Lai Meng primary school in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur.
Hua Yang CEO Ho Wen Yan (left) with CFO Joe Tan at the company’s AGM recently. Hua Yang holds 30.95 per cent of Magna Prima.

MAGNA Prima Bhd may develop the prized 1.06ha site in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, by itself, instead of an outright sale. It will fetch a gross development value (GDV) of RM2.2 billion.

A new development plan is in the works for the freehold land, where the Lai Meng primary school was formerly situated, according to sources.

“Magna Prima is still open to selling the land if they get a good offer but if it takes too long they will develop the land on their own or in a joint venture with a reputable developer.

“They have been holding the land for seven years and it is time they do something about it. I think the timing is just right as the market is expected to perform better in the second half of next year and onwards. It would be best now to unlock the value of the land,” a source told NST Property.

Magna Prima had bought the land seven years ago for RM1,350 psf or RM148.2 million cash.

The small-cap developer had intended to carry out a mixed project with a GDV of RM1.8 billion at a plot ratio of 1:12.

The proposed project would be made up of two 60-storey iconic towers. One would be a grade A office with Green Building Index features while the other will have a combination of serviced apartments, a hotel and offices.

In 2015, Magna Prima decided to sell the land to strengthen its balance sheet and re-focus on other niche projects.

It was reported that Magna Prima was looking at a price tag of about RM3,500 psf for the land, which works out to RM400 million.

Retirement Fund Inc was interested in buying the land two years ago. The pension fund had offered about RM3,300 psf but nothing was finalised.

According to Hua Yang Bhd chief executive officer Ho Wen Yan, offers are still coming in for the land, which is 300 metres from the KLCC.

“The interest is there because not much prime land in the vicinity of KLCC are still available for development. So there are always offers, but Magna Prima is not actively marketing it.

“In fact, they have just appointed a new architect and are looking at resubmitting for a higher plot ratio currently. So it is possible the land may be developed,” he said last week after the company’s shareholders’ meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

Ho had said previously that he hope the Lai Meng land project would take off in the next financial year or in two years to realise the potential of the company’s investment in Magna Prima.

Hua Yang is the single largest shareholder with about 30.95 per cent stake in Magna Prima.

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