Archive for January, 2007

Focus on Penang Property and Housing-Part I

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

According to the Draft Penang Structure Plan 2005-2020, the estimated housing stock for Penang State as at year 2005 totals 470,331 units. During the period 1994 – 2005, the Penang state government has approved the construction of about 121,000 units of houses. The report also stated that a total of 185,000 units of houses of various types or at an average of 12,300 units a year will be built until year 2020.

Penang needs to develop 5,000 hectares of land within the next 15 years to cater for development of which 4,500 hectares of the land earmarked for development are located in high potential areas. In order to achieve balance and sustainable development over the next 15 years, there is a need to balance development at the ratio of 30% on the island and 70% on the mainland Seberang Perai.

Penang Island, a relatively small island covering an area of 293 square kilometers with a population of 678, 000 (year 2005), has limited usable lands for development as major part of the Island is under conservation and classified as environmentally sensitive areas ie. hill lands, forest reserves and water catchments areas. The limited usable lands are mainly located along the eastern Island stretching from Tanjong Tokong area to down south Bayan Baru / Sungai Ara area.

Owing to high land cost and limited usable land for development on the Penang Island, reclamation activities at designated coastal areas such as Bayan Baru, Jelutong and Tanjung Tokong will be continued to expand the land bank on the Island. Several man-made islands around Tanjong Tokong and Jelutong coastal areas will also be created via land reclamation. New locational hotspots for potential housing development are situated towards the south-western part of the Island, these areas include Sungai Ara, Gertak Sanggul, Teluk Kumbar and Balik Pulau.

In the mainland Seberang Perai, bulk of usable lands for development are centred at Batu Kawan-Jawi area (South Seberang Perai) and Bertam -Kepala Batas (North Seberang Perai) and Seberang Jaya-Permatang Nibong (Central Seberang Perai). Other potential areas as stated in the report include Valdor, Juru and Bukit Minyak.

The future housing trends on the Island will continue to see more high density flatted developments being built whilst piecemeal housing developments will be taking place in new growth areas at the southern part of the Island. More smaller scale but high value niche housing schemes offering new lifestyles, themes and concepts with buzzwords such as super condos, condovillas, gated and guarded communities, waterfront courtyard terraced homes, super-link houses, landed garden villas, supreme and premium bungalows may emerge in prime locations at the suburbs of Georgetown and coastal areas of Bayan Bay, Gurney Drive and Tanjong Tokong. Old settlement areas in prime locations will also be make way for high rise flatted developments whilst in the inner city of Georgetown but within the ambit of heritage conservation zones, any redevelopment will be subject to heritage preservation guidelines.

The mainland Seberang Perai will see the emergence of large scale integrated township developments ie.Bandar Cassia in Batu Kawan which is planned to be the third largest township after Bandar Bayan Baru on the Island and Bandar Seberang Jaya in Central Seberang Perai as well as transformation of several other townships such as Bandar Bertam, Bandar Perda dan Bandar Tasek Mutiara. Unlike Penang Island, the future housing trend for mainland Seberang Perai will continue to see more landed properties with features of modern township amenities and services and parks (2 and 3 storey terraced and semi-detached houses and bungalows) being built as landed properties are still the preferred choice.

The future housing trends for Penang Island; more high rise flatted developments and high value niche housing schemes..

Focus on Penang Property and Housing – Part II ( To be continued)

Public Hearing on Draft Penang Structure Plan 2005-2020

Saturday, January 13th, 2007

The Penang State Government has unveiled the Draft Penang Structure Plan 2005-2020 in September 2006. The draft plan, which was prepared by Penang State Town and Country Planning Department, is a written blueprint consists of the state’s policy, direction and strategic proposals on development and land use until year 2020. The last Structure Plan for Penang Island and the mainland Seberang Perai was gazetted on 14th June 1990 and 19th September 1993 respectively.

Following the month-long public display of the Draft Penang Structure Plan 2005-2020, a total of 84 respondents have forwarded their views and objections to the Penang State Town and Country Planning Department. The respondents comprises of representatives from government agencies, political parties, NGOs, various resident associations, REHDA, housing developers and individuals etc.

Consequently, in accordance with Section 10 (3)(b), Malaysia’s Town and Country Planning Act 1976 (Act 172), a public hearing has been held at Mutiara Room 2, 29th Floor, KOMTAR during the period from 11th to 22nd December 2006 whereby each respondent was given half an hour time to present their objections and views on the Structure Plan to the public objections hearing committee. The structure plan is expected to be gazetted this year after the draft report together with the feedbacks and objections gathered during the hearing have been submitted to the higher authority for approval.

Respondents expressing their views /objections to the public hearing committee;

Please come back again for more insights on the Penang property and housing development – its future trends and directions and where are the locational hotspots as expounded in the Penang Structure Plan…(To be continued).

Revitalising Penang’s KOMTAR

Thursday, January 4th, 2007

With the launching of Visit Malaysia Year 2007, Penang hopes to attract 3 million tourist arrivals by end of this year. KOMTAR or Menara KOMTAR, which is the landmark of Penang and the famous icon of Georgetown, used to be a major tourist attraction in the 1980’s and 1990’s. However, KOMTAR has lost its shine in recent years due to growing competition from the newer modern shopping centers sprouting on Penang Island. Penang’s retail sector has since undergone 3 stages of changes from early 1980’s up to the new millennium.

KOMTAR needs a major facelift and a more urgent coordinated effort to revitalise the complex’s attractiveness as well as to stay competitive as the premier shopping center of Penang for both locals and tourists.

Related links on KOMTAR ; RM10 million facelift for KOMTAR; Still ‘uncompleted’ after all these years and Sale of shoplots made many millions .

More at update links - Upgrading work on KOMTAR soon and Not too late for Komtar.

Penang is synonymous with KOMTAR & Ferry service… both “converging” landmarks are in need of a major facelift !