Cover Story: City Motors plans more launches

Once well-known as the sole distributor in Asia for Italian premium car manufacturer Alfa Romeo, City Motors Group has now set its sights on expanding its property portfolio by conducting more launches and diversifying into the property investment segment.

City Motors Group was established in 1965 by Datuk Foo Wan Kien, who was also involved in other businesses — poultry farming, automotive financing and property development — under different company names. The company was a sub-dealer for Mazda and BMW and was appointed by Alfa Romeo as its sole distributor in Asia.

In the 1960s and 1970s, City Motors supplied a fleet of Alfa Romeo cars to the Royal Malaysia Police Force and also organised motor races to promote the Alfa Romeo brand. Subsequently, the group ventured into plantations, aquaculture and property development.

In 1980, the group’s franchise with Alfa Romeo ended. Property development has since become the company’s main focus, with projects in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Perak, Singapore and Hong Kong.

The projects it has completed in Malaysia are Hon Residensi, D’Pines and Orchid Court in Ampang, as well as Taman Mewah Prima in Bidor. Outside of the country, it has built The Palm Residence in Singapore and Foo Yet Kai Building in Hong Kong.

Property investment

In a virtual interview with City & Country, CEO Terence Chia says that City Motors is currently working on two high-end property projects in Kuala Lumpur — one in Bangsar and another in Bukit Bintang — as it expands into the hospitality business.

“Upon the completion of the projects, the group will have two new hotels run by reputable hotel chains. It is in line with the chairman’s vision of having a significant portion of income coming from property investment. Both developments are on the sites of former City Motors showrooms for Alfa Romeo cars,” he says.

The freehold project in Bangsar is named Alfa Bangsar. It is currently under construction and is scheduled to be completed in 3Q2023. The RM450 million development will consist of a podium and hotel-cum-serviced apartment tower on 1.26 acres of land in Jalan Maarof. It will be accessible via Jalan Maarof and Jalan Tandok.

Alfa Bangsar

The 8-level podium will consist of a carpark, hotel and 35,000 sq ft of commercial space. Above that is the hotel, which will comprise 220 rooms on Levels 9 to 18, with facilities including a swimming pool, sauna, garden, function hall, meeting rooms and a gymnasium. In 2019, a management agreement was signed between City Motors and InterContinental Hotels Group to operate an upper-midscale hotel in Alfa Bangsar that will be known as Holiday Inn Kuala Lumpur Bangsar.

There will be 178 serviced apartment units on Levels 19 to 42. The units will be between 570 and 997 sq ft, and available in three layouts, namely studio suite, 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms as well as 2+1 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.

Chia explains that most of the serviced apartments in the development have two-bedroom layouts as they are what the target market wants, based on market research. The developer’s target market is a mix of young affluent families and couples as well as international buyers.

An artist’s impression of the Bukit Bintang development (Photo by City Motors)

The amenities provided to occupants of Alfa Bangsar’s serviced apartments will consist of a sky garden, multipurpose room, fitness centre, swimming pool, barbecue area and children’s playground.

Chia hopes to conduct a preview of the serviced apartments in October, noting that the sales gallery is currently under construction.

“This is the only new freehold project around, as other projects in the surrounding areas are mainly leasehold. Alfa Bangsar is also the first of its kind in Bangsar, with various offerings in one building. To ensure the residents’ privacy, there will be separate entrances, facilities and parking for the hotel and serviced apartments. It is located near many amenities, such as Bangsar Village, Bangsar Village II, Bangsar LRT station and the KL Sentral transport hub,” he says.

“We will keep the commercial units for recurring income, and we are getting a retail consultant [for the retail planning]. We plan to make it a specialised retail space and want to focus on certain elements such as wellness and F&B. There will be an all-day dining outlet inside the hotel, but there need to be more F&B options. We hope that this development will become a social destination. We may also move our office to Alfa Bangsar.”

Bukit Bintang

City Motors hopes to start on the project in Bukit Bintang next year. The development, which has yet to be officially named, is located on a 1.39-acre freehold site at the junction of Jalan Bukit Bintang and Jalan Imbi. The group recently obtained the approval for the revised plan of the project, which is near the Bukit Bintang MRT station on the Sungai Buloh-Kajang line and the upcoming Conlay station on the Putrajaya line.

