Archive for October, 2007

Focus on Penang Heritage Properties in George Town conservation area

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

George Town, Penang [Map Guide] together with Melaka –two historic port cities of the straits of Melaka have been nominated for inclusion in Unesco World Heritage List. An assessor from Unesco has visited Penang recently and completed site assessment to evaluate Penang State Government’s proposal with the outcome of the bid is expected to be made known by July 2008. Penang’s bid onto the World Heritage Listing, when successful, will boost the isle’s tourism sector and enhance Penang status internationally. director spoke to conservation expert and a custodian of heritage, Associate Professor Dr A Ghafar Ahmad recently for his views and comments on Penang’s bid for world heritage listing. Dr Ghafar outlines 3 main criterias and justification for nomination of Penang together with Melaka onto world heritage listing:-

a)Historical aspect - on the importance of the Straits of Melaka whereby many port cities have established;

b)Architectural aspect - Melaka and Georgetown are two port cities with most numbers of prewar historical shop-houses outside China:

c)Social aspect - melting pot of multi-cultures of various ethnic groups.

While Dr Ghafar concurs that Penang tourism industries are expected to benefit when Penang make it onto the world Unesco heritage listing, he calls for more pro-active community participation in managing our own heritage buildings to further promote George Town as a living heritage city and to encourage more tourists to experience hands-on our unique heritage costumes, handicrafts and cultural festivals etc.

More updated resources on the nomination of Penang for inclusion into World Heritage List is available here.

Heritage conservation in George Town


The conservation of George Town was introduced in the form of a conservation plan for the city of George Town in 1973. More info at The chronology of heritage milestone In George Town and The George Town Inventory.

In 1986, Penang Heritage Trust (PHT), a Penang-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) was formed to promote the conservation of Penang’s heritage and to foster cultural education about the history and heritage of Penang. According to PHT’s website, there are a total of 97 buildings in George Town being listed as heritage buildings which amongst others include historical mosques and Chinese clan kongsi. A list of heritage trails, heritage buildings and information on various festivals and cultural celebrations of Penangites are also available at Penang’s official tourism website. More info at update link on State govt upgrading heritage trail.

George Town Conservation Zone

According to the recently gazetted Penang State Structure Plan 2020, the George Town heritage area is classified into two zones, namely Core Heritage Zone (109.38 hectares) and Buffer Zone (150.04 hectares);

The historic City of George Town (core zone) covers an area of 109. 38 hectares bounded by the Straits of Malacca on the north-eastern cape of Penang Island, Lorong Love (Love Lane) to the north-west and Malay Street Gat and Dr. Lim Chwee Leong Road to the south-west corner. There are more than 1,700 historic buildings within the core zone align on four main streets of Weld Quay, Beach Street, Masjid Kapitan Keling Road and Love Lane besides other perpendicular streets of Tun Syed Barakbah Road, Light Street, Bishop Street, Church Street, China Street, Market Street, Chulia Street, Armenian Street and Acheh Street. More insights and photos on heritage buildings and historic shophouses below;

a) George Town Core Heritage Zone - Chulia Street, Beach Street, Market Street-Little India, Weld Quay, Convent Light Street and The Esplanade.

b) George Town Buffer Heritage Zone - Penang Road, Farquhar Street and Campbell Street.

The Penang heritage enclave is classified into six conservation zones namely the Seven Street Precinct, the Cultural Precinct of Chulia Street and Love Lane, the Historical Commercial District of Little India, the Waterfront Business and Financial district, Mosques and Clan House enclave and Markets and Shopping Precincts as shown in picture below.

However, in accordance with the newly gazzetted structure plan and city council guidelines, the Seven Street Precinct (Zone 1) is no longer regarded as heritage enclave.

Guidelines for heritage conservation in George Town

The restoration of heritage buildings or redevelopment within George Town conservation zone are subject to the newly gazzetted Penang State Structure Plan 2020 which has outlined a set of planning policy statements on heritage conservation for George Town conservation zone until year 2020 and city council of George Town (MPPP)’s guildelines for heritage conservation. A management plan involving several stakeholders will also be finalised soon to implement the heritage policy for the Penang heritage zone.

Critics are urging the authorities to adopt a balance approach to ensure economic viability for property owners in George Town as not any old house has heritage value and to study the impact of Unesco heritage listing for George Town. The Penang state government has recently responded that it will be adopting a flexible approach in approving new development projects within core areas of the inner city of George Town.

