Development of former Pudu Jail site to cost RM5bil
KUALA LUMPUR: UDA Holdings Bhd is talking to a few joint-venture partners to develop the former Pudu jail site and the 22-acre land next to it, but UDA will remain the sole master developer. The project is estimated to cost about RM5bil.
UDA chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said: “We will try to keep it at RM5bil.
“This is a project for the country. If we target the product well, we will be able to have a good price for the residential portion of it, even if a large portion of it will be bumiputra-owned. The Pudu Prison site will be our social responsibility.
“We must have a mix in terms of bumiputra and non-bumiputra ownership to do justice to the land value. There must be a mix. (I) don’t put a figure to it but there must be a mix.
“I want to stress that at UDA, we are clear; we take care of the bumi interest and we balance our commercial interest against our social responsibility. That applies to all our projects. We have to make money first before we can distribute.”
He said there had been a lot of speculation on who the JV partners were. There was also a lot of speculation that there would be a joint master developer, he added.
“There will be no joint master developer. We will be the sole master developer but we are talking to a few developers to be our joint-venture partners.
“So far, many developers have shown their interest but there is no decision yet,” Nur Jazlan said.
He said the joint ventures could be at the plot level, where JV partners take up one of the six plots, or it could be a joint venture to construct the buildings on the different plots.
He said it really depended on the final layout of the master plan and that he was tweaking that at the moment.
Nur Jazlan said he was making adjustment to the latest round of plans because he was taking into consideration Permodalan Nasional Bhd’s proposed plan to build a 100-storey project at the Stadium Merdeka site, which is not far from UDA’s site, as well as the 34.4ha development at Dataran Perdana, to be known as Kuala Lumpur International Financial District in Jalan Sultan Ismail near Berjaya Times Square.
New plans will be submitted by the end of the year by UDA, a government developer. “The property that is being developed around us will define our final plan,” he said.
While Nur Jazlan agrees that it should be a mixed development comprising serviced offices, residential, retail and a hotel or two, he has his own views about the form, positioning and configuration of the various components.
“We will submit new plans by the end of the year. The final project depends on market conditions as well as other properties that are being developed around us,” he said.
“Depending on the buildings and their density, the price premium that UDA has to pay the Government will vary. I want to stress the fact that the land is not given to us. Because it has a commercial title, the price of the premium will be higher.
“The first and most important question we are asking ourselves is: Do we want to rely on spillover traffic, that is, take the easy way out and just develop the place, or do we want to create a new destination? KLCC, for example, is a new destination,” he said.
The proposed project is part of the Kuala Lumpur development master plan. UDA (then known as the Urban Development Authority) took over the site in November 1996 when the prison was officially closed.
The development of the former Pudu Prison was first unveiled by Second Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah in May.
Husni said then that the mixed development project, to be known as Bukit Bintang Commercial Centre, will comprise a 33-storey office tower, a shopping complex, 43-storey hotel and a 44-storey serviced apartment.
The proposed development drew various comments from developers and property consultants. They ranged from the challenges of marketing a site where executions have taken place to the number of projects being spearheaded by the Government.
Questions have also been asked about who will occupy these various premises, which so far number about five, that the Government and government-linked companies are going to be involved in. These include the development of Sg Buloh, the Matrade development by the Naza group, the redevelopment of Kampung Baru, the Stadium Negara project, 1MDB’s works in Sg Besi and Dataran Perdana.
Some of UDA’s projects include condominiums Sinaran TTDI in Taman Tun Dr Ismail and Gaya Bangsar in Bangsar, both in Kuala Lumpur. UDA is also tasked with the RM52mil upgrading works of Puduraya bus terminal in Kuala Lumpur. The Puduraya terminal would resume operations in January next year.
Nur Jazlan said while Puduraya would remain the main terminal, as the city grew it was better to have mini transport hubs in various places like Gombak, Bandar Utama, Titiwangsa Selatan and other places.
By The Star Online