FOREST CITY: $100 Billion City Made From Scratch in Johor, Malaysia





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Published on Jan 21, 2017

Watch a $100 Billion city made from scratch in Malaysia, Forest City Johor, World's Largest Mega Construction Project.

US$100 Billion Chinese-Made Metropolis Near Singapore is Massive.

A strategic multi-billion-dollar new city near Singapore is drawing interest from investors with promises of luxury living, but there are questions over its future owing to China’s economic afflictions and forewarnings of environmental devastation.

Forest City is a luxurious futuristic “eco-city” of high-rises and waterfront villas, which will sit on four man-made islands on the Malaysian side of the Johor Strait just an hour away from Singapore.

This revolutionary city is offering 700,000 residential units as well as shopping malls, international schools, convention venues, hotels and medical facilities on 1,370 hectares. The city will even have its own immigration centre!

It is a US$100 billion (RM441 billion) development project to build this city in the sea and while Chinese home buyers have sent prices soaring all over the world, in this corner of Southeast Asia, Chinese developers are swamping the market, pushing prices lower with an excess of hundreds of thousands of new homes.

Country Garden, which has partnered with the investment arm of Johor state, launched another waterfront project down the coast in 2013 called Danga Bay, where it has sold all 9,539 apartments. China state-owned Greenland Group is building office towers, apartments and shops on 128 acres in Tebrau, about 20 minutes from the city centre.

Guangzhou R&F Properties Co. has started construction on the first phase of Princess Cove, with about 3,000 homes. Country Garden said in an e-mail it was “optimistic on the outlook of Forest City” because of the region’s growing economy and location next to Singapore.

Singapore’s high costs and property prices encouraged some companies to relocate to JB, while the shopping malls and amusement parks have become a favourite day-trip destination for Singaporeans. In the old city centre, young Malaysians hang out at hipster cafes and ice cream parlours on Jalan Dhoby where the influx of new money is restoring the colonial-era shop lots.

Developers have a pipeline of more than 350,000 private homes planned or under construction in Johor state, according to data from Malaysia’s National Property Information Centre. That’s more than all the privately built homes in Singapore.

Forest City could add another 160,000 over its 30-year construction period, according to Bloomberg estimates, based on the projected population.

USA based chocolate maker Hershey Co. is among those building a plant in Johor, joining tenants such as amusement park Legoland Malaysia and Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios, a franchise of the UK-based movie studio.

Meanwhile, sales reps are selling this utopian dream – a metropolitan of the future with smart, leafy buildings and offices full of cheerful, rich residents.

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak said Johor's massive Forest City development can help the transformation of the southern state, like Dubai, which built giant property projects to attract investors.

And he said the criticisms by former premier Mahathir Mohamad that Malaysia was throwing away its sovereignty by selling Johor land and housing units to companies from China and their buyers are slander, as the projects are sold on 99-year leases.

"Today Dubai has become a great metropolis and its people earn high incomes. If Dubai can succeed, we too can develop land," he said in a speech at an event in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Tun Dr Mahathir had alleged that Chinese nationals coming to Johor could later qualify to become Malaysian citizens, and that they might be allowed to vote.

The Forest City development will see four islands reclaimed on the Malaysian side of the Johor Strait, with media reports saying that housing units there and in some 60 other Johor Baru projects were being offered to mainland Chinese buyers.

Datuk Seri Najib said the Chinese nationals, whose country is a global economic power and who earned high incomes, would not want to become Malaysians. He also said that the Chinese who participated in the Malaysia, My Second Home programme are not entitled to Malaysian citizenship, although they lived in this country.

Meanwhile, Mr Najib on Thursday evening launched his 2050 National Transformation, or TN50, road map for Malaysia - the successor to Dr Mahathir's Vision 2020.

Mr Najib said the goal "is for Malaysia to become a top 20 country in the world by 2050". The TN50 policy document is being drafted with public feedback. (NST)


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