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New builder on the scene

02/11/2009 The Star By LIM CHIA YING

THE long-abandoned project opposite Club De Vegas and Parkroyal Kuala Lumpur along Jalan Imbi may be given a new lease of life soon.

Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Ahmad Fuad Ismail said a new developer has come on board and submitted plans for the project but has been asked by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to revise the plan.

Driving down along Jalan Imbi, it is hard to miss this neglected concrete structure that has become an eyesore over the last decade.

The structure has some partially completed floors and the site has been hoarded up.

“We have asked the new developer to amend and improve on the design so that it blends with the surroundings,” said Ahmad Fuad.

This development has already changed hands twice and is now in the hands of the third developer.

Based on records from the DBKL, the first planning approval issued by City Hall was for mixed commercial development known as CN Gallery, comprising three building blocks — one block of 27-storey hotel (352 rooms), two 12- and 20-storey office blocks, five floors of shopping podium and four basement car park floors.

It was to be built on Lots 230-232, 625-631 and 647-649 in Section 67, Jalan Imbi by the first developer Tetuan Metro Jelita Sdn Bhd.

Revival plans afoot: The abandoned project on Jalan Imbi has been hoarded up.
According to the DBKL’s records, construction works stopped in 1998. The said developer went into liquidation and receivership by bankers.

Then in 2004, another developer called Urban Shift Sdn Bhd wanted to revive the project and changed the name to Nas Pavillion. According to the signboard that still stands outside the hoarded site, there are four building blocks for this project — Block A comprises a 29-storey service apartment, Block B a 31-storey service apartment, Block C a 22-storey service apartment, five floors of shopping podium and six basement floors.

However, this too failed to take off and the developer went into liquidation.

Ahmad Fuad said although the property had service apartments, it was classified as commercial premises at that time and hence not covered under the Housing Development (Control & Licensing) Act 1966 (Act 118).

“The DBKL has no power to prosecute developers of abandoned projects and the most we can do is issue compounds to the owner for breeding mosquitoes in stagnant water and sheltering drug addicts, if there are complaints.”

However, issuing compounds is pointless now that the two developers have gone into receivership. It is learnt that a court ruling in 2008 decided on scheme of settlement to be paid to the two batch of purchasers who were affected. The first batch was given 25 sen of every RM1 paid as deposit while the second batch only received10 sen per RM1 on an ex-gratia basis.

It is learnt that 400 buyers for the original project and 200 for the second were affected.

In earlier reports, buyers of the two abandoned projects had reportedly formed an action committee to get back their deposits after a meeting held with Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun.

The National Housebuyers Association (HBA) honorary secretary-general Chang Kim Loong said since April 12, 2007, the Housing Development (Control & Licensing) Act 1966 has been amended to cover all housing accommodation that includes service apartments, although they are on commercial lands.

“As the two previous developers went into liquidation before the Act could be amended, therefore the Act could not apply then.

“But effective April 12, 2007, all housing developments have come under the Housing and Local Government Ministry for developers’ licence and sales and advertisements permit.

“So once the new layout plan is approved by the DBKL, it will be considered a new development that falls under the purview of the ministry,” said Chang.

He added that all developers were also required to submit the Form 7 (f) of the Act every quarterly starting Jan 1, 2010, instead of the previous bi-annual practice.

This is a comprehensive set for developers to update the progress status of their projects.

Ahmad Fuad said the DBKL had received the new plan to modify the original planning approval from new developer Tetuan Carribean Gateway Sdn Bhd.

The new application is also for mixed commercial development comprising five blocks - one 25-storey block of service apartments, one 29-storey block of service apartments with one level of facilities and swimming pool, one 23-storey office block, two 22-storey blocks of ‘condotel’ with one floor of facility and swimming pool, five-storey shopping podium and four basement floors.

“This application has been considered by the DBKL One-Stop Centre committee on March 12 and April 9 this year and it was decided that the proposed plans have to be further amended to adhere to technical needs as we are the approving authority for the design and layout plan.

“Up until now, the applicant has yet to present the revised plan as ordered,” said Ahmad Fuad.


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