Hatten Group’s Colin Tan named Malaysia Real Estate Personality 2015

Dato Colin Tan

As one of the founders of the Hatten Group, one of the largest privately owned real estate development and property investment and retail management corporations in the country, Tan has a proven track record in Malaysian real estate for more than a decade since becoming group managing director in 2004.

Among his pioneering innovations in property development include the Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall; Hatten City, a 25-acre, waterfront mixed-use project fronting the Straits of Melaka, whose first phase will be completed at the end of this year; Harbour City, a massive theme park with retail and hospitality components, also located in Melaka; the under-construction Unicity in Negeri Sembilan; and Capital City, a prime integrated project with shopping, hotel and SOHO amenities in Iskandar Johor.

Tan’s overarching plan is to launch more than 5 million sqft of net lettable retail area in Melaka by 2020 and more than 5,000 hotel rooms across Malaysia within the next five years, optimising the Hatten Group’s 500-acre land bank.

For his achievements in the local real estate sector, the editors of Property Report magazine have selected Tan as this year’s recipient of the prestigious Real Estate Personality of the Year accolade, which will be presented to him in an exclusive, black-tie event at the second annual South East Asia Property Awards (Malaysia) 2015 on 26 August at the JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur.

“It is certainly an honour to win this award. I am both proud and humbled to receive this title,” Tan said. “It is a major milestone in my career. But more importantly, it means that I am on the right track towards making an impact to the global industry.”

He said that despite negative speculation, Malaysia’s economy is doing well and is predicted to grow between 5 and 6 percent in 2015. “Malaysian property prices are still relatively low compared to other Asian countries, and there is a large price margin to catch up on and so there is room to grow and values will continue to appreciate,” he noted.

Tan’s expansion plans include future ventures in new territories, such as Negeri Sembilan and Pahang, as well as diversifying Hatten Group’s portfolio into sectors such as medical infrastructure, educational facilities, arts and cultural arenas and brand franchising.

A graduate of Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Finance from the University of Dublin in Ireland, Tan envisions the public listing of the Hatten Group in the next few years to pave the way into global markets, while continuing to focus on its core markets in Malaysia, including Melaka, despite certain challenges.

“The main challenge in Melaka is identifying concepts, ideas and models that will appeal to the consumers/investors,” he commented. “Unlike Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, where any property is quickly snapped up and spending power is high, Melaka is a growing market.

“Developers in Melaka must constantly deliver new and innovative ideas to capture a market. Shopping malls must have unique and distinctive concepts to attract visitors and residences must now cater to the rise in living standards.”

Tan is slated to give his acceptance speech for this honour in front of his peers and members of the press during the gala dinner and awards presentation ceremony in August.