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HK – SHENZHEN MODEL SHAPING UP IN JB

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Better connectivity between Johor Bahru and Singapore and within JB city centre itself, will facilitate easy flow of people between the two countries, mirroring the HK-Shenzhen model in its early days.
Johor’s Ibrahim International Business District (IIBD), which is about to commence work on key infrastructure developments, namely the Flyover, Link Bridge and PERSADA Annexe, is expected to mirror the Hong Kong-Shenzhen model especially with the proposed RTS which will link it with Woodlands Station in Singapore.
The Rapid Transit System (RTS) which will connect to the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL), will link the Bukit Chagar terminus station in Johor Bahru to the Singapore terminal in Woodlands North via a high bridge across the Strait of Johor.
“With the proposed RTS station to be located here, JB city centre (JBCC) is expected to grow favourably due to better connectivity,” says Samuel Tan, executive director of KGV International Property Consultants (Johor) Sdn Bhd.
“The 250-acre IIBD development will be the largest integrated development within JBCC and is planned to rejuvenate the JB city centre (JBCC),” Tan says but adds that its progress will span over a long period to ensure market absorption.
“Currently, JBCC development is largely piecemeal and dispersed. The need for a single development template is critical and IIBD fits into this,” the property consultant continues.
“Phase 1 development of Coronation Square is actually a low-hanging fruit to kick-start the project.”
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FINANCIAL AND CULTURAL HUB
IIBD is located within Flagship A which is designated as a financial, cultural and heritage area within the Iskandar region. “When IIBD is developed and employment opportunities created, invariably the population flow will come from the older section of JBCC and outer JBCC to this area. IIBD is expected to attract regional and international enterprises. I would expect some relocation from Singapore firms as well,” Tan predicts.
The JB-based property consultant further said, to be sustainable, IIBD must attract investors from regional and international markets. “This will necessitate a good product-mix to attract investors – it cannot be purely office and service apartments.”
Apart from hotels, malls and medical centres, more innovative products catering to fun and entertainment, education and cultural values, food and beverage must be incorporated, he told Asian Property Review, adding that the immediate target investors should be tenants in the older section of JBCC.
Recently, Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin had said the IIBD project will boost Johor Bahru’s competitiveness and the state’s entrepreneurial sector. He was speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for IIBD’s public facilities which was officiated by Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
The Flyover, Link Bridge and PERSADA Annexe will be developed by Coronade Properties Sdn Bhd, one of the developers within IIBD.
The Flyover will stretch from Tebrau Corridor into JBCC, connecting to IIBD and Coronation Square. Construction is expected to commence in 2018 for a period of 2 years, after which it will be handed over to the management under Majlis Bandaraya Johor Bahru.
The Link Bridge is a 268-metre pedestrian walkway that connects from JB Sentral to PERSADA Annexe through KOMTAR JBCC. It is expected to be completed within 18 months and will be managed via a concession period with Majlis Bandaraya Johor Bahru as the ultimate owner of the public facility.
IIBD is designed to be a walkable city with future integrated pedestrian linkages that will link offices and parking facilities in the business district within a walking radius of 250 metres. The provision of such facilities is designed to instill a culture of walking and at the same time promote a healthier lifestyle among its citizens.
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