Danga Bay & Media Village Medini

A plot of land, measuring 5.9 ha, in Medini Iskandar which forms part of Iskandar Malaysia was sold to a Singaporean developer, who plans to turn it into a mixed development hub in five years. The gross development value (GDV) is estimated at RM2.5bil.

The deal comes hot on the heels of local property developer B&G Capital Resources Bhd snapping up a 3.4-ha site near this plot in Medini, just over a month ago.

However, the deal to really watch out for is likely to be sealed in a few weeks’ time involving the sale of a man-made island in the eastern side of Johor Baru to an influential Singaporean party. The man-made island was created by Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd (IWH) upon undertaking reclamation works.

The land is right smack in Danga Bay and is part of the fisherman’s wharf, which is one of the 10 projects being undertaken at Danga Bay.

“The man-made island is going to be worth about a billion ringgit and its GDV will run into a couple of billions. The parties involved the Singaporean buyer and IWH are still haggling over the price,” said a source.

But come Feb 19 2013, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his Singaporean counterpart, Lee Hsien Loong, will unveil two significant wellness developments urban wellness and resort wellness at a site in Medini.

The GDV of these two projects, which includes the development of a wellness centre, serviced residences, a corporate training centre, and commercial, retail, residential and wellness-related offerings, is said to be a whopping RM5.2bil.

IWH is the master developer of Danga Bay, while the 5.9-ha site is being sold by Global Capital & Development to Singapore’s Link (THM) Holdings Pte Ltd for RM96.3mil. B&G, meanwhile, had paid RM73.34mil for the 3.4-ha site.

The wellness development is being undertaken by Pulau Indah Ventures in partnership with other parties. Pulau Indah is a 50:50 joint venture between Khazanah Nasional Bhd and Temasek Holdings (Pte) Ltd.

Link owned by Kenny Tan Heng Mong and three other partners is a privately-owned property development group known for its boutique projects in Singapore. Tan, the group CEO of Link, holds a 70% equity stake in the company. He revealed that he had been in negotiations for one-and-a-half years before finally sealing the deal to buy the 5.9-ha plot.

“It has been a lengthy process,” he told StarBiz, adding that “this is our first foray and we are in negotiations to undertake more developments at Iskandar.”

The funds for the development of the project, added Tan, would be sourced internally.

“Our project will be known as Media Village@Medini Iskandar and our plot is at the entrance of the US$150mil (RM464.78mil) Pine-wood Studios a film and TV production facility and within the vicinity of Legoland, Hello Kitty and EduCity.

“We will develop the land into a residential and retail development, and for the retail portion, we have plans to turn it into seven cultural themes (clusters),” he said.

The idea behind the village concept depicting a major town/street in each of the seven clusters Malaysia, Japan, Korea, America, India, China and Europe was also a way of providing filming opportunities to Pinewood Studios.

“For the Malaysian theme, we have decided to use a kampung-styled concept where wooden houses on stilts will be built,” he said. About 70% of the retail development is for food and beverage outlets.

Link was established in 2004 and has developed several high-end landed residential properties, including the Sultan Link and Central Link in Singapore.

Global Capital is the concession holder of Medini Iskandar, whose lead shareholders include Iskandar Investment Bhd (IIB) and Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi government investment arm.

IWH, which is preparing for an initial public offering, has over 1,619 ha of land, which forms part of Iskandar Malaysia’s 221,707 ha. Iskandar Malaysia is being moulded into a metropolis of the south. Medini is a 902.4-ha greenfield development designed as the new urban township of Iskandar Malaysia.

Just like the IIB land which has attracted numerous investors, IWH has also had its fair share of investors. Its biggest thus far was the RM1bil land sale to China’s Country Garden. The sale of the land to the Singaporean party would be its next big deal.

From 2006 till the end of 2012, Iskandar Malaysia had attracted RM106.3bil worth of investments, of which 63% was from domestic investors and 37% fom foreign investors.

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