Eco World to leverage on partnership to boost sales

Eco World Development Group Bhd will be leveraging on its partnership with Mitsui Fudosan to boost sales of the property developer’s budding 19.4-acre Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC) project here.

Mitsui Fudosan, Japan’s largest real estate conglomerate, will take up a 50% stake in developing a 1.4 million sq ft retail mall in the integrated development, while BBCC will also be working with Zepp Hall Network Inc, a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc to operate a concert hall right next to the retail mall.

Chang: The BBCC is looking to be an interesting project with these partners.

“The BBCC is looking to be an interesting project with these partners. Additionally, pre-marketing has begun with a 45-storey strata office block to cater to neighbouring offices that are looking for new units,” Eco World president and chief executive officer Datuk Chang Khim Wah said in a press conference at the Invest Malaysia 2016.

The BBCC, built over the former Pudu prison grounds, would be developed by Eco World with UDA under a joint venture partnership with the Employees Provident Fund via a special purpose vehicle.

Under the SPV, UDA would hold a 40% stake, while Eco World and the EPF would have 40% and 20% stakes. UDA would remain as the land owner and assign the development rights to the SPV.

Addressing the issue of oversupply of office space in Kuala Lumpur, Chang said looking at figures alone may present a “seemingly gloomy situation” but the right location would be able to garner interest and sales.

Refencing the company’s EcoMajestic township in Semenyih, he said word had gotten around that there was a housing glut in that location, however, the project, which is in the midst of handing over some 800 landed residential units, managed to secure RM1.7bil in sales amid the soft property market.

Chang said the company was well on track to achieve its sales target of RM4bil this year and this was on the back of strong year-to-date group sales of RM607.8mil as at Feb 29, 2016.

This year, the group was busy with 11 existing projects such as Eco Sky at Jalan Ipoh, Eco Majestic in Semenyih as well as Eco Spring and Eco Summer in Johor.

Eco World had a land bank of 7,443 acres in the Klang Valley, Johor and Penang, and RM81bil worth of projects to be built over the next 10-12 years.

“Two are integrated commercial projects – Eco Sky and the BBCC. We have allotted about 1,400 acres to develop business parks and the rest are residential projects,” Chang said.

Meanwhile, Eco World’s plans to take up 30% of Eco World International Bhd (EWI) was underway.

EWI’s three projects in London in the United Kingdom and another project in Parramatta in West Sydney, Australia, had collectively brought in cumulative sales of £712.5mil as at January 31, 2016.

“Apart from contribution to future earnings, the 30% stake will provide us with many cross-branding opportunities. Our internatioal team are very experienced with the London and Australian markets.

“They are looking to increase business in those areas as we understand the market and financial structure there well.

“For the forseeable future, we will build our base starting with those two locations,” Chang said.

He added that for the time being, Eco World would concentrade on developing the Malaysian market so as to not overextend its balance sheet by going overseas too much. - The Star