damansara township development will incorporate plans that are befitting of a city replete with infrastructure and modern facilities, both residential and commercial," its chairmanTan Sri Samsudin Osman said.
He said the township's objective was to serve the entire Damansara region, if not the Klang Valley.
The proposed township development would comprise of residential and commercial properties, main infrastructures and public amenities for an expected population of 150,000.
"The development planning is now in an advanced stage with the iconic township development expected to commence in 2013," according to Kwasa Land.
The development hub would comprise of modern residential, commercial, recreational and educational facilities.
It will also incorporate an integrated transportation system that links the township via MRT to the rest of Klang Valley. A 7.5 km green park of 160 acres will also be among the highlights of this new development.
"The master plan is being finalised for submission to the Selangor State Planning Committee for approval," Kwasa Land said.
PETALING JAYA: Employees Provident Fund's (EPF) wholly-owned subsidiary Kwasa Land Sdn Bhd is acquiring the 2,330 acres of Rubber Research Institute (RRI) land in Sungai Buloh from the Malaysian Rubber Board for RM2.28bil or RM22.50 per sq ft, thus confirming reports that the land will cost more than RM2bil.
The land, to be known as Kwasa Damansara, would have a development period spanning 10 to 15 years and would be transformed into a township with a mix of residential and commercial properties, infrastructure and public amenities for an expected population of 150,000.
Kwasa Land's chairman Tan Sri Samsudin Osman said in a statement that the township would “incorporate plans that are befitting of a city replete with infrastructure and modern facilities both residential and commercial that aim to serve the entire Damansara region, if not the Klang Valley.”
Kwasa Land, tasked as the master developer, would be calling for a process to pre-qualify developers for projects in the township. Earlier reports quoting sources had said that this would likely involve tendering out parcels of between 100 acres and 500 acres.
A forum community dedicated to skyscrapers, towers, highrises, construction, and city planning enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about structures, styles, reviews, scale, transportation, skylines, architecture, and more!