St Regis to make debut in Kuala Lumpur by ’14

St Regis to make debut in Kuala Lumpur by ’14


THE St Regis brand is set to make its debut in Kuala Lumpur in 2014 following the signing of an agreement between its parent Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and ONE IFC.


Owned by ONE IFC, the St Regis Kuala Lumpur will be built at the Kuala Lumpur Sentral Precinct (KL Sentral). It will have 200 guest rooms and 200 whole-ownership St Regis branded residences.


ONE IFC is a joint venture controlled by former stockbroker Chua Ma Yu, who holds a 60 per cent stake through CMY Capital. Government-linked Malaysian Resources Corporation (MRCB) holds 30 per cent and Jitra Perkasa – an investment holding company owned by foreign and local investors – the remaining 10 per cent.


At the signing ceremony yesterday, ONE IFC chief executive Carmen Chua – Mr Chua’s daughter – said that it is too early to talk about costs or sales.


But the six-star St Regis Hotel will add to the increasing attraction of KL Sentral, which is already popular with businesses because of its proximity to the KL Express Rail and Light Rail Transit hubs.


Many property players see the area as Kuala Lumpur’s next central business district.


MRCB owns most of the land there and has said that the total built-up area will be 20 million square feet by 2015 when the various parcels are developed. The total gross development value (GDV) is estimated at RM8.3 billion (S$3.49 billion). About RM2.8 billion has been completed and another RM5 billion is in progress. St Regis is CMY Capital’s second project. It is also building One KL, opposite the Petronas Twin Towers. The 94-unit apartment block which comes with its own individual pools plus a larger common pool has been sold off the plan, mainly to Mr Chua’s business associates and friends.


Skidmore, Owings & Merrill has been engaged as architect for the St Regis project. Given that the firm’s portfolio includes buildings such as New York’s Freedom Tower and UAE’s Burj Dubai, the St Regis KL is expected to be the new benchmark.


Ms Chua said that construction will start in 2010 and completion is expected in 2014. ONE IFC has received approval for 1.4 million sq ft of development space on the 0.89-hectare site. Besides the hotel and residences, there are intentions to develop office space on the plot.


KL Sentral land prices have been appreciating as various developments have come up. For example, Singapore’s CapitaLand is teaming up with MRCB to build high-end residential apartments there. And the number of office workers in the area is expected to double to 50,000 in seven years.


ONE IFC acquired the St Regis plot from MRCB for an average price of RM1,400 psf last year. Ms Chua is confident that by 2015, KL Sentral real estate prices will mirror those around the Petronas Twin Towers area.


St Regis Kuala Lumpur ‘represents one of the largest private sector-driven initiatives, which will complement the government’s efforts in stimulating continuous economic growth’, she said. According to her, the St Regis will mean more jobs for Malaysians, as 95 per cent of the staff will be Malaysians.


Starwood’s Asia-Pacific president Miguel Ko said that St Regis Singapore was launched five months ago and ‘St Regis KL fits nicely in our expansion plans for South-east Asia’.


Source: Business Times

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