This article first appeared in City & Country, The Edge Malaysia Weekly on December 10, 2018 - December 16, 2018
Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC) is targeting RM250 million sales next year and is planning to launch Phase 2 of the project by the end of next year.
“The market is soft at the moment. We are targeting about RM250 million sales for BBCC next year,” BBCC Development Sdn Bhd CEO Low Thiam Chin said at a press conference at a BBCC event last Wednesday. The event was officiated by Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Yusof.
“We are talking to investors for Phase 2. So far, we have got a few interested parties, including foreign ones. Phase 2 will comprise serviced residences, an office tower and our signature tower. It is expected to be completed in 2025,” said Low.
Occupying 19.4 acres of the former Pudu Prison site, the RM8.7 billion BBCC is a joint venture (JV) between UDA Holdings Bhd, Eco World Development Group Bhd and the Employees Provident Fund.
Poised to become a key centre in Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Triangle, BBCC will have a gross built-up of 6.7 million sq ft. According to its master plan, the project will feature a retail mall, an entertainment hub, four blocks of serviced apartments, a lifestyle hotel, three blocks of strata and corporate offices and an 80-storey 3-in-1 signature tower, which will house corporate offices, a five-star hotel and luxury residences.
Phase 1 of BBCC will comprise a retail mall and retail podium, strata office and entertainment hub and two blocks of serviced apartments. The infrastructure works will include three underground vehicular tunnels. These components will make up 50% of the total built-up of BBCC. The first handover of Phase 1 is scheduled for the first quarter of 2021.
Since December 2016, BBCC has launched 666 serviced apartments and 341 strata offices. Serviced apartments of Blocks 1 and 2 are 90% and 60% taken up respectively. Meanwhile, the strata offices are 60% sold. At present, Phase 1 is 25% completed.
BBCC will have an entertainment hub called Malaysia Grand Bazaar (MGB) to promote local heritage and arts to tourists. It will be offering 100,000 sq ft of customisable retail space.
“Our mission is to provide a dedicated platform to propel the entrepreneurship of local craftsmen, traders and artists to the next level. We believe MGB will eventually take its rightful place as a must-visit bazaar for local and foreign tourists,” said UDA Holdings managing director Datuk Ahmad Abu Bakar.
“In line with UDA’s agenda to uplift entrepreneurship among bumiputeras, we have actively sought the participation of this target segment in MGB. We are hopeful that the ministry would be able to support the prospective tenants in the form of loans, credit guarantees or grants through agencies such as TEKUN as well as SME Bank and Bank Rakyat.”
According to Ahmad, 40 tenants have signed up ahead of MGB’s opening in 2021.
Another part of BBCC’s entertainment hub will be Zepp Kuala Lumpur, a concert hall with a capacity of 2,500 people.
On the retail front, Mitsui Fudosan Asia, in a JV with shareholders of BBCC, has started constructing the RM1.6 billion Mitsui Shopping Park LaLaport KL.
In October last year, BBCC welcomed Canopy by Hilton to manage a 28-storey hotel that has been bought by a property investor. This will be the first Canopy by Hilton hotel in Southeast Asia.
BBCC is also collaborating with Regus, the world’s largest workplace provider, to set up 20,000 sq ft of professional workspace.
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