NEWS

FHL Progresses With $30m Tower Plans

Fijian Holdings Limited has entered the second stage of planning for the much-talked about 15-storey FHL Towers. Talks have begun with prospective clientele for tenancy in the building proposed to
05 Sep 2015 10:00
FHL Progresses With $30m Tower Plans
An artist’s impression of the proposed FHL Tower which will be located at the corner of Gordon Street and Thurston Street in Suva. Photo: FHL

Fijian Holdings Limited has entered the second stage of planning for the much-talked about 15-storey FHL Towers.

Talks have begun with prospective clientele for tenancy in the building proposed to be constructed at the corner of Gordon Street and Thurston Street in Suva.

The prospective tenants FHL is looking at includes embassies, international multilateral agencies, large groups to base head office, banks and telecommunication companies.

Currently the site is vacant being used as a car park for the Group and situated right opposite Ra Marama House where FHL is headquartered.

FHL Group chief executive, Nouzab Fareed, said at this stage, their valuation is that the cost for the construction of the building can exceed $30 million.

“This land has been there for a very long time and we have been exploring options whether for office, residential, or for hotel,” he said.

“But since FHL Group has fair presence in commercial sector with Vanua House, Ratu Sukuna House and Ra Marama, we have year-marked this building for commercial purpose for office building.”

Under FHL Properties Limited, the group wants to develop this land and into a 15-storey – 100 per cent commercial building.

Through architectural competition, Sharma Design Group was selected as architects and HLKB was selected project manager.

The way the building has been designed is quite artistic.

Mr Fareed said they expect the building to be iconic and represent the FHL – the flagship of iTaukei business so people can be proud of it.

He said further, they are willing to give up their naming rights if some one is willing to pay and have the tower’s naming rights.

 

Construction

If all goes well, FHL aims to start construction as soon at least 40 per cent of the building has prospective clientele.

Mr Fareed said: “At this stage we are confident we should get clear mandate from prospective tenants within the first quarter of next year.”

He said they will be going for tendering in the first quarter of next year.

If then things go as per plan, Mr Fareed confirmed the building will be ready by mid-2018 for occupation.

“At the initial stages, we are expecting at least 100 or 150 new employment out of this building,” he said.

“But in the long run, the building will be able to hold at least 500 to 600 office staff inside.

“There will be car parking facilities for more than 100 cars and probably the ground floor will have something like fine dining restaurant and a bank branch or a premium supermarket etc.”

 

Ownership

Mr Fareed stressed it was important to note this project was 100 per cent owned by FHL Limited.

“It is part of FHL Properties which is ear-marked for public listing in the years to come,” he said.

He also indicated at this stage, they have not received any expressions of interest for a joint venture for this project and they are comfortable working on it themselves.

 

Contract and funding

At this stage, Mr Fareed said they are not deviating out of a local contractor.

But, he said the reality was for a 15-storey building, very few local contractors have the experience.

“There are at least two who have the capacity and capability to do it. So when we call the tender, it will be an international one,” he said.

Mr Fareed said FHL Properties Limited already has a portfolio exceeding $40 million worth of properties.

As for funding, the money will be borrowed and Mr Fareed said financed by most probably a bank.

He said they have not gone out as yet sourcing the funds.

Feedback:  rachnal@fijisun.com.fj

 

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