BBCC on Track Despite Change in Leadership

16 Oct 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: There are changes at the helm of Bukit Bintang City Centre, with Low Thiam Chin taking over from Datuk Richard Ong as CEO of Bukit Bintang City Centre Development Sdn Bhd (BBCC). Ong is now BBCC advisor.

On the overall progress of the project, Low said negotiations with the various anchors have been smooth.

“We are on track,” said Low.

BBCC was formed just two years ago to undertake the development at the former Pudu Prison site.
Low is pleased to know that he is taking over a project that is shaping up very nicely.

Over the past two years, there had been quite a bit of deal-making and the number of deals signed and sealed underscores the speed and efficiency at which the developer is moving.

The project is jointly developed by EcoWorld, UDA Holdings Bhd and the Employees Provident Fund in a 40:40:20 joint venture.

The launch of Lucentia 2, the service apartment block, last weekend (Oct 7 and 8), about 10 months after the launch of Lucentia 1 as well as strata offices The Stride, is another milestone. The response as always was overwhelming, cementing BBCC’s status as one of the most sought-after addresses in Kuala Lumpur.

Low, who took over in July, said the two Lucentia blocks will have a total of 666 units with sizes ranging from 450 sq ft to 880 sq ft.

Prices averaged at RM1,650 per sq ft (psf) for the first 47-storey block comprising 393 units. About 30% of buyers are foreigners.

The second 36-storey block has 273 units and will average at RM1,750 psf. Lucentia is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2021.

The conveniences offered by the commercial component of this 19.4-acre development notwithstanding, Lucentia will have its own private driveway and drop-off point, unlike most residential blocks in mixed developments. This feature will give residents both privacy and security.

The mall agreement with Mitsui Fudosan, one of the largest property developers in Japan, has been signed. The retail mall will have a net lettable area of 1.2 million square feet (sq ft).

Low said that Mitsui Fudosan will have a 51% stake in the mall, ensuring a different story for the project that will differentiate it from other retail malls in the city.

“They will also ensure the introduction of new Japanese retailers into this market,” he elaborated.
The presence of Zepp Hall as the entertainment anchor will also give the place a buzz, said Low. They will take up about 70,000 sq ft of space.

Regus, a co-working space operator, has signed up space in The Stride, the strata office block launched in December 2016.

Low said negotiations are on-going with hotel and serviced apartment operators as well as en bloc investors.

“En bloc purchases will help us to save on interest and marketing fees,” said Low, an accountant by training. There has been interest from both local and foreign investors, due in part to the connectivity offered by the development.

There will be three pedestrian links connecting BBCC to the Berjaya Times Square area, Sg Wang Complex, and the Furama Hotel area.

A new transport hub will link the project to the current Light Rail Transit and the Monorail. BBCC will also build a 300-metre pedestrian link to the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) station which will be located at Permodalan Nasional Bhd’s skyscraper Merdeka PNB 118.

“You have to see the future value of this place,” said Low.

The entire RM8.7bil project is expected to be completed by 2025.


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