A Different Approach to Global Property Development – Distressed Projects

A Different Approach to Global Property Development – Distressed Projects

K H Sim is a property developer. Specifically, he is the Managing Director of The Malaysian arm of Sydney based, Bluestone Group and based in Kuala Lumpur.

Bluestone Malaysia are responsible for a number of recent developments all extremely successful. One in particular, the Taragon Puteri YKS in Yalan Lap Kwan Sen, was 100% sold out before completion. Another in downtown Kuala Lumpur was released this month.

But K H Sim is developing a reputation in another area of property development. Rescuing distressed building projects that have been abandoned in Kuala Lumpur.

Sim has taken on three abandoned projects since the company was established in 2003. And Bluestone is very much sought after by financial institutions, developers and property buyers to revive projects that have been abandoned.

He is cautious as to the projects taken on, and thorough studies need undertaking to ascertain any legal encumbrances and the potential rate of success of a project.

Mr. Sim said that the process was very tedious – often involving a large group of stakeholders – the existing developer, buyers, creditors, contractors, material suppliers and the authorities.

“There could be many issues, some insurmountable, unless much research is done. They have to be sorted out to ensure that any project we select is good for revival. In order for a higher success rate, the various parties should be willing to give and take. This includes the creditors taking a haircut.

“While we are happy to help house buyers fulfil their dreams of owning their homes, at the end of the day all the projects must meet our internal rate of return (IRR) and our partners’ IRR, too,” Sim said.

Bluestone also works with financial institutions to rescue non-performing loans of property purchasers.

The three projects that are under Bluestone Taragon Yap Kwan Seng, Taragon Puteri Cheras and Taragon Puteri KL are on their way to being resuscitated.

Taragon Puteri Yap Kwan Seng, which was bought for about £800,000 in 2005 from a financial institution after the developer failed to service its loan, has been completed recently. The twelve and a half, low-density project with 40 spacious apartments is positioned close to the Kuala Lumpur City Centre.

Meanwhile, the 3.3-acre project site where Taragon Puteri Cheras is located was originally meant for 300 apartments by the Li-Foong Group. Since Bluestone took over the project, the development concept has been reviewed and it now comprises 141 private town villas and duplex units in three and four-storey blocks within a gated community.

Taragon Puteri KL was formerly Menara Li Foong, which had been left unfinished more than ten years ago. Located at Jalan Changkat Thambi Dollah, off Jalan Pudu, the project is being developed into a £43 million, integrated commercial development with a four-star hotel, service residences and retail space.

The project was taken over last year, and Taragon Puteri KL is on track for completion next year.

Taragon Puteri KL is being undertaken on a joint venture basis with Allco Funds Management (Singapore) Ltd (Allco FMSL), a 100% owned subsidiary of Australia’s Allco Finance Group Ltd which specializes in asset-based structured finance.

Construction on the Taragon Puteri Cheras, January 2008