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Thread: Rowsley reveals details of mega Iskandar project

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    Default Rowsley reveals details of mega Iskandar project

    Rowsley reveals details of mega Iskandar project

    Vantage Bay will link twin-tower condo, mall, hotel, offices and medical hub

    Published on Oct 10, 2013

    By Anita Gabriel Senior Correspondent

    FRESH from a corporate transformation, Singapore-listed Rowsley is putting the finishing touches to its grand RM5.5 billion (S$2.2 billion) Vantage Bay project in Malaysia's bustling Iskandar.

    The integrated project in Johor Baru city centre is just 1km from the customs, immigration and quarantine complex.

    The sheer proximity to Singapore suggests the project is poised to give other mega Iskandar projects a run for their money.

    The project spans 9.23ha or 13 international-sized football fields.

    For the first time yesterday, Rowsley, part-owned by billionaire Peter Lim, revealed details of the Vantage Bay project.

    It will include a twin tower, set to become one of the tallest condominiums in Malaysia, with striking views of the Strait of Johor and Singapore's skyline. There will also be a mall as big as Singapore's largest, VivoCity, with a net lettable area of one million sq ft, a hotel and office blocks.

    A major bonus: It will be connected to a medical hub run by Thomson Medical Hospital, which will include medical suites and step-down care like apartments.

    Thomson Medical is part- owned by Mr Lim and Johor's royal family while the Vantage Bay site is 70 per cent owned by Mr Lim and the rest by Johor royalty.

    The project, with an expected plot ratio of 11, is in good hands. RSP Architects Planners & Engineers, Singapore's oldest and leading architect firm which was just appointed to undertake the iconic Jewel project in Changi, is charged with the project's design.

    Rowsley has just completed a $545 million acquisition of RSP Architects and waterfront land in Iskandar, paid through issuance of new shares under a reverse takeover exercise.

    "The transaction has transformed us from a company with a market capitalisation of $140 million to nearly $1.5 billion in less than a year," said Rowsley executive chairman Ho Tat Kin at a media briefing yesterday.

    According to Vantage Bay chief executive and Rowsley executive director Ho Kiam Kheong, the residential units will be launched by the first quarter of next year. The whole project is expected to take 10 years to complete.

    "This is not going to be just another ghost town. It will be a seamless experience and a truly integrated township," he said.

    "We are going to have pedestrian walkways in the centre, which will have an open space and lots of shrubs with shelters and alfresco dining outlets which will light up at night... like Clarke Quay."

    But there may be challenges. It was reported that starting from January next year, foreigners buying property in Johor face a higher processing fee.

    Mr Ho Kiam Kheong said: "We are obviously disappointed as developers over the cooling measures, but they indicate that market demand is strong and will take out the speculative element."

    The lifestyle-cum-wellness project could rival other projects in Nusajaya, a pivotal part of Iskandar's growth, taking in Puteri Harbour and Medini.

    He said: "The key difference is that in Puteri Harbour or Medini or Nusajaya, there are many developers coming together to make it work.

    "That is a challenge as developers have their respective commercial interests to safeguard and 'inertia' could set in.

    "The mindset of 'you go first, I'll come after you' is going to be a challenge for the project to really take off at a faster pace."

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    Default Rowsley plans launch of Iskandar units by early '14

    Published October 10, 2013

    Rowsley plans launch of Iskandar units by early '14

    By ong chor hao [email protected]

    ROWSLEY Ltd, which has transformed itself into a property player, could launch residential units from its key development project in Johor's Iskandar region by early next year. The company is also confident about demand despite the possibility of Malaysia's southern-most state imposing a new property tax on buyers.

    Ho Kiam Kheong, executive director at Rowsley who oversees its sprawling Vantage Bay development, said this yesterday. Vantage Bay is a mixed-development comprising residences, offices, a mall and a hotel on 9.23 hectares of waterfront land about one kilometre away from the Causeway.

    The number of units for the first phase of residential units to be launched was not revealed, but Mr Ho said that overall, Vantage Bay should have more than 3,000 homes.

    Prices were also not available, but Mr Ho commented that on a "like-for-like" basis, prices in the area have gone up quite a bit and have surpassed the 1,000 ringgit (S$391) per square foot mark "quite significantly".

    While the company is "obviously disappointed" with the possibility of a new tax of about 4-5 per cent of the property price that the local government is mulling over, Mr Ho also welcomed the weeding out of speculation in the market.

    He added that the intervention was also a clear sign of sustained demand. "It's hot enough for the government to want to do something."

    The journey of Rowsley, controlled by billionaire Peter Lim, from an investment holding company to a real estate player in Iskandar began after it announced two significant deals last December.

    The first was to acquire the land that now houses the Vantage Bay project for $358 million; the second was to buy RSP Architects Planners and Engineers for up to $187.5 million.

    It has paid in full for the land and about $131.3 million of the consideration for RSP by issuing some 3.3 billion shares at 15 cents each after shareholders gave the green light for the deals last month. It has also issued two free warrants for each share that investors hold. The warrants start trading tomorrow.

    The outstanding $56.3 million in consideration for RSP is subject to the architectural firm achieving a net profit after tax totalling $75 million for the next three financial years starting from 2013.

    Lai Huen Poh, also an executive director at Rowsley, said the vendors for RSP are expecting to exceed the first-year earn-out target, after making a net profit of $25 million last year.

    With its transformation, Ho Tat Kin, executive chairman at Rowsley, noted that the company's market cap has jumped from $140 million to some $1.5 billion in less than a year.

    Acquiring RSP provides a strong recurrent income stream, and the firm's expertise and Rowsley's landbank in Iskandar mean "we now have the platform, synergy and scale to put Rowsley on a solid footing as a premium, quality developer", Dr Ho said.

    He added that Rowsley is currently debt free and lining up project financing for Iskandar.

    It has been swinging between losses and gains in recent years, most recently reporting a net loss of $975,000 for its first quarter ended June 30.

    The counter closed 5.6 per cent down at 34 cents yesterday.

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    Vantage Bay is launching soon!

    Get the latest info on Vantage Bay.

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