Danga Bay, Johor
Ekovest Bhd had, in July 2007, proposed to purchase the entire stake in Danga Bay Sdn Bhd and had signed a RM1.1 billion sale and purchase agreement with Credence Resources Sdn Bhd and DBSB for that purpose. The price tag of RM1.1 billion translated to roughly RM105 psf, which was substantially higher than the RM65 psf Aeon Co (M) Bhd paid for in February 2007 for a parcel of land in the 23,875-acre Bandar Nusajaya, Johor. The sale would be financed via the issuance of new shares and irredeemable convertible unsecured loan stocks of Ekovest Bhd. In relation to this, Ekovest had requested for the trading of its shares to be suspended temporarily pending the full announcement of the proposal. On 3rdJuly 2007, it closed 33 sen higher at RM3.04. At the time pending the sale & purchase agreement, the company was the project manager then of Danga Bay, an integrated mixed residential, recreational and commercial waterfront development in Johor Baru.
It was reported in the local dailies that Ekovest Bhd would be launching the RM900 million worth of property on 240 acres of waterfront land in Danga Bay by end of 2007. The projects were RM330 million Danga Island Villas and the RM536 million Danga Bay Service Residence & Resort Hotel. Danga Island Villas comprises bungalows and villas whilst Danga Bay Residence comprises service residences and hotel, both of which are scheduled to be completed by end 2010 and 2011 respectively.
The Danga Island Villas, located on 70 acres on an island, would comprise bungalows and waterfront villas, with a GDV of RM330 million. The 152 villas, which come complete with private berths for yachts, of the Danga Island Villas project and located within Iskandar Malaysia, are priced between RM4 million and RM15 million each. Danga Island Villas managed to secure RM230 million (S$105 million) sales at the Cityscape international property show in Dubai in October 2008. The Danga Bay Service Residence & Resort Hotel would consist of three towers and a podium block with a total GDV of RM536 million.
Danga Bay is linked to all major highways such as the Skudai Highway and North South Expressway, and the Coastal Highway, which also links it to Bandar Nusajaya. Ekovest Bhd had already put in construction works amounting to RM479 million in the Danga Bay development, and there were more in the coming future.
According to executive chairman Datuk Lim Kang Hoo, Ekovest Bhd planned to bring in foreign partners to co-develop Danga Bay in Johor. Some of these big developers have proven track records and had already completed projects in the Middle East and China. Despite the prevailing global economic conditions, they are still willing to spend and invest in our project, reflecting their confidence in Danga Bay and Iskandar Malaysia, which is backed by the government. Datuk Lim said the company had not deferred any project planned for Danga Bay due to the global economic uncertainties.
Of the 70% Danga Island Villas units sold todate, Datuk Lim said 27% of the purchasers were Johoreans, 28% from Kuala Lumpur and Penang, and 6% from Sabah and Sarawak. Purchasers from the Middle East countries, India, Pakistan, Canada and Spain accounted for about 38%, 5% from Singapore and 2% from Hong Kong.
The project is targeted primarily at wealthy retirees, jetsetting businessmen, expatriate families and the well-heeled from Malaysia and the region keen to make Iskandar Malaysia their home. Other upcoming property developments in Danga Bay are refurbishment of the Danga Bayleaf Restaurant into a RM30 million convention hall and construction of office blocks.