Chia notes that the Bukit Bintang project will be similar to Alfa Bangsar. With a gross development value of RM1.5 billion, it will have a hotel and serviced suite tower and a serviced apartment tower on top of an 8-storey commercial and car-park podium. There will be 419 hotel rooms, 69 serviced suites, 318 serviced apartments as well as a 49,000 sq ft net lettable commercial space.

The swimming pool for the residents at Alfa Bangsar (Photo by City Motors)

The proposed hotel amenities include concierge services, meeting rooms, a banquet hall, gymnasium, swimming pool and function rooms. Meanwhile, the amenities at the serviced apartments will comprise concierge services, a sky lounge, sky garden, sauna, fitness centre, multipurpose hall and swimming pool.

“The sizes of the serviced apartments will be similar to those in Alfa Bangsar. The project is one of the last in KL city centre and we hope to kick it off next year. We have been receiving offers from hotel operators but we haven’t made a decision yet,” Chia says.

“For this project, we have an agreement with MRT Corp to house its infrastructure on our land and we will develop around it. Previously, we had tenants on the land but there is no one there now. We won’t start selling the serviced apartments until we complete the basement and substructure, which is our chairman’s wish. It will take 3½ to four years to complete the project; we will have separate dates for the completion of the hotel and serviced apartments.”

2023 and beyond

In 2024, City Motors is looking to launch a mixed-use project on a 1.04-acre parcel in Jelutong, Penang. The RM150 million project, which is still in the planning stage, will comprise serviced apartments that sit atop a commercial and car-park podium.

Chia says there will be 190 serviced apartments of 700 to 1,000 sq ft, adding that the commercial space of 35,000 sq ft is not for sale.

Moving forward, upon the completion of Alfa Bangsar and the Bukit Bintang project, City Motors hopes to structure its assets into a real estate investment trust. It currently has commercial and residential properties in Hong Kong and is looking to acquire more commercial and industrial properties.

The podium at Alfa Bangsar will consist of 35,000 sq ft of commercial space (Photo by City Motors)

The group currently has 350 acres of land bank in Penang, Perak, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Pahang. Chia says it is looking to increase the size of its land bank and also considering joint venture opportunities.

“We look forward to the next two years as they will be exciting times for the group. We are gearing to launch more projects as we make inroads into the hospitality industry. Some people have asked why we still use the name ‘City Motors’ since we are now in the property development industry and no longer involved in the automotive industry,” he says.

“We see it as an opportunity to start a conversation and talk about our history, especially among the younger generations [who do not know of our relationship with Alfa Romeo]. We plan to do a rebranding in three to five years.”

Source: The Edge Markets


Privacy Notice/Notis Peribadi

Sri Seltra Sdn Bhd and all it’s wholly or jointly controlled entities and associate companies (collectively ‘Group’ and where the context requires will refer to any of the relevant company within the Group) hereby issues this Privacy Notice in compliance with the Personal Data Protection Act 2010 (‘Act’). All references to the terms “Personal Data” shall have the same meaning as ascribed in the Act. The word “you” shall refer to yourself and/or such other person or companies represented by you of whom you are providing Personal Data and the word “us” mean the Group.

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(i.) The Personal Data collected may include the following information; your name, date of birth, address, gender, race, nationality, ethnic origin, contact details, identification card/passport details, occupation, profession, employer’s details, income, marital status, children’s details, salutation, and/or lifestyle details including but not limited to car registration details, introducer details and loan details. All the above shall include copies of the relevant documents. The above list is non-exhaustive and may be updated from time to time and published at the website of the Group that can be accessed at: Lot 30442, Jalan Cempaka 6, Taman Nirwana, 68000 Ampang Selangor.

Data Peribadi yang akan dikumpulkan termasuk maklumat-maklumat berkenaan berikut; nama anda, jantina, bangsa, kewarganegaraan, asal etnik, kad pengenalan/maklumat paspot, perkerjaan, profesion, majikan, pendapatan, status perkhawinan, maklumat anak-anak, jawatan kehormatan, dan/atau perihal gaya hidup termasuk tetapi tidak terhad kepada maklumat pendaftaran kereta, pihak pengenal dan maklumat pinjaman. Kesemua diatas juga termasuk salinan dokumen- dokumen yang berkenaan. Senarai perkara-perkara di atas ini adalah tidak meyeluruh dan boleh dikemaskini bila-bila masa saja dan dipaparkan di dalam laman sesawang Kumpulan yang boleh diakses di: Lot 30442, Jalan Cempaka 6, Taman Nirwana, 68000 Ampang Selangor.

