This is a great success story of passive cash income from Malaysia.
YOU have probably heard of SCP Parking. In fact, folks here in Menara Star use it every day as the company manages the building’s basement facilities.
SCP, which stands Systematic Corporate Parking, owns and manages 12,000 car parking bays in locations such as Phileo Damansara 2 (where Menara Star is located), Megan Avenue on Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, USJ Taipan, Leisure Commerce Square in Petaling Jaya and Dataran Palma in Ampang.
It also manages about 30,000 bays in various other locations, such as the Pantai Hospitals and for AmBank group’s buildings.
Several of these buildings in which SCP owns parking are Phileo buildings.
Two of the company’s founders, Chuah Swee Guan and Eric Wong, were previously directors in Phileo Land Bhd which developed these buildings.
After the late 1990s Asian financial crisis, Phileo Land came under the control of the government and in 2006, merged with ECM Libra.
Chuah and Wong were not left high and dry. They got together with valuer Ahamad Latib and their friend Ng WyMin to invest in a constant cash cow — car parks!
More and more condo projects such as Lido Residency offer slides in their children’s pools.
The four formed the company SCP Parking in 1999 and bought the bays in Phileo Damansara I and II, Megan Phileo and Phileo Promenade for about RM15,000 per bay, or RM99mil for 6,600 bays.
“When we acquired this business, a lot of people asked why we paid RM100mil for basement car parks which nobody could see?
“RM100mil can buy an office high-rise tower,” said Chuah at an interview in their Phileo Damansara 1 office.
“They thought that parking was a RM1, RM2 thing, but we felt that there was a future here. The population in cars is growing and everybody needs to park.”
At the time they bought the assets, they were earning about RM400,000 to RM500,000 a month, and each basement bay cost an average of about RM15,000 to build.
An artist’s impression of Lido Residency’s ‘sky gardens’.
“Today, we consistently make profits of about RM25mil a year, which we’ve been making for the past 10 or more years.”
The average cost of construction, meanwhile, has ballooned up to about RM50,000 per bay!
Based on current valuations, SCP Parking are gleaning a yield of about 15%, based on acquisition costs, or about 6%, based on current investment costs.
“Either way, that’s a good yield,” said Chuah.
“And yes, our investment was paid up a long time ago.”
“Initially we were just happy with what we were making. In a way, we were almost semi-retired-lah. But one day, one of us woke up and said since we have such good cash flow, cash in the account and good backing from the banks with funds at good rates, why don’t we acquire some land and start some development?”
Back in the saddle again
The founders then decided to invite their former colleague from Asian Pac Holdings Bhd, Calvin Low, who was the company’s chief operating officer, to join them in 2011.
“He is the youngest among us, so he takes the lead in property development,” said Chuah.
“The people here — Chuah, Eric Wong, Ahamad, Wymin and myself — have been in the property industry since the 1990s,” added Low.
“We are in fact not car park operators becoming developers, but developers who went into car parks and then got back into property. If we add up all our experience in property, our cumulative years of experience would come up to more than 150 years.”
In the space of two years, SCP Property has kick-started four projects — its Dataran Wangsa shoplots and Damaisari terraced bungalows in Wangsa Maju, SCP-Centro flexi-offices near Grand BlueWave Hotel in Shah Alam, and Inanam Capital shop-offices in Kota Kinabalu.
According to Low, all projects have been fully sold, with the first almost ready to be handed over.
“Dataran Wangsa’s shoplots were launched at RM2.3mil but are today changing hands at RM3.5mil,” added Chuah.
The Centro Shah Alam duplex offices, meanwhile, were priced from RM454,000 for units with built-up area ranging from 745 sq ft, and have been popular with young professionals. They are more secure than operating in shop houses, explained Chuah.
Lido Residency: 10 minutes to KLCC
SCP Property is now continuing full steam ahead with seven more projects which should keep the folks there busy for the next eight years.
Most recent is Lido Residency which will be officially launched this weekend.
Piling work has already begun and it is due to be completed in 2016.
Lido Residency is located near the Cheras velodrome, at the junction of Jalan Loke Yew and Jalan Cheras.
“Our location is fantastic,” said Low.
“Without traffic, you can drive to KLCC in 10 minutes.”
The velodrome will also be the location of the upcoming Taman Bukit Ria MRT station on the Sg Buloh-Kajang line, just four stops away from the Bukit Bintang station, which is also under construction.
“They are building a bridge across from the MRT station, so you will be able to walk there from Lido Residency,” said Low.
According to plans, this 32-storey leasehold residential block will hold 294 apartments.
The two- to three-bedroom apartments will have built-up areas ranging from 897 to 1,636 sq ft.
They are priced from RM542,000 or an average RM620 per sq ft, not taking into account substantial early bird rebates which are still on offer this weekend.
In the last three months, 65% of the units have been sold.
“These are SPAs signed with down payments paid,” said Chuah.
The company is looking forward to an equally popular launch this weekend, to be held at the project’s sales gallery and show unit, near the velodrome.
Lido Residency offers three-tier security, audio intercom screening at lift lobby, as well as several lifestyle offerings.
These include three turfed roof-top decks with different views, cafe bar, barbecue pits, gyms with city view, children’s pool with slides and yoga deck. The building will also be Astro B.yond and fibre optic-ready, said Low.
Billion ringgit projects in the works
Beyond Lido Residency, SCP Property has six more projects in the pipeline, two of which are estimated to earn RM1.5bil each in gross development value.
These are a 17-acre development called Gombak Sentral on Jalan Gombak, as well as a 30-acre mixed development project in Cheras Selatan.
Ranging from RM90mil to RM500mil in development value, meanwhile, are three-storey houses in Kolombong, Kota Kinabalu, a 30-storey mixed development called Ashton Tower in Kota Kinabalu, two-storey houses in Menggatal, near Kota Kinabalu, and a mixed development project in Wangsa Maju.
The reason for several of these projects being located in Kota Kinabalu is because of some of the partners’ significant work on KK Times Square and Karamunsing Capital there, when they were working with Asian Pac Holdings.
“We did very well with KK Times Square,” said Low.
“All the elite companies are there.
“In Sabah, the property prices are comparable with KL,” added Chuah.
“There are a lot of oil and gas activities there. In fact, they are building a Bintulu of Sabah in Kimanis with an oil and gas terminal, a port and petrochemical factories like BASF, as well as some Taiwanese companies opening there.”
On both sides of the country, it looks like SCP’s projects are enjoying good take-up and the founders’ plans to move into property may just be working.
At the interview, both Chuah and Low appeared confident and enthusiastic.
“Our combined gross development value comes up to RM4.6bil and for the next five years, we can easily make RM100mil a year with all the projects we have, not including the revenues from parking. Not bad for an upstart like us,” said Chuah.
Indeed, once the people at SCP had decided to go back into property, it seems there is nothing slowing them down.
And since those days of the late 1990s, they are now truly ready to come out of the basement and reach for the stars again.
Lido Residency will launch this weekend with attractive rebates from 10am-6pm, at Lido Residency Property Gallery, Wisma Ryu, Ground Floor, 81, Jalan 2/ 90, Taman Pertama Cheras, Kuala Lumpur. For more information, call 03-9281 0208, 014-234 4660, 014-234 4663.