Huge project: Ahmad (left) and Ong with a miniature model of the Bukit Bintang City Centre project, which will take eight to 10 years to complete.
It will comprise a shopping mall, hotel, strata office and apartments
KUALA LUMPUR: The developer of the RM8.7bil Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC), a mixed development to be undertaken on the former Pudu Jail site, plans to launch the first phase of project by the second quarter of this year.
The first phase, which has a gross development value (GDV) of RM1.4bil, will comprise a shopping mall, four-star hotel, strata office and two blocks of serviced apartments, according to Eco World Development Group Bhd executive vice president Datuk Richard Ong.
He added phase one will take up to five years to complete.
The BBCC project has Eco World holding a 40% stake, while UDA Holdings Bhd and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) have 40% and 20% stakes respectively.
Ong said the pricing for the serviced apartments will range between RM1,300 per sq ft and RM1,400 per sq ft, adding that he is optimistic about selling the units despite the negative perception that the land used to be a former prison site.
“Redeveloping a former prison site is not new. Many countries have done it,” he told StarBiz yesterday at its new BBCC sales gallery, which it will be launching on Friday.
Ong also said a lot of buyers, especially of the younger generation, were not so superstitious about whether the land was a former jail site.
He said the company also had the site blessed by various religious groups.
The first phase will comprise two blocks comprising 700 units of serviced apartments.
The BBCC project will be built on 19.4 acres at the former Pudu Jail site and will take eight to 10 years to complete.
Ong said the consortium will be working with Japan’s Mitsui Fudosan Co Ltd to manage the 1.2 million sq ft mall.
UDA Holdings group managing director Ahmad Abu Bakar said the tie-up will see the parties looking to bring in potential tenants from Japan.
“We hope to introduce new brands into the market by the time the mall is up,” he said.
Ong added that the mall was within a “popular shopping belt” near Berjaya Times Square and Pavilion.
“We should be able to get rents close to comparable malls within the Bukit Bintang area, he said.
The redevelopment of Pudu Jail spans over 21 acres and is among the last tracts of land left in the city centre.
The area is slated to house some of the mega-development projects in Kuala Lumpur. Permodalan Nasional Bhd is building a 100-storey tower called Menara Warisan in an area close to the Pudu Jail site.
Nearby the Pudu Jail, the 72-acre Tun Razak Exchange is being developed.