(ii.) Your Personal Data are collected from various sources including but not limited to:
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Data Peribadi dikumpulkan dari pelbagai sumber termasuk tetapi tidak terhad kepada:
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(c) maklumat dari pihak ketiga sebagai pengenal; dan
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B. Purpose of Collection of Personal Data / Tujuan Mengumpul Data Peribadi

By providing your Personal Date you hereby agree that the Group shall collect, retain and use your Personal Data for the following purposes:
(a) Performing discharging any and all of the Group’s contractual obligations with you;
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(d) Purposes of connected with operation, administration, management, development, record-keeping, contractual enforcement and communication with you;
(e) As required by the law or in compliance with any legal processes;
(f) As required to be disclosed to any third party with interest to acquiring an interest in/of the Group;
(g) Disclosure by any service or product provider engaged by the Group as is required under any laws, directives or guidelines to any governmental or non-governmental agencies or bodies or any third party;
(h) The above list is non-exhaustive and may be updated on from time to time by the Group and published at the above website of the Group.

Dengan memberi Data Peribadi anda kepada Kumpuan Syarikat, anda setuju agar Kumpulan Syarikat mengumpul, menyimpan dan mengunapakai Data Peribadi anda untuk tujuan berikut:
(a) melaksanakan kesemua atau mana-mana obligasi kontrak Kumpulan Syarikat dengan anda;
(b) memproses permohonan anda;
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(d) berkaitan dengan tujuan operasi, pentadbiran, pengurusan, pembanguan, simpanan rekod, penguatkuasaan kontrak serta komunikasi dengan anda;
(e) sepertimana yang dikehendaki oleh undang-undang atau apa-apa proses undang-undang;
(f) sepertimana yang diperlukan oleh mana-mana pihak ketiga yang mempunyai hasrat memperolehi kepentingan dalam/pada Kumpulan Syarikat;
(g) pendedahan oleh mana-mana pembekal perkhidmatan atau produk yang dilantik oleh Kumpulan Syarikat sepertimana yang dikehendaki dibawah apa-apa undang-undang, direktif, garis panduan kepada apa-apa jabatan atau agensi kerajaan atau bukan kerajaan dan mana-mana pihak ketiga yang berkenaan;
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Your Personal Data provided to us will be kept confidential but you agree that the Group may disclose and transfer (whether in Malaysia or abroad) amongst any company within the Group and/or to third parties as may be necessary or appropriate including but not limited to the Group’s consultants, solicitors, auditors, employers, contractors, suppliers, partners, joint venture partners, advertisers, purchasers, network operators, property management companies, service and product providers, associated companies, any relevant authorities (governmental and/or non-governmental), embassies, statutory bodies, regulatory bodies, any organisations or relevant financial institutions, any other persons under a duty of confidentiality to the Group or any company within the Group, any companies within the Group (including those established or incorporated from time to time), actual or proposed assignees or transferees or buyers of any of rights/businesses/assets of the companies within the Group, service and product providers (including those who assist us in providing the Group’s Website), for the Group’s operational, administration and development requirements and to organizations who provide archival, auditing, professional advisory, debt collection, insurance, banking, marketing, advertising, mail house, delivery, recruitment, call centre, technology, research, utility, loyalty programme and security services to use, disclose, hold, process, retain or transfer such Personal Data for the purposes of (B) above for and on behalf of Group.

Data Peribadi yang diberikan oleh anda kepada kami akan dirahsiakan tetapi anda bersetuju bahawa Kumpulan Syarikat boleh mendedahkan dan memindahkan (sama ada di Malaysia atau di luar Negara) di antara mana-mana syarikat dalam Kumpulan Syarikat atau mana-mana pihak ketiga yang perlu dan sesuai termasuk tetapi tidak terhad kepada pakar perunding, peguam, juru audit, majikan, kontraktor, pembekal, rakan kongsi, ahli gabungan bersama, pengiklan, pembeli, pengendali rangkaian, syarikat yang menjalankan urusan hartanah, pembekal perkhidmatan dan produk, syarikat-syarikat bersekutu Kumpulan Syarikat, mana-mana pihak berkuasa (kerajaan dan/atau bukan kerajaan), kedutaan, badan berkuatkuasa mana-mana organisasi atau institusi kewangan berkenaan, seseorang yang lain dibawah tugas kerahsiaan terhadap Kumpulan Syarikat atau mana-mana syarikat Kumpuan Syarikat (termasuk yang ditubuhkan atau diperbadankan dari masa ke semasa), pemegang serahan hak atau penerima pindaan atau pembeli sama ada sebenar atau yang dicadangkan bagi apa-apa hak/perniagaan/asset dalam mana-mana syarikat Kumpulan Syarikat, pembekal perkhidmatan atau produk (termasuk mereka yang membantu kami dalam penyediaan laman sesawang) untuk keperluan operasi, pentadbiran, pembangunan Kumpulan Syarikat dan organisasinya yang membekal perkhidmatan arkib, audit, nasihat professional, pungutan hutang, insuran, perbankan, pemasaran, mailhouse, penghantaran, perekrutan, pusat panggilan, teknologi, penyelidikan, utiliti, progra m kesetiaan dan keselamatan mengunakan, mendedahkan, memegang, memproses, menyimpan atau memindah Data Peribadi bagi tujuan pemgumpulan Data Peribadi di perkara (B) di atas dan bagi pihak Kumpulan Syarikat.

