Eco World to ink deal on RM8bil BBCC project

Eco World Development Group Bhd (Eco World), UDA Holdings Bhd (UDA) and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) board will be signing a tripartite agreement tomorrow to jointly develop the Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC) project with a gross development value of RM8bil.

The BBCC project, a redevelopment of the 19.4-acre former Pudu jail site, will comprise a mixed residential and commercial development with a proposed world-class master plan, consisting strata offices, office towers, a hotel and serviced residences.

There will also be a lifestyle centre which will include a Malaysian grand bazaar, a retail mall, food and beverages as well as entertainment components.

When contacted, Eco World non-executive director Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin said Eco World and UDA would hold a 40% equity stake each in the consortium, while the EPF would hold the remaining 20%.

“No stigma issue,” he said, when asked if the consortium would face any issue selling the properties given that it once housed the Pudu jail.

Liew also disclosed that the consortium would also be signing a memorandum of understanding with Mitsui Fudosan Co Ltd of Japan to jointly develop the shopping and retail component of the project.

“I don’t think it will be biggest (mall) but it will definitely be well-designed and managed by Mitsui Fudosan,” he added.

The Pudu jail redevelopment is part of the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) under the New Economic Model to turn the Klang Valley into the Greater Kuala Lumpur economic district and Malaysia into a high-income nation by 2020.

Despite being made an ETP project, the Pudu jail site has been left idle since the demolition of the prison complex in 2010.

In 2011, China-based developer Everbright International Construction Ltd was tipped to secure the project with a RM2bil investment into UDA. However, the plan fell through.

Last June, UDA Holdings chose Eco World to be part of the redevelopment project due to the expertise of the latter’s key personnels who were involved in the London-based Battersea project while they were with SP Setia.

UDA Holdings chairman Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani said the company invited Eco World to participate in the project after it could not find a suitable partner.

“When we did the RFP (request for proposal), we found that the companies did not fulfil our requirements.

“So we started looking for the expertise, which was the experience of developing a project of similar size, as well as having the financial strength,” he was quoted as saying. By The Star