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PUBLISHED: Feb 4, 2015 5:52pm

EPF investing RM1b in Pudu Jail redevelopment project

BBCC-Bukit Bintang-Pudu-Jail

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Artist impression of the Bukit Bintang City Centre project. - Pic courtesy of UDA

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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 4: 

The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is slated to invest RM1 billion in the Pudu Jail redevelopment as it will have a 20% stake in the firm undertaking the project.

In a Bursa filing today, project contractor Eco World Development Group Bhd said it is also investing RM2 billion in the project firm BBCC Development Sdn Bhd for a 40% stake while UDA Holdings Bhd is matching this amount – inclusive of the 7.85ha plot valued at RM1 billion – for the remaining 40% stake.

Should EPF later decide not to participate in the project, Eco World said the long-delayed project will proceed with UDA. The former Pudu Jail was closed in 1996 after 101 years in operation and demolished in 2009.

After the stakeholder signing ceremony today, UDA said it is inviting bumiputera investment in the RM8 billion gross development value mixed development project – dubbed the Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC) – under the construction and retail section.

UDA chairman Datuk Johan Abdul Ghani said under government rules, any new retail development must have at least a 50% participation from among bumiputera businesses.

“We are looking for bumiputera investors with a good track record, in terms of handling retail businesses, as well as building and maintaining any past development projects.

“We are aware that most bumiputeras do not carry an international or well known brand.So, we’ve decided to build the Malaysian Grand Bazaar, specifically to give them an opportunity to market their products.”

The Malaysian Grand Bazaar will showcase the best of Malaysian food, handicraft, arts, heritage and culture, together with a wide variety of local designer and homegrown brands.

Johan, said however, only qualified bumiputeras, in term of experience and track record, will be considered got the Malaysian Grand Bazaar and the development site, to ensure the quality of the BBCC as the next tourist attraction.

The BBCC project will commence in the second quarter of this year and stretch over eight years. It also has an entertainment block, office towers, a hotel and serviced residences.

Dispelling concerns over an increase in retail space within the area, Johan believes the strategically located BBCC, would receive strong interest from buyers and tenants.

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