Property
Austin Heights ramps up landbank
Shukri Rahman | 28 Mar 2014 00:27
The Austin Heights group plans to increase its land to 1,000 acres in the next two or three years while continuing to focus on projects in Johor and Terengganu. In an interview with FocusM, company management representative in Terengganu Low Wan Cheong says the company has a few hundred acres of land ready to be built on – close to 200 acres in Johor and 100 in Terengganu. The privately-held group has more than RM1 bil in projects across the country, mainly in Johor and then Terengganu. For FY ended April 2013, the Austin Heights group recorded a profit-after-tax of RM49.7 mil, on the back of RM168.9 mil in turnover. Austin Heights has come a long way from its maiden voyage in the late 1990s with the success in Johor Bahru of the Datin Halimah condominium development project, valued at RM60-70 mil. Its flagship in Terengganu is Dataran Austin, a new commercial area in Wakaf Tembesu, 10km north of Kuala Terengganu. Businesses have begun to set up shop in the development; a Mydin hypermarket is under rapid construction. While others had seen no potential there, developer Austin Heights (Tgn) Sdn Bhd saw things differently. As in JB, it went after a piece of land that had been auctioned off. “People associated the auctioned-off land with drug addicts and the like. They didn’t see beyond that,” Low tells FocusM. Austin Heights bought the Terengganu land for RM13.5 mil from bleeding Tropical Veneer when it was auctioned off by KPMG. Low says the company paid RM20 mil, including for conversion and so forth.

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