Archive for the ‘News & Articles’ Category

Penang Undersea Tunnel Will Be Scrapped If Third Bridge Is Approved

May 23rd, 2017 1 comment

tunnel-swap-bridgeThe Penang government will scrap the undersea tunnel project if the Federal Government grants approval for a third bridge in the state.

State Public Works, Utilities, Transportation Committee chairman Lim Hock Seng said this is based on cost justification of the bridge construction and maintenance which was way cheaper than the undersea tunnel proposed by the state government.

“The undersea tunnel project (Third Link) connecting Gurney Drive and Bagan Ajam is still at the feasibility study stage and has reached 87% of the study,” he said at a question and answer session yesterday.

He was replying to a question from Datuk Muhamad Farid Saad (BN-Pulau Betong) who wanted to know the status of the construction of three highways and undersea tunnel which had been planned by the Penang government.

Lim said the feasibility study on the tunnel, which was originally expected to be completed in December 2016, was granted an extension until September 2017.

“The extension was given after taking into account the need to coordinate information which involved the master plan for sea reclamation projects around Bagan Ajam which had not been finalised,” he said.

Lim said so far, total payment for the main road and tunnel projects in Penang was RM219,987,410.

He said of the amount, RM208,755,080 was paid to Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd as the project contractor and RM11,232,330 to HSS Integrated Sdn Bhd as the independent project technical consultant appointed by the state.

“So far nothing has been paid to the DEIA (Detailed Environment Impact Detailed Assessment) consultants,” he said.

The construction of the undersea tunnel is part of the Penang Transport Master Plan to solve traffic congestion on the island.

Source: Bernama

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Healthy demand for Utropolis Batu Kawan

May 19th, 2017 No comments


Paramount Corp Bhd is looking at launching RM750 million worth of properties this year, from the initial target of RM600 million, following an impressive sales success in the first quarter of this year (1Q17).

“Our sales target for the year is RM500 million, but in 1Q17 alone we recorded about RM244 million in sales. However, we are not going to revise our target. We prefer to under-promise and over-deliver,” its group chief executive officer Jeffrey Chew Sun Teong told reporters after its annual general meeting yesterday.

He said demand for the group’s new properties has been “healthy”, particularly for its Utropolis Batu Kawan development in mainland Penang.

“Quite a fair bit of the [RM244 million] sales came from our Batu Kawan project. [This is because] some of our buyers find it convenient to live there as the place has faster access to the second bridge,” he said.

With an estimated gross development value of RM1.8 billion, Utropolis Batu Kawan is located 1km away from the Second Penang Bridge.

The project is divided into four phases and estimated to be completed by 2026. It features residential, commercial, retail and hotel components, as well as a new flagship campus for KDU Penang University College, which is owned and operated by Paramount’s education division.

“In 1Q17, we launched about RM350 million worth of projects, leaving another RM400 million to go for the remainder of the year,” Chew said.

Find out more about Utropolis @ Batu Kawan

“Our project launches will be confined [to] the Klang Valley and the northern region of Peninsular Malaysia. We still see a lot of growth opportunities in these markets,” he added.

Chew also said Paramount is not aggressively expanding its land bank at the moment as the group adopts an asset-light business model.

“We will still look into it when the opportunity arises. But we still prefer to undertake joint ventures with landowners so that we don’t have to commit too much [capital] and hold onto the land for too long,” he said.

Paramount’s property business contributes 70% of the group’s revenue, while the remaining is derived from its education business.


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Penang homes priced beyond reach of most youths

May 18th, 2017 18 comments

homeThe majority of youths in Penang have no choice but to rent due to high property prices.

Most (73.2%) are staying in a property owned by a family member or a relative and many (93.7%) are hoping to own a house within the next five years.

These are some of the findings of an opinion poll carried out by the state government on a sample group of 606 youths, aged 18 to 29.

Penang Institute senior analyst Yeong Pey Jung (pic) said an overwhelming 90.2% of respondents found it difficult to purchase property in Penang while 43.4% revealed that it was not difficult to rent a property here.

“In looking at the responses on perception towards property prices, 91.8% found prices in Penang to be considerably expensive while 69.3% are of the opinion that affordable housing in Penang is not affordable.

“If we look into the 24 to 29 age group, who have a higher purchasing power, 81.7% conclude that affordable housing is unaffordable. This is a phenomenon observed throughout Malaysia especially in urban areas,” she told a press conference on the outcome of the Penang youth survey in Komtar on Tuesday.

Yeong added that more than 90% of respondents hoped to own property but only half of them believe that it is possible.

“The telephone survey, which was conducted in February this year, was to find out how Penang youths feel towards social, economic and political concerns.”

The survey also showed that over 70% of youths involved in community projects were not interested in taking up leadership roles.

They also expressed a general disinterest in politics.

In terms of health, more than half of youths engaged in regular exercise.

About 56.4% found difficulty in gaining employment, a sentiment shared by their peers and immediate social circle.

Penang Youth and Sports, Women, Family and Community Development Committee chairman Chong Eng said the survey was an initiative towards the Penang Youth Development Blueprint.

“The blueprint will be inclusive and function as a guide to encourage social upward mobility and enhance the youths’ development socially, economically and politically.”

The next phase is to conduct a focus group discussion and in-depth interviews with all sectors of the youth community.


