THE year 2018 was one of the worst years that the local property market could handle and it’s one investors would rather forget but there were good deals involving the sale of office towers and land.
Interestingly, there were many transactions by a single developer, Mammoth Empire Holdings Sdn Bhd, which is building Empire City Damansara (ECD), a RM5 billion project launched in 2011 in Damansara Perdana. The developer sold multiple assets in the second half of last year.
The biggest transaction was said to be the sale of 45 acres measuring 1.96 million sq ft of land in the fourth quarter of last year and at an estimated RM460 million to RM530 million in value.
The land, which was earmarked for Empire City Damansara2(ECD2), was sold to a joint venture (JV) between Exsim Group and Binastra Construction Sdn Bhd.
However, Mammoth Empire executive director Datuk Danny Cheah confirmed that the deal has not been concluded. “We are still in discussions and there’s no agreement signed yet,” he told NST Property.
Mammoth Empire, meanwhile, did sell a 20-acre land measuring 871,200 sq ft meant for ECD2, to Asset Kayamas Group for RM236 million, or about RM270.90 psf, in the fourth quarter of last year.
Another piece of undeveloped land measuring 4.55 acres covering 98,198 sq ft in ECD1, where a Ritz Carlton Hotel had been originally planned, was sold for about RM85 million, or an estimated RM454 psf, with development order to the Exsim Group and Binastra Construction JV.
Zerin Properties founder and chief executive officer Previndran Singhe said it was a good move by the developer to dispose of some of the assets it owned within the Empire City development.
“All in all, I think it is a good move forward for Mammoth Empire as it begins to rationalise its asset holdings,” he told NST Property.
A fund manager, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the asset sales last year showed the market was still active.
“There are investors who are buying and companies which are selling for various reasons like to pare down debts, downsize or to invest in other businesses. I believe there will be more transactions this year,” he said.
For commercial, Mammoth Empire sold 33,340 sq ft of space within the podium level below MyEG Tower in the ECD development to Cuspaci Bhd for RM20 million, or at about RM600 psf, in the third quarter of last year.
The company also sold another commercial space within the podium level below MyEG Tower for RM35.4 million, or RM780 psf, on September 28 last year.
On November 16 last year, the developer sold 16,441 sq ft commercial space within the Empire City mixed use development to Excel Force MSC Bhd. The transacted price was RM9.86 million or about RM600 psf.
Besides the sale of assets in Damansara Perdana, Mammoth Empire sold Wisma Megah (formerly Bangunan Hong Leong) in Jalan Tun HS Lee for RM43 million in the third quarter of last year.
It was reported that the building, which used to house a Hong Leong Bank branch and the Hong Leong Group’s corporate headquarters, was acquired by Mammoth Empire in April 2012 for an estimated RM38 million.