AREA Management Sdn Bhd plans to develop a RM4 billion premium logistic and manufacturing hub on its 85.79ha site in Kota Seri Langat in Banting, Selangor.
The project, which is called The COMPASS @ Kota Seri Langat, encompasses premium industrial and logistics facilities with resort style features.
Area Management executive chairman Datuk Stewart LaBrooy said The COMPASS will offer built-to-suit warehouses and manufacturing facilities with sizes ranging from 200,000 sq ft to 1,000,000 sq ft.
He said The COMPASS will also house workers’ accommodation, a small commercial development for small and medium enterprises and a clubhouse with sports facilities.
The COMPASS is the second major development by Area Management, the first being Area Logistics @ Ampang — the country’s first three-storey ramp-up inner-city mega distribution hub with 1.5 million sq ft of warehouse space.
Area Logistics @ Ampang will be fully ready by year-end.
The COMPASS, which will take about five years to build, is set to be Selangor’s first gated and guarded, fully integrated and serviced industrial and logistics park.
LaBrooy told NST Property that The COMPASS will be a catalyst for the 958.70ha development in Kota Seri Langat by master developer, PNB Development Sdn Bhd.
He said he was attracted to the land in Kota Seri Langat because of the dedicated interchange from the West Coast Expressway (WCE).
“PNB is building a road through their development all the way to the interchange. It’s all about connectivity. The WCE is a big game-changer for Klang Valley. It is another huge highway project that connects many places between Selangor and Perak with more than 20 interchanges.
“This area is one of the busiest in Selangor. There is explosive growth of industries moving here. New players are coming into the market and they require warehousing and manufacturing facilities. We feel this is the right time to build. As we speak, there are investors talking to us and they require big space for their businesses.
“I am optimistic about this development ... we are close to Westport and Northport, and the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). The WCE will take you all the way to Malaysia Airlines Bhd’s headquarters in KLIA, connecting you to Nilai and Seremban. We are targeting big logistics firms and multinational companies (MNCs) which have interactions with the ports and airport,” said LaBrooy.
He said Kota Seri Langat also has good catchment, demographics and workforce which makes it suitable for a large-scale industrial development.
Land clearing has started and construction is expected to commence in the third or fourth quarter of this year.
“Land has been stabilised and it is ready for construction. It’s all plug and play and the development will take five years,” LaBrooy said.
He said there is a need to reinvent industrial real estate offerings in the country with emerging new global trends and demands in the industrial and logistics sectors worldwide.
“We need to take advantage of the wave of investments arising from China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and MNCs diversifying their operations to Malaysia to reduce any risk coming from any impending trade wars,” he said.
Logistics/industrial sub-sector to remain favourable Independent global property consultancy firm, Knight Frank said the logistics/industrial sub-sector is expected to remain favourable this year, mainly due to strong inflow of foreign direct investments into the manufacturing sector.
According to Knight Frank’s second edition of New Frontiers: Prospects for Real Estate Along the Belt and Road Initiative launched in April, Chinese entities have more than tripled their investments into Southeast Asia’s transport, real estate and logistics sectors, from US$17.1 billion (RM billion) between 2009 and 2013 to US$59.25 billion from 2014 to last year.
Bolstered by investments under the China’s BRI banner, interest from cross-border real estate investors to Southeast Asia’s industrial sector increased in tandem, from US$330 million between 2009 and 2015 to a peak of US$1.4 billion in 2017 — a 72 per cent market share of total industrial investments — the report showed.
Last year, cross-border industrial investment was US$805 million, 40 per cent higher than the annual average of US$570 million over the past five years, while in the first quarter of this year, cross-border investments topped US$480 million and are expected to exceed last year’s volumes.
Knight Frank Asia Pacific head of research, Nicholas Holt said the BRI is having an impact on the industrial and logistics sector in Southeast Asia, as new infrastructure fuels growth prospects across sectors.
“With increasing demand from domestic and international occupiers, rental growth has strengthened in most markets, which in turn has attracted cross-border investors. These large volumes of capital investment have driven both rapid development and gentrification of older stock.”
Malaysia has been a major beneficiary of Chinese capital with investment totalling US$43.8 billion over the past 10 years, said Holt.
Knight Frank Malaysia executive director of Capital Markets, Allan Sim said following the change of government in May last year, a number of Chinese investments and projects, especially mega infrastructure projects, had been deferred.
However, the presence of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Malaysian business delegates at the recently-concluded second BRI Forum for international cooperation coupled with his intention to expedite the setting up of a one-stop centre to ease foreign investment-related approvals, bring assurance and confidence to Chinese firms to reconsider investing in Malaysia.
“Furthermore, with the new agreements for revival of the ECRL and Bandar Malaysia, Chinese firms will certainly be looking more seriously at Malaysia again and the industrial segment will benefit the most. In particular, we expect more high-tech manufacturers from China to operate in Malaysia by taking advantage of Malaysia’s adequate supply of raw materials, coupled with relatively lower operating costs in running businesses,” said Sim.