Plaza Rakyat buyers to get money back
The government will look after the interests of original buyers of the abandoned Plaza Rakyat project, said Deputy Federal Territories Minister Datuk Loga Bala Mohan. A clause was inserted in the sales and purchase agreement between the project’s new developer and Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to safeguard original buyers. The rejuvenation project will only begin when the issue of compensation to buyers was resolved. Since the beginning of January, about 104 of the 211 original buyers were issued offer letters by the new developer and the process is ongoing. The latest proposed plan for Plaza Rakyat features five skyscrapers. There will be a 96-storey tower, comprising 10-storey office space, 50-storey service apartments and 26-storey hotel. The rest of the towers will be 70, 60, 58, and 52 storeys. (The Star Online)

The premises is now drained of the water and cleaned up so the project is ready to be revived. (Photo from The Star Online)

PKNS delays REIT plan to 2019
Selangor State Development Corp (PKNS) has postponed its initial target of establishing a real estate investment trust (REIT) via its property investment unit PKNS Real Estate Sdn Bhd by 2018 to 2019, while it continues to look for good buys to raise PKNS RE’s total asset value to RM1 billion. PKNS is looking to put its commercial property assets, which included the Shah Alam Convention Centre (SACC) Mall and Menara PKNS Petaling Jaya, into a REIT and list it on Bursa Malaysia within three years. The new timeline to establish the REIT within the next two years is just a preliminary target as the country’s rental market is challenging and affected by many macroeconomic factors. (The Edge Markets)

Melaka to build 24,355 affordable homes by 2020
The Melaka government has pledged to build 24,355 units of affordable houses to give more opportunities to those in the lower and moderate income brackets to own their own homes. 9,784 units of affordable houses had been built by private developers, the state and federal governments since 2013. With the High Speed Rail (HSR) service from Kuala Lumpur passing through the state, there would be a boom in the housing and real estate industry. (Malay Mail Online)

Penang developers offering more goodies to attract buyers
Property developers in Penang are offering various packages to entice the market into buying properties launched last year but could not sell because of cooling measures and a subdued housing market. These developers were now offering attractive packages to enhance their properties, which include rebates and freebies, as well as low down-payment schemes and interior design packages. Some developers, such as SP Setia Bhd, are also offering differential sum loan schemes. Penang’s newly-launched houses performed the worst last year in terms of sales. Developers sold only 9.9% of units launched. Reasons for this included high loan application rejections, rising cost of living, the depreciating ringgit versus major currencies and weak consumer sentiment. (NST Online)

Construction industry must aim for highest standards of sustainability
Construction industry players in the country have been urged to uphold the responsibility of carrying out and implementing projects meticulously in the highest possible quality standards for sustainability. Sustainability is one of the most important aspects in the industry, as it reflects the attitude towards the well-being of workers, the public and the environment. Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof expressed confidence that civil engineers in Malaysia and beyond were prepared to embrace sustainability through the many methods and approaches that could be adopted towards achieving it. (The Sun Daily)

Fajarbaru bags jobs worth RM102mil from TYL Land, Malaysia Airports
Fajarbaru Builder Group Bhd (FBG) has secured a RM101.3mil contract from TYL Land & Development Sdn Bhd to carry out building and related external works for a commercial development in Semenyih, Selangor. The project will consist of two tower blocks with SoHo units, shops, and offices. The firm also landed a RM705,000 contract from Malaysia Airports (Sepang) Sdn Bhd for the proposed apron line marking, access road connection and associated works at KLIA Air Cargo Terminal 1 (KACT 1) in Sepang. (The Star Online)

Tropicana unveils Urban Homes for middle-income buyers
Tropicana Corp Bhd has unveiled a new collection of homes dubbed Tropicana Urban Homes to offer more affordable houses to middle-income homebuyers. The gross development values for Tropicana Urban Homes in Tropicana Heights and Tropicana Aman are RM423 million and RM1.3 billion, respectively. The developer targets to build 10,000 to 15,000 condominium units under the collection in strategic urban areas in the developer’s existing and new landbanks over the next five years. (The Edge Markets)

Kedah property exhibition to draw 20,000 visitors
More than 20,000 visitors are expected to attend the three-day New Straits Times Press (NSTP) MyRumah Property Showcase at Aman Central Mall in Alor Star, Kedah, from Aug 4 to 6. The number was a conservative estimate as the mall is located in a strategic area and busy during weekends. The mall was chosen as the venue due to its close proximity to Penang, which experienced a property boom in recent years. Penang itself is huge and it is believed that the demand for property will trickle into Kedah as there are opportunities in the north that will attract investors. (NST Online)

Stop-work order for sports arena at PJ school
Contractors building a new sports arena at a primary school in Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya, have been given a temporary stop-work order. This followed complaints that construction work, including piling and welding, were going on during school hours at SJK(C) Puay Chai 2. Parents were worried that the work would endanger the health and safety of the schoolchildren. The school has issued a notice that they would ensure all welding works be done only during weekends and the nearest class would be moved to a temporary classroom further away from the site. (The Star Online)

Parents of students at SJK(C) Puay Chai 2 want the construction work to take place only outside school hours or during the holidays. (Photo from The Star Online)