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Terrace Houses at Eco Horizon and Eco Sun set for launch in 2H2017

May 13th, 2017 9 comments


Eco World Development Group Bhd is targeting to launch the first phase of landed terraced homes at its Eco Horizon and Eco Sun complementary township developments in Batu Kawan, Penang sometime in 2H2017, Eco World Penang general manager Khoo Teck Chong told

The 300-acre Eco Horizon and 74.5-acre Eco Sun have a combined gross development value (GDV) of more than RM7 billion to be developed over the next 10 years.

Eco Horizon will be divided into four residential precincts and one commercial precinct.

“For Eco Horizon, we are allocating over 230 acres of land for the residential component itself, while the remaining 70 acres will be for a commercial precinct. We are looking to launch the commercial precinct four to five years from now,” said Khoo.

“We will launch the terraced houses first, then maybe we will move on to other types such as the semi-dees. We always believe in bringing in the residential component first before the commercial,” said Khoo.

The two-storey terraced homes to be launched in both Eco Horizon and Eco Sun will have built-ups from 2,000 sq ft, with an estimated selling price starting from RM800,000.

Find out more about Eco Horizon and Eco Sun


NOTE: Your contact information will be forwarded to the developer for registration.

Meanwhile, Khoo added that the houses in both Eco Horizon and Eco Sun will have a colonial design concept.

“The houses will be something similar to our landed houses at Eco Botanic. The Eco Botanic landed homes are like a sneak peek of what we will be offering at our mainland township,” said Khoo. Eco Botanic in Johor is the developer’s maiden township launched in 2013 with a total GDV of RM3.79 million. Over 15% of the 270-acre freehold development has been reserved for greenery including indigenous trees and plants. The first residential project of Eco Botanic — dubbed The Verandah — comprises 624 cluster homes and semi-dees, which were fully sold and delivered to buyers last September.

“Eco Horizon and Eco Sun will be in a gated-and-guarded development. We will definitely not scrimp on security because that is of utmost importance. We will also be building a larger-than-normal clubhouse for the residents to enjoy,” explained Khoo. Eco Horizon and Eco Sun will have two separate entrances. While the clubhouse is located at Eco Horizon, residents at both Eco Horizon and Eco Sun are free to use the facilities.

Located at the centre of Eco Horizon will be the township’s 13.6-acre main park, with a pond that will take the form of a pair of flamingos.

“We understand that the residents may not utilise the clubhouse on a daily basis, yet when they want to use it, they want complete amenities such as a big gym and a big swimming pool. By building a bigger-sized clubhouse to be shared among more than 2,000 units of homes, this will definitely reduce maintenance fees, yet they can enjoy all the facilities,” he said.

According to Khoo, there are many Penangites who are looking for landed homes but cannot afford to buy them on Penang island.

“I would say many of them are genuine homebuyers and upgraders who may have previously bought a non-landed property to stay but have always dreamt of owning a landed property. Unlike the island where there are only small pockets of land for development, Batu Kawan offers clean swathes of land where we can showcase what we can do for these homebuyers,” said Khoo.

“The upcoming developments in Batu Kawan will be exciting as catalysts such as the second Penang Bridge to ease connectivity from the mainland and island will encourage more people to live on the mainland. Besides, the industrial area in Bayan Lepas is already fully occupied and companies are constantly looking for places to expand. The industrial development at Batu Kawan will involve high-technology components and with more upcoming industrial developments in Batu Kawan, it will definitely draw more people to work and live here,” Khoo added.



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Aspen Vision City Development Update

May 12th, 2017 No comments

Covering 245 acres of freehold land in Bandar Cassia, Batu Kawan, Aspen Vision City is the collaboration between Aspen Group and Ikano Pte Ltd, owner of popular furniture franchise IKEA.

Among the key highlights of Aspen Vision City is the development of an integrated shopping centre and the Northern Region’s very first IKEA store. The much-anticipated IKEA furniture store as well as the shopping centre will be placed under the management of Ikano Pte Ltd.

Strategically located at the landing point of the Second Penang Bridge, Aspen Vision City offers a mix of condominiums, shop offices, serviced suites, hotels, office tower, financial hub, medical centre and international school.

Current Developments:

Vervea –  The first phase of Aspen Vision City’s development at the heart of Bandar Cassia, Batu Kawan. Located on a 35-acre freehold land, claimed to be the largest gated and guarded commercial precinct developed in Penang.

Vertu Resort – The very first resort inspired high-rise development by Aspen Group at Batu Kawan, with a gross development value (GDV) of RM620mil. This is the second phase (and the first residential development) in Aspen Vision City.

Vittoria –  Commercial development by Aspen Group at Aspen Vision City in Batu Kawan. It is strategically located next to Vertu Resort Condominium and the future Columbia Asia Medical Centre, right opposite KDU University College.

Viluxe – Gated and guarded luxurious designer bungalow development by Aspen Group in Aspen Vision City. It comprises 157 units zero-lot bungalow with direct access to the future 25-acre Central Island Park. There will be 6 design types to choose from.

IKEA – This  will be the forth IKEA store in Malaysia and the second one outside of Klang Valley after Johor Bahru. The new store is expected to open for public by Q1 2019.

Register your interest for future development at Batu Kawan.