Malaysia, China to sign ECRL agreement today
The East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) may finally see the light of day as a news report claimed Malaysia and China will be signing an agreement on the project in Beijing today. Sin Chew Daily cited a source in the Malaysian negotiation team, who said the prime minister’s special envoy to China, Tun Daim Zainuddin, had arrived in Beijing and was negotiating the final details. The report added that Daim will hold a press conference at the Malaysian Embassy at 2pm where he is expected to announce the outcome of his negotiations. The 688km ECRL was suspended last year due to its high cost. Dr Mahathir had said that the project would leave the country indebted for an entire generation. Last month, however, he said the project could continue only if the price is right. Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng had raised expectations when he said the project would go on if the cost of construction could be reduced from RM66bil to RM35billion. (The Star Online)

Ascott’s co-living property lyf Raja Chulan to open in KL next year
The Ascott Ltd (Ascott), CapitaLand’s wholly owned lodging business unit, is bringing its co-living “lyf” brand to Kuala Lumpur to ride on the growing community living culture among millennials. Situated along Jalan Raja Chulan, the co-living property is scheduled to open in 2020. It is poised to benefit from its proximity to transportation nodes such as the Masjid Jamek LRT Station as well as office space, co-working space and tourist attractions nearby. Ascott CEO Kevin Goh said demand for the company’s lyf-branded co-living properties is gaining ground and with the brand, they are able to seize opportunities presented by the booming millennial generation. Besides lyf Raja Chulan Kuala Lumpur, Ascott is also taking the brand to Fukuoka in Japan and Shanghai in China. (The Edge)

Loke: Construction of affordable homes on railway land a possibility
Certain pieces of land belonging to Railway Assets Corporation (RAC) may well be suitable to build affordable homes. Transport Minister Anthony Loke noted that RAC owned over 1,400 hectares of land in Selangor, with several locations deemed having the appropriate size for affordable housing projects. He noted that the presence of affordable homes at transportation hubs would enhance public transport utilisation as well as drive population and economic growth in surrounding areas. A Mou signed between Mentri Besar Selangor Incorporated (MBI) and RAC will enable both parties to collaborate in developing strategic railway assets, focusing on trans-oriented development (TOD) including affordable homes as well as the implementation of Smart Selangor initiatives within transit hubs. (Malay Mail)

Vizione buys over joint developer of RM111.3m apartment project on Jln Kuchai Lama
Vizione Holdings Bhd is buying the entire stake in a property developer company that is jointly developing a block of serviced apartments called ‘The 216 Residences’ which carry an estimated GDV of RM111.3 million, on a leasehold commercial plot located at Jalan Kuchai Lama. The purchase of the target company Pembinaan Angkasa Permai Sdn Bhd for RM7 million, marks the company’s maiden venture into property development. The project will have 216 units of serviced apartments, with 342 carparks. Each unit will range in size from 658 sq ft to 1,854 sq ft, priced from RM300,000 to RM1.7 million per unit. “To date, the response has been overwhelming with 51% of the units already been booked, just six weeks after the soft launch by Pembinaan… The 216 Residences project will be officially launched in May 2019,” Vizione said. (The Edge)

Vanke: No investment plan in Johor for now
Shenzen-based China Vanke Co Ltd (Vanke) has rubbished talk that the group is planning to invest in the Johor property market. Managing director of Vanke Holdings (M) Sdn Bhd, Lang Cong, said currently the priority for Vanke is to get its flagship project in Kuala Lumpur started. The project is the 2.8ha tract (former Serani Row plot) that the group owns at Jalan Raja Chulan, close to the Bukit Nanas heritage zone and forest reserve. Vanke bought the Jalan Raja Chulan tract in 2017 and is believed to have paid RM500 million, or RM1,600 per sq ft for the land. Phase One of the project will see Vanke building retail space and apartments of 500 sq ft (studio) to 800 sq ft (two-bedroom units), targeting city dwellers and expats. (NST Online)