Report: Dalian Wanda may lead development of Bandar Malaysia
Malaysia is in talks with China’s Dalian Wanda Group Co Ltd to develop Bandar Malaysia, following the surprise move last week that terminated a consortium that was set to buy a 60% stake in the project, reported Singapore’s The Straits Times. The report quoted government officials and financial executives who said negotiations with Dalian Wanda to take a central role as master developer had reached an advanced stage and the agreement is awaiting approval from China’s financial regulators. Wanda, controlled by billionaire Wang Jianlin, owns the world’s largest cinema chain, along with theme parks, football clubs and hotels. The report highlighted that Malaysian government officials noted that the new deal would be substantially higher than the previous RM12.3 billion valuation tag for the entire project. It also said Wanda had proposed to use half the development for tourism and entertainment-related ventures valued at roughly US$8 billion. (The Star Online; Reuters)

DA Land seeks partner for RM3bil The TWO project in Rawang
DA Land Sdn Bhd is seeking a partner for its multibillion-ringgit integrated commercial development, The TWO, in Rawang, Selangor. It is looking to divest an 80% stake for an estimated RM160mil. The TWO, an entry point project (EPP) under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) and officially launched in 2015, will comprise shophouses, a mall and theme parks on a 51-acre site. Changes to its initial building plans have resulted in the GDV of about RM5bil announced earlier being revised to RM3bil. DA Land claims The TWO will be the most attractive rest and relaxation stop along the North-South highway. (The Edge Markets)

Artist’s impression of The TWO development (Image from DA Land)

Developers optimistic despote softening market
Despite the Finance Ministry’s report on the worsening property market in 2016, developers are still showing optimism and confidence moving forward. Residential property transactions fell for the second straight year in both volume and value last year, with increase in overhang units and poor sales for new launches. However, Rehda has noted increased optimism among developers, who are eyeing even more launches this year after figuring out the new market landscape and tweaking their launches to fit demand. According to the latest Rehda survey, most developers planning new launches will retain or lower their prices compared with 2H2016. (The Edge Markets)

KL mayor says no approval for TTDI condo project yet
DBKL has yet to approve a major condominium project near a park in TTDI, despite a minister saying the development would proceed, said Kuala Lumpur Mayor Datuk Seri Mhd Amin Abd Aziz. It is still under Rule 5, the process of collecting objections from interested and relevant parties. The mayor added that the longhouse residents in TTDI, who are slated to receive a block of affordable housing there, have refused the move and rejected offers of PPR flat and public housing. Residents in the area had objected to the eight-block service apartment project, saying it would destroy the Taman Rimba Kiara recreational park and create further congestion in the area. (Malay Mail Online)

TH Properties entering UK market
TH Properties Sdn Bhd, which made its maiden overseas venture to Australia at the end of 2015, will be strengthening its grip on the foreign property market by expanding to London. The property arm of Tabung Haji is planning to launch 26 apartment units in the United Kingdom via a joint venture. Its group manager and CEO Datuk Roszali Othman said the property market in the UK was challenging but London was not affected by Brexit, and even going up as more affordable houses were needed. (New Straits Times Online)

A parking coupon system will be implemented citywide in Petaling Jaya (Photo from The Star)

Return of parking coupons in Petaling Jaya
Petaling Jaya will have a new parking system implemented once the services of current parking concessionaire Godell Parking Sdn Bhd are terminated. MBPJ will take back the management of the parking system, and is working on implementing a parking coupon system to replace the current coin machines once the existing contract is terminated. It was found that most parking meters were faulty, not serviced regularly and inconvenient for motorists. The coupon system was chosen because it was easy to implement on a short-term basis, and there are plans for allowing motorists to pay using mobile parking apps. (The Star Online)

No haze, but expect floods this year
Malaysia will be haze-free this year due to the La Nina phenomenon, but people living in low-lying areas need to be prepared following unpredictable heavy rain which may bring about floods this year, said Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar. The El Nino (extreme hot weather) effect is not strong this year, but has been replaced with La Nina (heavy rains) phenomenon instead. (The Star Online)

Sydney Opera House to get largest upgrade since opening
Australia’s world-renowned Sydney Opera House is to undergo its first major renovation since being opened in 1973 to help tackle sound problems that have haunted the building for years. Decades-old equipment will be updated to improve the experience for artists and audiences; backstage engines, rigging and hoists that have supported the lighting and props for hundreds of ballet and opera productions will be replaced, and a state-of-the-art acoustic enhancement system will be installed. The work in the Joan Sutherland Theatre will begin on May 20. The other five venues within the Opera House will remain open during the seven-month renovation of the Joan Sutherland Theatre. (The Borneo Post)

Photo from Pixabay