New Straits Times, 24 June 2014 - Ivory seeks pact extension

New Straits Times, 24 June 2014

IVORY Properties Group Bhd is applying for an extension of the conditional acquisition and rehabilitation agreement (ARA) with Plaza Rakyat Sdn Bhd to acquire the leases and development rights of the project land.

Ivory Group chief executive officer Datuk Low Eng Hock yesterday said the last extension obtained ended on June 4 and Ivory needs more time to meet the conditions stated in the ARA.

“Our proposal to Datuk Bandar Kuala Lumpur has given special interest of the end-purchasers whose deposits have been tied up by the project during their purchase from the previous developer and we hope to help solve their woes soon,” he said after the company’s shareholders’ meeting here.

Last September, Ivory Proper-ties said that its subsidiary, Ivory Place Sdn Bhd, had won an open tender by Plaza Rakyat to revive the Plaza Rakyat mixed-development project in Pudu, Kuala Lumpur, which had been abandoned for 15 years due to the Asian financial crisis.

The company said it planned to redevelop the 6.163ha prime site with properties worth about RM8 billion in gross development value over eight years.

Besides the Plaza Rakyat revival project, Low said Ivory plans to expand its business south of Penang to Kuala Lumpur and Johor.

“We are also looking to develop residential and commercial properties in Kuala Lumpur and are in talks with several landowners,” Low said, adding that the company’s plans in Johor is to enter into joint-venture deals with landowners who own small pockets of land to develop properties.

He said Ivory’s undeveloped land bank includes a 21.7ha plot in the upmarket Jesselton area on the island, which the company had acquired last year.

“We hope to break ground next year on a property development project there which will include high-rise and boutique bungalow units,” he added.

On the joint-venture development between Aspen Vision Land Sdn Bhd (where Ivory is holding a 49 per cent stake) and Ikano Pte Ltd to set up an Ikea store on an 8ha plot and the proposed Ikea Mall on a 22.2ha site in Batu Kawan on mainland Penang, Low said Aspen Vision Land is in the process of entering into a purchase and development agreement with the Penang Development Corporation.

On another matter, Low said Tropicana Ivory Sdn Bhd — a joint-venture company set up be- tween Ivory and Tropicana Corporation Bhd which has been set up to oversee the Penang WorldCity development — will be rolling out Phase 3A of the development by the end of the year following overwhelming success of Phase 1A sales.

“We managed to achieve over 90 per cent sales for Phase 1A, so we have decided to release the next phase to cater to increasing demand,” he said, adding that Phase 3A will com-prise 473 luxury condomi- niums ranging from 771 sq ft to 1,403 sq ft and 159 affordable units measuring between 450 sq ft and 650 sq ft.