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Saturday, January 21, 2012
New borders: Artist’s impression of Mersing Laguna – a multi-billion ringgit integrated resort development on three reclaimed islands – in Johor.
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KUCHING-based construction and property development company Sara-Timur Sdn Bhd is building its presence in Peninsular Malaysia with a number of projects in the pipeline.
The company has an order book of RM2bil worth of construction projects and RM1.8bil of development projects.
Sara-Timur has two development projects in the peninsular KB Sentral at Bandar Baru Tunjong in Kota Bahru, Kelantan; and Mersing Laguna in Johor. It is also undertaking construction projects at KL Sentral and Utama Lodge Condo in OUG, Kuala Lumpur; and Teliti Data Centre in Nilai, Negeri Sembilan.
Sara-Timur managing director John Loi says with the company's successful venture to Peninsular Malaysia, it has established a platform to grow into a better known industry player.
“There are more opportunities here in Peninsular Malaysia for us and we intend to build up the company's presence here,” he tells StarBizWeek.
KB Sentral project in Kota Bahru which is to kick off around the middle of this year for completion in five years, will have a gross development value of RM1.2bil.
The project is a joint-venture urban development between Perbadanan Menteri Besar Kelantan, Tunjong Development Corporation Sdn Bhd and Sara-Timur Urban Development Sdn Bhd.
The 42 acres of new lifestyle project in Kota Bahru is part of the 2,000 acres of new urban redevelopment project of Bandar Baru Tunjong by the Kelantan state government.
Located about 6km from the Kota Bharu town, the new business hub is to meet the growing needs of the local populace.
Loi says the development is based on the Intelligent City concept of cosmopolitan community living where occupants will get to enjoy high-speed broadband connectivity.
Meanwhile, Mersing Laguna is a multi-billion ringgit integrated resort development on three reclaimed islands totalling over 2,000 acres set in the South China Sea off the town of Mersing in Johor.
The islands are designed as an oasis dotted by premier residential, commercial and tourism-related developments encased in an eco-friendly environment.
The developer of Mersing Laguna, Radiant Starfish Development Bhd, has awarded one of the construction packages, parcel 12 to Radiant Sara-Timur International Sdn Bhd.
Loi says the award is based on a turnkey design and build contract valued at RM360mil for the construction of an integrated resort development comprising a 5-star 216-room hotel, 70 service apartments, and 73 villas.
Radiant Sara-Timur has also been awarded another turnkey design and build package for an estimated sum of RM370mil by the same developer that involves the redevelopment of the existing Mersing township. Also known as the “Mersing Urban Renewal Development Project”, Loi says the company will apply its experience in the urban renewal project of the Sandakan Harbor Front project to help revitalise Mersing.
“The urban renewal program that includes the building of new business class hotels, recreational parks, cultural centres, medical centres, and commercial and business areas, will cater to the growing population by meeting their aspirations and needs. There will also be provision for the recovery of the foreshore around Mersing, allowing for the development of landscaped boulevards and recreational amenities for the local population,” he explains.
Sara-Timur also has two projects in Kota Kinabalu Jade Residence and the Jesselton Point Hotel comprising 140 rooms, 118 hotel suites and 25 business suites.
Projects it has completed to-date include the Sandakan Harbour Square, Sutera Harbour Hotel and Resort, Sarawak State Stadium, and Taman Tiong Ung Siew in Sibu.
Loi: ‘Sara-Timur has the resources to deliver sustainable solutions in both single-use and mixed-use developments and urban redevelopments.’
Loi says Sara-Timur will increase its hotel assets from one in Sandakan currently to other assets in Mersing, Kota Bahru and Kota Kinabalu.
Despite the challenging external front, he says the outlook for the local construction and property sectors looks quite stable.
“In the past three years, the company's turnover has doubled to RM350mil for the financial year (FY) ending May 31. We are confident the performance will get better going forward.”
Loi says the company hopes its revenue from property development will increase to 50% in the next three years from less than 15% in financial year 2011.
Sara-Timur has recently set up its corporate headquarters at Solaris Dutamas in Kuala Lumpur, and is looking to increase its paid-up capital to RM18mil from RM10mil now.
He says the company's forte lies in urban renewal projects to give a new lease of life to old dilapidated townships around the country.
“Sara-Timur has the resources to deliver sustainable solutions in both single-use and mixed-use developments and urban redevelopments. Its capabilities include building and civil engineering contracts comprising project management, turnkey design and construction, and project partnering.
“We choose to support new development and urban redevelopment because of the incredible impact they make on the lives of the families and the communities.
“New developments also provide attractive investment opportunities. They form the main elements of a new strategy by our local governments to see to the implementation of both new development and urban redevelopment plans through the attraction of private capital,” Loi points out.
To finance the company's expansion, Loi does not discount the possibility of Sara-Timur making an initial public offering on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia.
“We are looking at the option and hopefully our listing plans will materialise by this year,” he says.
By The Star
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