UEM Sunrise not ruling out expanding in hospitality sector

The 4-star extended-stay Hyatt House KL marks a new chapter for the developer in the hospitality industry

By SHAZNI ONG / Pic By ISMAIL CHE RUS

Property developer UEM Sunrise Bhd is not ruling out the possibility of expanding into the hospitality sector if opportunities arise in the future.

MD and CEO Anwar Syahrin Abdul Ajib said the company will look into the matter “on a case-by-case basis”.

“If you look at the kind of future projects we have, a lot of it is still going to be in our core business of property development. For the time being, we don’t have any hospitality ventures,” he said in Kuala Lumpur (KL) yesterday.

He added that the company will focus on its core property development business and its role as master developer in Johor after the opening of the company’s first hospitality service Hyatt House KL in Mont Kiara yesterday.

“We have a prime piece of land in KL, right opposite of KLCC. We would like to really explore what we can do with that and having the experience here would probably help us understand better this sector and the market,” he said.

A first for UEM Sunrise, the four-star extended-stay Hyatt House KL marks a new chapter for the developer in the hospitality industry and its move to expand and diversify its business portfolio.

The venture also marks Hyatt Hotels Corp’s entry into the extended-stay hotel (ESH) segment in Malaysia and in the South-East Asian region.

Designed by London-based architectural firm, Foster + Partners, the four-star ESH is one of the five components of Arcoris Mont Kiara and an integral part of UEM Sunrise’s mixed-development project with a gross development value (GDV) of RM1.2 billion.

Anwar Syahrin said the Arcoris development has allowed the company to explore other forms of incomes for the business.

“Real estate and lifestyle is something we want to explore. The Arcoris’ hotel component allows us to do this.

“It is very important for us to get the right partner with the right brand because we can’t afford to get it wrong. We feel that such a proposition to our customers within the Mont Kiara enclave is important as well,” he said.

UEM Sunrise remains cautious of the property market prospects for next year.

“We’re not going to go big with so many units in the current market. We will be more palatable to address the risk of take-ups,” Anwar Syahrin said, adding that the group is close to meeting its sales target for financial year 2018 (FY18) and FY19.

“We have a few weeks left. We’re targeting RM1.2 billion in sales. For next year, we will try to maintain at about the same level. We’re looking at our role as master developer. Opportunities to monetise some of our landbank in Johor would be something we would wish to explore,” he said.

On the outlook of the pro-perty sector next year, Anwar Syahrin said the company is “cautiously optimistic”.

“We think certain segments of the property market is still there. People are a bit more picky in terms of what they want to buy, as some are not getting the kind of margin they want for their purchases,” he explained.

He said UEM Sunrise won’t launch big GDV projects till the third quarter (3Q) or 4Q of next year.

The company will continue to focus on the central and southern regions with targets of some RM1.2 billion to RM1.3 billion worth of new launches for 2019.

“If the market comes out stronger, we will activate more launches,” he said, adding that the company is also looking to participate in the affordable housing segment.

Anwar Syahrin, however, said the company remains targeting properties between the RM500,000 and RM1 million price range.

“We believe this market is pretty strong. But selectively, for the more expensive products we can do smaller numbers,” he said.

As for its overseas project, Anwar Syahrin hopes to ramp up sales for its Mayfair properties in Melbourne, Australia.

“In terms of the number of units, we have about RM500 million worth of units to sell and will be going out internationally to market that product,” he said.

Meanwhile, Hyatt Hotels Asia-Pacific regional VP (full-service franchise operations Hyatt Place and Hyatt House) Michael Koffler said the global hospitality company welcomes any similar opportunities in the future.

“If it has to do with the opportunity to grow any of our brands, we’re excited with our partnership. We intend to deliver an exceptional experience to both the owners, the investors and the guests that stay in this hotel. We welcome any opportunity to continue this relationship,” Koffler said.

Located within minutes from the central business districts of KL city centre and KL Sentral, the Hyatt House offers a home-like hospitality experience.

Ideal for business travellers, expatriates or holiday-goers on an extended work stay or vacation, the property offers all the comforts of home in Mont Kiara.

Offering a luxurious home ambience, the hotel features over 298 contemporary, residential inspired studios and suites with fully equipped kitchens and comfortable living and bedrooms.