Oceanus Waterfront eyes next phase
Published on: Monday, December 08, 2014

KOTA KINABALU: Oceanus Waterfront Mall's director Datuk Johnson Koh Yong Siang and his team in property marketing and sales with a remarkable show replica model of their Kota Kinabalu Waterfront Development (KKWD) project were one of the outstanding sights in property exhibitions in Sabah in the past few years.Asked if his development firm would be again participating in next year's property shows given that the present Oceanus Waterfront development is nearing completion and all units for sale were taken up, Koh said: "Why not, if we get to launch our second phase."

Koh was secretive about where his second phase development and where it would be, as negotiation probably is still ongoing.

He said there was no problem in recruiting the desired manpower to start off the operations of the mall schedule for a soft opening from this Dec 15.

He also kept close to his chest the list of tenants opening up for the Christmas and New Year Shopping festivities. One remarkable observation noted was that Oceanus Waterfront Mall actually put up a colourful Deepavali kolaam display even before it is open for business.

Malls in Sabah, unlike in West Malaysia, hardly marked Deepavali festivity in their premises, and it would be good for Oceanus Waterfront Mall to start the trend from this year. It is a good effort on the part of Oceanus Waterfront Mall to differentiate its style and offerings.

Asked about the fishing boats thronging the waterfront scene of his seaside mall, Koh said after the Safma complex with its fishing boat jetty and its facilities are shifted, so would the fishing boats. That, perhaps, could be where his second phase could encompass.

Luyang Assemblyman Hiew King Cheu has recently revealed that the fruit market, night market and the Filipino handicraft market at the Kota Kinabalu City waterfront are the areas under phase two of the Kota Kinabalu Waterfront Development (KKWD) project to be undertaken by City Hall.

Koh did not want to talk on the Kota Kinabalu fish market and the central market being sensitive issues, but the Chief Minister's Department on November 10 at the last State Assembly sitting, has indicated that the site is slated for redevelopment after the markets are relocated.

Hiew, the former Member of Parliament for Kota Kinabalu, revealed the Kota Kinabalu fish market and the central market would stop operations when they are no longer comparable and suitable to the surrounding development in the area.

As a consultant engineer, Hiew said many people feel that prime areas along the waterfront should be beautified to allow Kota Kinabalu City to showcase a modern waterfront look comparable to many other liveable seaside or riverside cities in countries all over the world.

He observed that the stretch of waterfront behind the Hyatt Regency Kinabalu has been upgraded and a lot of people like to spend time there. The other stretch in front of the new Oceanus Mall, the Anjung Senja and the Beach Club is already completed with a boardwalk and beautification works.

Hiew said works on KKWD phase two would eventually relocate the markets for redevelopment. As an MP and engineer, he had helped to dispel misgivings about the reclamation issue when the Oceanus Mall project first started.

Acting on complaints, the State Minister of Environment, Datuk Masidi Manjun issued a stop-work order. It was later clarified that the sheet piling works were necessary for the construction and prevention of earthworks erosion, not reclaiming the seabed site where the boardwalk is to hover over.

An on-going example then was the coffer dam construction method further north at the seaside bed construction site of the Jesselton Residences which involves excavation for lower ground floor storeys and refilling with earth, now much delayed after another main contractor got the boot. The Jesselton Residences project was scheduled for completion next year, but the progress shows otherwise.

A construction dispute between the main contractor and the building owner of Central Building which led to a court case in which the judge ruled for the building owner, also saw the parting of ways with the main contractor and having to pay costs to building owner.

Fortunately the Oceanus Waterfront Mall development which lost some good three months of construction progress due to the stop-work order, is to be completed next year. Asked about delays, Koh said that shortage of cement and workers contributed to earlier dates of completion and opening being revised three times.

On LAD claims due to delays, Koh said: "We have to pay some of the commercial and residential unit property purchasers who have signed the S&P earlier."

According to him, the three months or so delay due to the stop-work order is not to be considered for LAD payments as part of the force majeure condition that was beyond the control of the developer already saddled with delay losses in the few millions of ringgit over the stop-work order, hence excluded from LAD calculations.

Come Dec 15, yuletide mood shoppers and 2015 New Year revellers can look forward to what the Oceanus Waterfront Mall has to offer and show off. As in past property shows, Koh and his team would be there, and he has promised a lot of activities in the water, on the water and out of the water, especially within his project premises, and fireworks in the sky over the water.

Oceanus will be the first uniquely seafront shopping mall to open with retail lots and kiosks by leasing only, and hence the management has total control over the tenant mix. The JW Marriot Hotel located on the mall will be a five-star establishment to set a new hospitality standard and attracting quality patrons to Sabah.

Koh positions the city's newest mall as 'The Place to Be' opening just before the nearby Imago Mall, both of which have full tenant control mix and thus able to ensure better shopping experience for the discerning brand and indulgent clientele.

Caption: Oceanus Mall opening Dec 15.


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