AFTER its maiden international project in Australia was successfully completed two years ago, TH Properties Sdn Bhd is gearing up to undertake more developments overseas.
Besides strengthening its position and brand in Australia, the property developer was looking at opportunities in the United Kingdom and Indonesia, said chairman Datuk Azizan Abdul Rahman.
In the UK, Azizan said TH Properties, the property development arm of Tabung Haji, was about to finalise an agreement to acquire a site in Baywater, Queensway, in London.
“We are going to sign the agreement soon. We plan to develop an apartment project with a total of 28 units jointly with the landowner,” he said, adding that it would have a gross development value (GDV) of more than £70 million (RM387.24 million).
“We want to try a modest type of development first. We are confident of this venture. We feel that it is a good location and are upbeat on the prospect of selling the apartment units,” said Azizan.
The planned project is located between Queensway and Notting Hill, which is one of London’s prime areas. It is within walking distance of Kensington Palace and Hyde Park.
In Indonesia, Azizan said there was huge potential for property development — thanks to growth in the middle-income bracket.
There is now pent-up demand for middle-class housing.
“We are still looking at suitable sites, locations and partners before we proceed,” he said.
Azizan was speaking to NST Property at the recent Asia Pacific Property Awards 2017-2018 in Bangkok, Thailand, where TH Properties bagged three awards.
The awards are for projects in Bay Pavilions, Sydney, in the “apartment” category, TH Hotel and Convention Centre Kuching (THHCC Kuching) in the “new hotel construction and design” category, and Islamic Complex Putrajaya in the “office development” category.
THHCC Kuching has been nominated for the regional title for the International Property Award (IPA) event, to be held in London at the end of this year.
Azizan said TH Properties made the right move to enter the Australian property market as developments there were growing rapidly.
“The timing is very good. For the last two years, our projects in Australia have been giving us good returns. In fact, our overseas investment contributed close to 50 per cent of our group profit,” he said.
Azizan hopes the trend will continue this year as far as profit contribution is concerned.
The A$220 million (RM696.51 million) Bay Pavilions is TH Properties’ maiden project in Australia.
Undertaken by its wholly-owned subsidiary, THP Bay Pavilions Corp, the project comprises 273 units and was launched in late 2013.
Located at Burns Bay Road Lane Cove, the units were all sold out and the key handover ceremony was held last year.
“I think we made the right decision to go into Australia. We have successfully completed one project and we are moving on to others,” said Azizan.
Bay Pavilions, which previously won the Architecture-Residential-Constructed category for last year’s Sydney Award, is Australia’s first syariah-compliant property development.
It was funded via a A$96 million Islamic term financing provided by Maybank Islamic Bhd.
“This was the first syariah-compliant financing facility ever structured for a property development project in Australia and since then, many developers have approached us to partner with us. They see the advantages of Islamic financing, which provides stability as far as financing cost is concerned,” said Azizan.
TH Properties has two other ongoing projects in Sydney. The first is Imperial in Hurstville. The project is undertaken by THP Australia Corp, also a wholly-owned unit of TH Properties, and comprises 227 apartment units and eight units of retail shops with a GDV of about A$200 million.
The second project is One The Waterfront at Wentworth Point. This project comprises 678 units of apartment and it would be completed in 2019.
In New South Wales, TH Properties is working on a residential development in North Strathfield (GDV of A$110.5 million), Rockdale (GDV of A$56.9 million) and Lindcombe (GDV of A$90.68 million).