Sunway City Bhd (SunCity) has signed a joint-venture agreement with Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City Investment and Development Co Ltd (SSTEC) to undertake a RM2.5 billion mixed development in Tianjin, China. However, implementation of the project is subject to a feasibility study.
The massive 3,000ha Tianjin Eco-City, which is worth several billion ringgit, will be developed in three phases from 2011. SunCity will develop part of the second phase, covering 41ha, with SSTEC. Sunway Group founder and chairman Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah said that a joint-venture company, led by SunCity, will be set up after the study is completed.
The joint-venture company will build bungalows, villas, semi-detached and terraced houses, high-rise residences and commercial properties, including a shopping mall, on less than 20ha. The rest will be kept green. "We are very confident of this project as it is driven by the Chinese and Singaporean government. SSTEC has attracted the largest and best eco-developers in Asia.
This proves the project will happen," said Cheah. He was speaking at a press conference yesterday in Bandar Sunway, Selangor, after inking an agreement with SSTEC to carry out the study and market research, and to come up with a sustainable business model for the project within six months.
The developers include China's Shimao Group, Japan's Mitsui Fudosan and Taiwan's Farglory Group, which are involved in the first phase of Tianjin Eco-City. "The main thing is to get the right product so the development can run. The next six months is very crucial. We will plan the 41ha properly to come up with a sustainable, workable and viable development," Cheah said. He added that the project will be funded by equity and bridging finance. Part of the funding will also come from a real estate investment trust (REIT) that SunCity is planning to launch in the next one to two years.
SSTEC is the master developer of Tianjin Eco-City. It is a 50:50 joint venture between the Chinese consortium led by Tianjin TEDA Investment Holding Co Ltd and the Singapore consortium led by the Keppel group. Tianjin Eco-City is a landmark bilateral project between China and Singapore with private-sector investment and development. When completed, it will have 26,500 households.
SSTEC chief executive officer Goh Chye Boon said it was targeting reputable developers from the project to work with when it embarks on new projects in China. "We want to make sure Tianjin Eco-City is sustainable so we can replicate the development in other parts of China. We are looking for bigger land now," Goh said, adding that SunCity may be given more jobs in Tianjin Eco-City. He said SunCity may also be roped in to work on other projects that the Chinese and Singaporean consortiums are eyeing in China, Indonesia, Vietnam and India.