PENANG: WILL THE PEARL OF THE ORIENT SHINE AGAIN?

p30With various upcoming landmark projects, Penang’s property industry has not lost its lustre; on the contrary, huge upside is expected once the market turns around. Text by Isabelle Pinto

As of late, the island-state of Penang has been seeing various landmark projects coming its way. Firstly, being the main manufacturing and service hub for electronic and electrical items, there has been a need to provide more space for industrial growth. Therefore, projects such as the IT-BPO at Bayan Lepas, and BPO Prime at Bayan Baru and Changkat Byram, south of Batu Kawan, are expected to contribute to this growth.

p30cAnother essential project that is bound to bring major transformation to Penang is none other than the all-encompassing Penang Transport Master Plan. Expected to be completed in 2030, the RM27 billion project will include a light rail transit (LRT) track across the sea forming a fourth link between Penang island and the mainland. The proposed track would be built near the Penang Bridge connecting Gelugor on the island and the Prai Industrial Estate on the mainland before continuing northwards to Penang Sentral in Butterworth. Besides this fourth link, the Master Plan also includes several other LRT routes on the island and mainland, trams for the heritage zones, highways, as well as water taxis.

The development of new convention centres such as the Subterranean Penang International Convention & Exhibition Centre (SPICE) in Relau, and the RM346 million Penang Waterfront Convention Centre (PWCC) by IJM at the Jalan Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway is also expected to transform Penang into a Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibition (MICE) tourism hub, attracting business people as well as tourists to Penang. The SPICE project is expected to be completed by the end of 2016 while PWCC’s expected completion is by 2017.

Additionally, the first IKEA store in the Northern region will be built soon, as well as a state-of-the-art Art Regional Centre; also coming up are Penang Heritage

Arts District – Ilham Penang at Sia Boey, Creative Animation Triggers at Wisma Yeap Chor Ee; and Komtar refurbishment, all of which will cement Penang’s position as a centre of shopping and the arts in the Northern region of Peninsular Malaysia.

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