Finas land to be redeveloped after 2019

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THE redevelopment of Finas’ site in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, is likely to commence in five years  at the soonest, sources say.

The Edge has learnt that Nusa Gapurna Development Sdn Bhd, a 60:40 joint venture between Gapurna Sdn Bhd and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), is currently in negotiations with the government on the relocation of the office building and that this could take a year to be finalised.

The land had been home since 1965 to Filem Negara Malaysia, which  was merged with Finas on Jan 1, 2013. It is understood that the government, as the owner, had agreed on a land swap over two years ago. The parcel, measuring 7.75 acres, is located between the Bukit Bintang Boys’ Secondary School and the Crystal Crown Hotel.

Gapurna is 89.25% owned by Tan Sri Mohamad Salim Fateh Din and 10.75% by his wife, Puan Sri Yasmin Mohamed Ashraff.  Mohamad Salim, who is group managing director of Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB), made his entry into MRCB in April 2013 via Nusa Gapurna by injecting 13.4ha of prime land into the listed company.

“The Finas land is still part of Nusa Gapurna as not all parcels of land were injected into MRCB. Under the agreement between MRCB and Nusa Gapurna, MRCB was given the first right of refusal to buy the land,” a source explains, who adds that the Finas land is still in the name of the Federal Land Commissioner. And it will remain so, until Nusa Gapurna completes its obligation to relocate the building to the new site.

“It will take at least a year to finalise the plan, three years to construct the new Finas/Filem Negara and another year to relocate. Once completed in about five to six years’ time, the obligation to the government will be settled,” the source says, adding that the Finas land will then be in Nusa Gapurna’s hand.

Under the planned land swap, Nusa Gapurna will relocate the Finas building to PJU 10 in Damansara Damai, on an 8.01-acre parcel. Sources tell The Edge that the building will incorporate Finas’  requirements, including office space and studios. Upon completion, the land and building will be handed over to the government.

Under an earlier agreement entered into in 2013, MRCB was given a call option and the first right of refusal to buy the land, in order to protect its interest.

An Affin Investment Research report, dated April 2013, quotes the potential gross development value (GDV) of Finas’ land at RM973 million. However, The Edge understands that not all the entire parcel will be available for development as an estimated 1.5 acres may be used by the local council for road widening. The Finas building faces Jalan Utara in Petaling Jaya. That leaves Nusa Gapurna with 6.25 acres for development in the future.

Note that Gapurna had relocated the Selangor Veterinary Services Department to a 3.27-acre parcel next to the site proposed for the new Finas building. This, too, was a land swap involving the government parcel located next to the former Nestle office (now Quatro West) in Petaling Jaya known as Lot 8. The relocation commenced in 2006 and was completed in 2008.

“The Gapurna subsidiary involved in the relocation was Puncak Wangi Sdn Bhd. In return, it was given Lot 8,” the source explains.

The Lot 8 parcel, which is currently under construction, forms part of the bigger PJ Sentral Garden City project, located behind Hilton Petaling Jaya.

MRCB, via PJ Sentral Development Sdn Bhd, owns Lot 12 and will develop PJ Sentral Garden City, which has an estimated GDV of RM2.6 billion. Lot 8 and Lot 12 measure a combined 12 acres. Lot 8 will house an office building that will be leased to Celcom for 21 years.

A 60-storey building on Lot 12 has been allocated to Selangor State Development Corp (PKNS), following a recent out-of-court settlement. MRCB bought 30% of PKNS’ shares in PJ Sentral Development and in return, the latter was given the development rights to one tower.

Meanwhile, Tower 1 has been allocated for corporate offices and MRCB is believed to be in talks with potential tenants, while Tower 3 has been purchased by Malaysia Building Society Bhd.

MRCB has decided to have strata offices in Tower 5. Yet another block, known as Tower 6, has been sold en bloc to Intellectual Property Corp of Malaysia (MyIPO). The entire development is expected to be completed in phases between 2017 and 2020.

The Finas building will be relocated to PJU 10, Damansara Damai

This article first appeared in The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on October 06 - 12, 2014.