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Desmond Lim's gamble paying off with Pavilion Damansara Heights

Pavilion Damansara Heights will be exquisitely crafted by the Pavilion Group and designed by Leonard Design Architects.

This is a highly-anticipated multi-billion ringgit blue-chip integrated mixed development for Damansara, Kuala Lumpur. Having UK-based Leonard Design Architects, a premier shopping mall designer across the globe, would certainly add value to its glamour.

This year, Impian Ekspresi Sdn Bhd (IESB) will undertake the urban redevelopment of Pusat Bandar Damansara (PBD) or Damansara Town Centre in Damansara Heights, which is Kuala Lumpur's most upmarket suburb. The entire project will now cover an area of over 15.84 acres to be split over two phases.

The first phase will be built on the first parcel of land, indicated as plot B (picture below), consisting of old office buildings acquired by IESB several years ago from Johor Corp (JCorp), which is the state investment arm of the state of Johor. It would cover an area of 9.5 acres.

The private company is indirectly controlled by Tan Sri Desmond Lim Siew Choon, who is both chairman of Pavilion REIT and Malton Berhad. Lim is also linked to another Bursa Malaysia-listed property developer Global Oriental Berhad (GOB).

The struggle for that prize led him into a legal battle with JCorp. The tussle was settled when JCorp and its companies exchanged that piece of land for RM500 million cash and 266,668 sq ft of future office space in PBD, in two portions of 186,667 sq ft and 80,000 sq ft.

JCorp subsequently exchanged that 186,667 sq ft, valued at RM140 million, for the already-built 20-storey office block, Block 1 of V Square @ PJ City Centre together with 964 parking bays. V Square is built by Malton and is located in Jalan Utara, Petaling Jaya. JCorp's rights to 80,000 sq ft of office space in the redeveloped PBD remains.

With the asset swap, Malton received the rights of space equivalent to RM140 million in the redeveloped PBD, which will be satisfied by IESB. Malton has the option to sell the space at PBD to Lim starting from RM825 psf to RM1,050 psf over a period of four years starting from November 2014.

In September 2014, Jendela Mayang Sdn Bhd, which is another private company linked to Lim, acquired 6.34-acre tract of land sited next to the first parcel, indicated as plot C (picture below). The tract of land was acquired from Selangor Properties Berhad (SPB) at RM450 million, or equivalent to RM1,628 psf.

This tract of land is important as it served as a gateway between the PBD MRT Station and the first parcel. It is currently being planned as the second phase of Lim's greater plans for PBD. Meanwhile, SPB's subsidiary Bungsar Hill Sdn Bhd will continue to undertake design and construction of an entrance portal for MRT Corp, which will enable the public to enter and exit the PBD MRT station. 

According to PTLM Research, the latest development order plans for the first phase are as follows:

(1) 5 levels Retail Galleria with 6 levels basement

(2) Block A - 1 block 18-storey corporate office towers

(3) Block B - 1 block 12-storey corporate office towers

(4) Block C - 1 block 14-storey corporate office towers

(5) Block D - 1 block 7-storey office

(6) Block E - 1 block 5-storey office

(7) Block F - 1 block 5-storey office

(8) Block G - 1 block 7-storey office

(9) Block H - 1 block 7-storey office

(10) Block I - 1 block 5-storey office

(11) Block J - 1 block 5-storey office

(12) Block K - 1 block 7-storey office

(13) Block L - 1 block 40-storey service apartments (320 units)

(14) Block M - 1 block 40-storey premier service apartments (320 units)

(15) Block N - 1 block 42-storey premier service apartments (168 units)

 

Parcel of lands and existing developments in Pusat Bandar Damansara. Plot B and C were acquired for Pavilion Damanasara Heights project. Pic by The Star.Parcel of lands and existing developments in Pusat Bandar Damansara. Plot B and C were acquired for Pavilion Damanasara Heights project. – Pic by The Star.

 

 

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Lim will build a 5-star retail galleria here which will be operated by his own Pavilion Group. The mall is expected to be the biggest in the vicinity, serving the affluent populace of Damansara Heights, Bangsar, Sri Hartamas and Seputeh. 

PTLM believes that the acquisition of land for the second phase would provide a large extension to the retail galleria as it is the closest to the MRT Station. Several more residential towers and a hotel tower will be built above it.

According to sources close to the project, at least nine of the office blocks in the first phase have been sold on enbloc basis to corporations nearing a benchmark price of RM1,500 psf. These blocks come with naming rights for the respective owners.

At this price, rental for the office space will have to be RM8 psf in order to generate an annual yield of 6%. This rental rate is only seen in Kuala Lumpur city centre at the moment, not in a suburban location like Damansara Heights. 

With such extraordinary interest received for the offices amid the fear of an oversupply of office space, it was believed that the service apartments could be previewed by the end of this year at a price from RM1,500 psf onwards. This price will be significantly higher than the going rate for high-end apartments in Bangsar which is between RM1,200 to RM1,400 psf.

One thing for sure is that Lim is expanding his portfolio of assets and property developments under the Pavilion brand. Besides his successful Pavilion Kuala Lumpur integrated mixed development in the heart of Bukit Bintang, his other ongoing projects are as follows:

  • Pavilion Banyan Tree Signatures Hotel & Residences;
  • Pavilion Elite (Pavilion KL Mall Extension) below Pavilion Suites Kuala Lumpur;
  • Royale Pavilion Hotel @ Pavilion Kuala Lumpur; 
  • Pavilion Embassy Kuala Lumpur in Jalan Ampang (under GOB);
  • Pavilion Bukit Jalil within the Bukit Jalil City mixed development; 
  • da:men @ USJ 1, Subang Jaya;
  • Nova Pantai Residence; 
  • Nova Saujana (Pavilion to manage the retail component); and
  • SK One Residence in Seri Kembangan. 

He is also rumoured to be negotiating to acquire Flamingo Hotel and Plaza Flamingo in Ampang from Multi-Purpose Holdings Berhad (MPHB).

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