MRCB enters NZ with RM1.3b project

By AZALEA AZUAR / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

THE Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) is tapping into the New Zealand property market as it takes on the Aotea Central Over Station Development (OSD) project in Auckland with a gross development value of NZ$452 million (RM1.3 billion).

The company, in a bourse filing yesterday, said it is teaming up with Panuku Development Auckland for the project, which spreads across 1.08 acres (0.43ha) of land that will feature a 21-storey building with both retail and commercial spaces and 63 luxury apartments with integrated access to the Aotea Station.

The land was previously used as a car park for the Auckland Council fleet parking at the intersection of Mayoral Drive and Wellesley Street, the group said.

MRCB group MD Imran Salim said he was pleased with Panuku for giving the group the opportunity to contribute to Auckland’s development landscape.

“MRCB is thrilled to extend its transport- oriented development (TOD) expertise to deliver an iconic landmark development in New Zealand. With our knowledge, skills and experience in developing the award-winning Kuala Lumpur Sentral central business district, we envision that the OSD will be an exemplary mixed-use of TOD that positively contributes to and enhances the city’s growth,” he said in a statement.

Imran said the OSD will be an inclusive urban regeneration project that focuses on the capacity for participatory, integrated, and sustainable infrastructure, in line with the group’s pledge to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

He added that the project will begin after the City Rail Link’s Aotea Station’s construction is completed in 2024.

The 125-year leasehold site was sold for US$40 million (RM164 million), following a fully contestable market process, which has been supported by an independent valuation.

MRCB has assembled a multi-disciplinary team of acknowledged market-leading experts with relevant international, national and local experience to bring the OSD vision into reality, the company said.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said the development would have a positive impact on the city centre as it would replace what was once a car park in the heart of the city, with modern, well-designed and high-density housing, as well as shops and commercial spaces.

“The apartments and businesses it creates will have a great location, situated above the City Rail Link Aotea Station. It makes travel convenient and it’s close to attractions such as the art gallery and Aotea Centre,” he said in a statement.

For the 40,000 residents and 130,000 people working in Central Auckland, Goff said it is set to be a more vibrant place to live and work.

“MRCB has experience in developing integrated commercial and residential properties around transportation hubs and a good reputation for the design and quality of its developments,” he said.

Panuku CEO David Rankin said it was important for the entity to make sure it had the right development partner for the project.

“On behalf of the Auckland Council, we sought a particular type of development partner who would understand the rare opportunity to contribute to the regeneration of this unique midtown location,” he said.

Rankin said he is confident with MRCB’s experience in delivering quality TODs in Malaysia and their commitment in transforming the Mayoral Drive site to appeal to those wanting vibrant inner-city living and a low-carbon lifestyle in the centre of the New Zealand capital.