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Lego theme park for Johor

The Straits Times/The Malaysian Insider

JOHOR BARU, Nov 21 – Lego, the Danish manufacturer of toy building blocks, is close to concluding a deal to build a theme park in Johor.

State authorities familiar with the project said a breakthrough in negotiations were proceeding well and preliminary works on “Legoland Malaysia” could start as early as June next year.

The project, to be sited on some 400 acres of land off Danga Bay, is expected to entail an initial investment of under RM1 billion.

Lego now operates theme parks in Denmark, Britain, the United States, Germany and Dubai. The theme parks, built entirely from building blocks, are targeted at young families and include the whole gamut of exciting roller coaster rides and a variety of other attractions.

Iskandar Investment Bhd (IIB), the investment arm of Iskandar Malaysia, is expected to be the local partner in the project. Speaking in Dubai last month, IIB managing director Arlida Ariff said that as many as three theme parks were being considered in Iskandar Malaysia.

It is learnt besides Lego, IIB is also pursing talks with Universal Studios and Disney Tokyo.

The plan is to have a core theme park covering 600 to 800 acres, and a few smaller theme parks of 50 to 100 acres each. Some 3,000 acres have been set aside for theme parks, including supporting commercial developments, in Iskandar Malaysia.

Discussions are for park operators to take up a stake in the theme parks so that they can have a long-term interest in these ventures.

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