Kenbest expects to double GDV this year

ICONIC STRUCTURE: Photo shows an artist’s impression of the aerial view of CityOne which Yong expects to be an iconic structure in Kuching once it is fully completed.

KUCHING: Kenbest Sdn Bhd (Kenbest) expects its gross development value (GDV) to double this year to RM500 million.

“We started off seven years ago with the development of smaller community malls such as OneTJ and OneJaya, which range from 100,000 square feet (sq ft) to 200,000 sq ft. The projects is fully completed with a 95 per cent occupancy rate.

“Having honed our expertise, we are now going into high value developments such as the ST3 and CityOne, which will produce higher GDV for the company,” said Kenbest’s general manager of finance and development, Anthony Yong in an interview with The Borneo Post.

He revealed that the company had a few very strategic landbanks which it had earmarked for high-end residential condominiums and maybe a retail component. The final components had yet to be determined.

“We are fully focused on the success of ST3, together with our partner, The Ascott Ltd (The Ascott) and also CityOne.

However, we are also always on the lookout for very strategic landbanks in Kuching or even in Miri,” Yong enthused.

According to Yong, besides being a commercial property developer, Kenbest is also developing 30 units of residential development of semi-detached and terrace houses named Vision at BDC. The residential development was about 50 per cent completed and was fully sold out.

“CityOne for example, is located on the protocol road of Jalan Tun Jugah-Jalan Song while ST3 is also located on protocol road at Jalan Uplands. The other two projects that we have in our pipeline are located at Jalan Wan Alwi and Jalan Tun Jugah,” he said.

Yong’s statement was further supported by Kenbest’s managing director, Stephen Long, who affirmed that the company paid premium for the lands purchased for its developments.

“That is the price that we prepared to pay for a strategic location and that was why we were able to get the land,” Long added.

In explaining the status of the projects, Yong stated that as for the constructions of CityOne, there were three components; the outer ‘shoplex’, Mall One and Mall Two.

“In terms of the outer shoplex, it is about 80 per cent completed. In Mall One, works are in progress in the second floor while foundation work is being done for Mall Two,” he added.

As for the ST3’s development, he noted that the construction had already reached the tenth floor.

“For ST3, we have a total of 215 units of serviced residences, which will be managed by The Ascott and four floors designated for strata title retailers. The service residences will take up eight floors,” he explained.

When asked on the company’s future expansions, Yong disclosed that Kenbest would still be focusing on residential and commercial developments.

“Kuching is where we first started. We are very confident in Kuching because we know the market here but that does not mean that we won’t venture outside Kuching. We need to establish out roots here first,” he added.

Future plans included exploring the possibility of venturing into the REIT arena as well as looking at listing prospects.

“When Kenbest initially commenced we studied Kuching and found out that the shopping experience was definitely lacklustre when compared with many parts of the world. That was why we developed OneTJ few years ago, then OneJaya and then on to larger commercial developments such as ST3 and CityOne,” Long highlighted.

He stated that the company, through its commercial developments wanted to bring a vibrant shopping lifestyle to the people of Kuching without them having to fly to West Malaysia or other countries to do their shopping.

In demonstrating the company’s openness in business, Yong stated that the company was continuously on the lookout for new and unique concepts that could be inculcated into the local scene be it through joint-ventures or direct acquisitions.

“In the long run, Kenbest will continue to bring Kuchingites new shopping experiences that stands at par with a global shopping experience,” Yong concluded.

Stephen Long

Anthony Yong

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