D. No liability / Tanpa liabiliti

Notwithstanding the Personal Date collected, the Group shall not be liable for the non-achieving of any of the purposes set out in item (B) above. In addition failure in your part to furnish complete Personal Data may result in our inability to provide to you the full and complete range of benefits and/or services under any contract or otherwise.

Meskipun Data Peribadi yang dikumpulkan, Kumpulan Syarikat tidak menanggung sebarang tanggungjawab atau liability sekiranya mana- mana tujuan sepertimana yang diperihal di perkara (B) diatas tidak dapat dicapai. Selain daripada yang diatas kegagalan anda untuk mengemukakan kepada Kumpulan Syarikat Data Peribadi anda yang secukupnya, kemungkinan Kumpulan Syarikat tidak dapat memberi pelbagai manfaat atau perkhidmatan menurut apa-apa kontrak atau lain-lain.

E. Storage and Retention of Personal Data/ Simpanan dan Pengekalan Data Peribadi

(i.) The Group may store your Personal Date in hard copies or electronically in or outside Malaysia at any office or storage space, operated by the Group or any of its service providers for as long as necessary for the purposes of item (B) above and in compliance with any legal, regulatory or accounting requirements in the interest of the Group.

Kumpulan Syarikat boleh menyimpan Data Peribadi anda dalam bentuk salinan cetak atau secara elektronik di dalam atau di luar Malaysia di mana-mana pejabat atau ruang stor yang dikendalikan oleh Kumpulan Syarikat atau mana-mana pembekal perkhidmatan yang dilantik oleh Kumpulan Syarikat untuk tempoh masa untuk mencapai tujuan sepertimana yang diperihal di perkara (B) diatas ini dan bagi mematuhi apa-apa undang-undang, kerperluan pihak berkuatkuasa atau perakaunan untuk melindungi kepentingan Kumpulan Syarikat.

(ii.) The Group does not offer any online deletion of your Personal Data.

Kumpuan Syarikat tidak menawarkan apa-apa kemudahan dalam talian untuk memadam Data Peribadi anda.

F. Right to access Personal Data / Hak untuk akses Data Peribadi

(i.) You may access to your Personal Data on payment by paying a prescribed fee to the Group and to request the Group to update correctly any of your incorrect Personal Date as is permissible in law.

Anda boleh mengakses Data Peribadi anda atas pembayaran suatu fi yang ditetapkan kepada Kumpulan Syarikat dan meminta Kumpulan Syarikat megemaskini atau membetulkan apa-apa maklumat peribadi anda yang tidak betul setakat yang diperuntukan oleh undang-undang.

(ii.) You may post any questions regarding this Privacy Notice, access your Personal Data or withdraw your consent by sending a written notice to the Group in the following address: Lot 30442, Jalan Cempaka 6, Taman Nirwana, 68000 Ampang Selangor.

Anda boleh mengemukakan sebarang pertanyaan berkenaan Notis Privasi ini, mengakses Data Peribadi anda atau menarik balik persetujuan anda dengan menyampai suatu notis bertulis kepada Kumpulan Syarikat di alamat di bawah ini: Lot 30442, Jalan Cempaka 6, Taman Nirwana, 68000 Ampang Selangor.

The Group reserves the right to amend this Privacy Notice from time to time. You are advised to check this Privacy Notice on the Group’s website on a regular basis.

Kumpulan Syarikat berhak meminda Notis Privasi in bila-bila masa. Anda dinasihatkan untuk menyemak Notis Privasi ini di laman sesawang Kumpulan Syarikat secara lazim dari masa kemasa.