Golf courses in the centre of development areas are now being targeted for re-development as property prices rocket through the roof.
Caddy Master By WONG SAI WAN
JUST a couple of decades ago, the crowning jewel for any Malaysian developer was to own a golf course and to use that sporting facility to enhance their property sales.
In the 1980s and 1990s, it was unthinkable for a housing developer not to try to have a golf project. Even if they do not have enough land for a full 18 holes, they would try for a nine-hole or at least a driving range.
But how things have changed with the Asian financial crisis of 1998. There were less than a handful of new golf courses built in the past 12 years. In fact, more golf courses have closed down in this period.
Fast forward to this year and once again developers are eyeing the golf courses but in a totally different manner. Developers no longer want to build golf-related projects; instead they want to tear them down.
Word has it that, especially in the Klang Valley where the prices of property have gone up tremendously, developers are eyeing golf courses to be turned into property development projects.
An 18-hole golf course with a reasonably sized clubhouse will cover about 50ha and a land of that size in the Klang Valley or even just outside the greater Kuala Lumpur is worth hundreds of millions.
For developers such a large track of land will be worth billions in terms of property for sale especially if it is located near major highways or with railway access to Kuala Lumpur.
Many of such courses when developed between 15 and 20 years ago were located away from the city centre with some built on former estates – usually the lousiest piece of land that is hilly and with plenty of valleys and swampy soil.
Those days this kind of land was considered “rubbish” and too costly to rehabilitate to build good houses that would have fetched the top dollar.
But two decades on things have changed. The Klang Valley has grown and the Government has adopted the concept of the Greater Kuala Lumpur where they expect almost 10 million people will live in.
This expanded Kuala Lumpur will stretch all the way from Sungai Buloh in the North all the way to Kajang/Semenyih in the south; Klang/Banting in the west to Bukit Tinggi in the east.
More than 40 golf courses are located within this very large area and every single one of them have suddenly become prime land and worth a lot of money. The landowners who previously thought they were sitting on a worthless piece of property now find that they have a gold mine.
From the likes of Rahman Putra Golf & Country Club to the now defunct Emville Golf & Country Club, these are now prime properties. Even the Kampung Kuantan Golf Club and Kundang Lakes Golf & Country Club which were the starting grounds for many golfers in the Klang Valley may not be safe from the hands of developers in a few years time.
Already, Kajang Hill Golf & Country Club has been sold to Dijaya Corporation Bhd for redevelopment for RM228mil into mixed development with an estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM2bil.
Dijaya, which owns Tropicana Golf & Country Club in Petaling Jaya, plans to develop the more than 80ha site that now sits the golf course and the clubhouse facilities into a new project called Tropicana Kajang.
The deal was struck in September and club members were then informed that they had less than a year left to play on its Par 72 championship course layout measuring 7,148 yards.
Kajang Hill was owned by the Japanese company Taiyo Resort (KL) Bhd. It was not the most exciting golf course but it had unique Japanese features set in tropical settings.
There is now a rush by golfers to play there before the course is closed down for good.
Word is abound about all sorts of other courses been targeted by land hungry developers. Among them is said to be the Kelab Golf Negara Subang which sits right smack beside of the Federal Highway in Petaling Jaya.
The present committee decided to not renew a Caveat the club had placed on the land thus allowing the Federal Land Commissioner to act on the land title.
Speculation is rife that there are some people eyeing the land of one of KGNS two 18 holes. There is no concrete proof but a hurriedly called EGM by the members has appointed a panel to look into the matter.
KGNS is reported to be sitting on land worth some RM5bil – a sum that some people deemed too valuable for golf.
This is what worries the golfing community that both courses on the outskirts as well as those within the city limits are being eyed for re-development.
This is made worse by the fact, many of the commercial club owners are only just too keen to sell or redevelop the land. It would seem that only a recession or the burst of the property bubble would prevent this from happening.
Till next month, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Dijaya in RM228mil land deal for Kajang Hill Golf Club land
I was a member of the Kajang Hill Golf Club and I received notice to terminate the membership from November 2011. However, they are paying back the monies that we paid to join. So, I was expecting some news on this. This was confirmed in today’s papers. The owner, a Japanese Datuk is going to make a lot of money in this deal.
However, if you go to the vicinity of the area, the whole place is going to be developed very soon. The size of the whole area is huge with the other areas combined.
The prices of the properties here is also very high (by Kajang standards), mind you. So it’s left to be seen how the place will eventually turn out.
Until the next time, cheers.
The Star, Tuesday September 6, 2011
Dijaya in RM228mil land deal
Purchase of freehold land from Taiyo to cater for increasing demand for property in Kajang
PETALING JAYA: Dijaya Corp Bhd has entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement with Taiyo Resort (KL) Bhd to acquire five parcels of freehold land in Mukim Semenyih, Ulu Langat, Selangor, measuring approximately 80.33ha for RM228mil cash.
The parcels of land are currently held under the operations of Kajang Hill Golf Club, it added.
Dijaya said the land would be transformed into a mixed development consisting of landed houses, condominiums, apartments and shop offices with an expected gross development value of about RM2bil.
“The development, known as Tropicana Kajang, will be another future revenue generator for the group and shall contribute positively to its financial performance,” it said in a separate statement.
Dijaya said the freehold land had an upside potential in terms of capital appreciation because of the increasing demand for residential and commercial properties in Kajang, as seen in other developments such as Nadayu 92, Tiara Residence, Ramal Villa, Twin Palm and Jade Hills, just to name a few.
“With increasing population and expanding residential properties in and around Kajang, the proposed development of commercial properties will cater to the rising demand for office and retail spaces.
“Furthermore, the proposed Kajang-Sungai Buloh MY Rapid Transit project will enhance the investment potential of Kajang, presenting a greater opportunity to property investors,” it said.
Group chief executive officer Tan Sri Danny Tan Chee Sing said the group was continuously acquiring sizeable land-banks with good development potential in strategic locations.
“The land deal provides an opportunity for the group to introduce more development in Kajang with quality and prestige synonymous with our Tropicana brand,” he said.
Dijaya said the purchase price was arrived at on a willing-buyer, willing-seller basis after several considerations including the reasonably low land cost of RM26.36 per sq ft which will enable TCSS to price its proposed development competitively and with reasonable margins.
On the financing for the purchase, Dijaya said it would be funded through internally funds and/or bank borrowings.
“The exact mix of internally generated funds and bank borrowings will be determined by the management of the company at a later stage, after taking into consideration Dijaya Corp and its subsidiaries’ gearing level, interest costs and internal cash requirements for its business operations,” it said.
The group’s net gearing is expected to rise to 0.22 times post-land acquisition assuming about RM114mil, representing approximately 50% of the purchase price, is financed via borrowings. As at Dec 31, 2010, Dijaya was in a net cash position.
BJCC Golf and Country Club News