Hunza raises the bar with Gurney Paragon

Property News/ 26 August 2011 Leave a comment

GEORGE TOWN: Hunza Properties Bhd (HBP) is set to raise the bar for retail and food scene in Penang with the staggered opening of Gurney Paragon from December this year.

Executive chairman Datuk Khor Teng Tong yesterday said in its bid to bring in fresh names in retail and dining to the island, the company had lined up a mixture of tenants who have not operated here before.

"Besides signing up with TGV Cinemas Sdn Bhd, Pacific Coffee and Italiennes Restaurant, we are also in talks with luxury goods retailer Valiram Group about bringing several of its brands to our shopping mall," Khor said after taking the media on a tour of the residential and commercial components of Phase 1 of Gurney Paragon.

He said the shopping mall, boasting a net lettable area of 700,000 sq ft, will form the second phase, which fronts both Gurney Drive and Jalan Kelawai. It is expected to be completed by end-2012.

Khor said there were plans to bring in Japanese restaurant Hokkaido Ichiba.

Ahead of the mall's opening, Gurney Paragon chief operating officer Cheng Jih Min said HPB is set to unveil a food and beverage component in Gurney Paragon's first phase by year-end in a restored heritage building, which used to house a training school for Catholic missionaries.

The 94-year-old St Joseph's Noviate, which includes a chapel, is undergoing restoration work and will house eateries like Coffee Bean and Thank God It's Friday.

The first phase, which carries a development value of RM480 million, includes the heritage building, which is flanked by two towers with 220 high-end condominium units.

More than 70 per cent of the units have been sold, Khor said.

HPB is set to give out rebates totalling RM10 million as late delivery charges to 100 affected buyers. The company had a 12-month delay in completing the condominiums after it was slapped with a stop-work order, after an access road to a condominium project next door to Gurney Paragon caved in.

On measures the firm is taking to cope with the expected higher traffic in the area, Cheng said: "We are looking at shuttle buses to bring in shoppers from different points in Penang as one option, and also hope the state authorities will go ahead with turning Gurney Drive and Jalan Kelawai into one-way roads.

"The fact that we are offering 1,800 parking bays and access roads to the mall ought to take some pressure off the main roads."

SOURCE: Business Times

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