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Thursday April 22, 2010

All systems go in Medini

By ZAZALI MUSA


zaza@thestar.com.my

NUSAJAYA: Global Capital and Development Sdn Bhd will be launching three mixed property development zones in Medini, near here, in the last quarter of the year.

Millennium Development International (MDI) Malaysia country manager Richard Polkinghorne said earthwork and laying of infrastructure facilities at the three zones started a year ago and were progressing well.

He said the master plan developments for the three zones had been approved by the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) and the relevant authorities.

“We’ve hosted strategic investors from all over the world for site visits and many of them have expressed their strong interest to invest in the projects,” Polkinghorne told StarBiz.

Beirut-based MDI is managing the development of the three zones – the two Lifestyle and Leisure Zones and the Iskandar Financial District in Medini – on behalf of Global Capital and Development. The company is a member company of the Jordan-based Saraya Holdings, a real estate development and asset management group involved in developing large-scale tourism and leisure properties.

The Lifestyle and Leisure Zone is divided into two sites – the North Zone on a 235ha site comprising a theme park, shopping centre, medical specialist centre, schools, offices and medium and high-end residential properties.

The South Zone, on a 280ha site overlooking the Straits of Johor and Singapore, will have lower density residential developments such as villas, a golf course, boutique retail centres, as well as a health and wellness village.

The Iskandar Financial District sits on 142ha and will have mixed-use areas anchored by the diverse activities that take place in the international financial centre.

It will also be the regional nucleus to spearhead financial innovation.

“The three zones will be developed over a period of 15 to 20 years with a gross development value of approximately US$20bil,” he said.

The company was upbeat that the projects would be able to attract investors and buyers as there had been growing evidence of an upturn in the property market.

He added that as the economic situation started to show signs of gradual improvement, there were likely to be more investors and individuals looking for good investment opportunities all over the world.

“The economic crisis has taught investors to be more realistic and cautious in their investments portfolio and they now want to see reality rather than imaginary projects,” Polkinghorne said, adding that the crisis was a blessing in disguise as it would be much easier to convince investors to invest in Medini in Nusajaya with massive infrastructure work being done on the site and the ongoing government support.

Medini’s 970ha area is sited on the 9,307.76ha Nusajaya. The latter is one of the five flagship development zones in Iskandar Malaysia. The other four are the JB City Centre, Western Gate Development, Eastern Gate Development and Senai-Kulai.

Polkinghorne said Iskandar Malaysia itself was a good branding as the country first economic growth corridor had strong backing from the Federal Government and Johor Government, Irda and Iskandar Investment Bhd.

“Another strong factor is Johor’s close proximity to Singapore and the well-known fact that both countries are economically interdependent.”

Polkinghorne said Medini would be able to attract not only Singaporean investors but also international companies and expatriates based in the republic to invest there.

The development of Medini is undertaken in partnership between the private and public sectors with key investors – namely IIB, Mubadala Development Co, Aldar Properties, Kuwait Finance House and MDI.

The overall development of Medini is divided into four distinct zones with separate themes: The Lifestyle and Leisure North, Financial District, Medini Central and Lifestyle and Leisure South.

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