Pricing trend of historical shophouses in George Town

According to Ms Lau Wai Sheang, Penang State Finance Ministry Valuation and Property Services Department Director who presented her talk - The Inner city of George Town, Penang: Conservation and values during the recent Star Property & Home Fair 2007, with the abolition of Rent Control Act since Jan 2000, inner city residents of George Town moved out due to rent increase and urban decay set in resulting some of the prewar houses in abandoned or dilapidated conditions. She stressed that there is a need to conserve in order to protect value of land in the George Town inner city. According to her, there is also growing interest from institutional buyers outside Penang towards Penang historic buildings. She also explained on the comparative prices of prewar shophouses within vis-a-vis outside the George Town heritage enclave for the past 7 years. See Chart 1 below :-
Chart 1

HI - Heritage Building Category I
HII - Heritage Building Category II
CA - Conservation Area Grade A
CB - Conservation Area Grade B
HCE - Historical and Conservation Enclave

In recent years, there are more historic shophouses within George Town conservation area being restored for “adaptive re-use” such as heritage hotels, bar and restaurants, boutique and specialty shops noticeably in areas such as upper Penang road, Kimberley Street, Nagore Street. Growing interest were noted towards historical shophouses within George Town conservation area. A row of 11 units of 80-year old shophouses at Khoo Sian Ewe Road off Burma Road with a total land area of 12,949 sq ft was sold recently for RM4 million to an institutional buyer from Kuala Lumpur after being put up for auction at a reserved price of RM2.3 million.

For heritage building enthusiasts, more insights on remarkable works by Dr A Ghafar Ahmad and conservation architects Tan Yeow Wooi and Lawrence Loh.

For advisory on property investments in George Town, Penang email to us at Izrin & Tan Properties Sdn. Bhd. or call us at +604 6588333 (Penang Office) or +603 92839782 (Kuala Lumpur Office) and we would be pleased to assist.

The above web aritcle is written by Sr Tan Chai Liang (view profile). If you have any comments or views on the above web article, email your feeback to the writer.

Ms Lau Wai Sheang, Penang State Finance Ministry Valuation and Property Services Department Director ..

View Of George Town inner city

A row of 11 units of 80-year old shophouses at Khoo Sian Ewe Road off Burma Road with a total land area of 12,949 sq ft was sold recently for RM4 million to an institutional buyer from Kuala Lumpur.

Hotel 1926 - Penang’s first heritage hotel along Burma Road.

Investing in Penang’s tourism belt; Tanjung Tokong-Tanjung Bungah-Batu Ferringhi coastal area

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

Penang’s tourism belt [area indicated colored red], an international famous holiday resort area stretching along the 9 km northern coastal area from Tanjung Tokong to Tanjung Bungah to Batu Feringghi area, is poised for rapid transformation with at least more than half a dozen of ongoing resort condominium/sea front villa developments in various stages of construction. Several more planned housing developments are also in the pipeline and scheduled for launching next year. In recent months, this area has increasingly become Penang’s property hotspot amongst the local Malaysians as well as foreign investors who choose Penang as their second homes under MM2H programme.

Penang Beach Hotels
This stretch of popular tourism belt is also the main concentration of Penang’s beach hotels namely Naza Hotel, Tanjung Bungah Hotel, Copthorne Orchid Hotel, Paradise Sandy Beach Resort, Crown Jewel Hotel, Hydro Majestic Hotel (formerly Ferringhi Beach Hotel), Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa, Golden Sand Resort, Lone Pine Hotel, Holiday Inn Resort, Grand Plaza Parkroyal, Casuarina Beach Hotel and Bayview Beach Hotel. Majority of these beach hotels are located in Batu Ferringhi area. See picture below for location guide of these hotels;

Penang’s existing hotel room supply stands at about 12,000 rooms with bulk of these hotel rooms located within this tourism belt. An estimated new supply of between 3,500 and 4,000 hotel rooms will be coming on stream within the next five years to accommodate more tourists and those responding to the Malaysia My Second Home Programme (MM2H). More at related link - Three more hotels to meet growing demand in Penang.

Existing sea facing condominiums along Penang tourism belt
Notable existing sea facing resort condominiums, with selling price ranges from RM160,000 to RM2 million perunit and located along this stretch of tourism belt are :-

Eden Seaview Apartments, located in Batu Feringghi and sited next to Uplands international school. A standard 3-bedroom unit with a floor area of 850 sq ft is priced from RM160,000.

Mar Vista, comprises 6 high rise blocks of 2,3,4 bedrooms, is located in Batu Ferringhi. A standard 2 bedroom unit with floor area of 838 sq ft is for sale at RM180,000.

Diamond Villa, completed in 1994 to 1998, comprises 3 blocks of 18 to 26 storey in height with seaview and floor areas of 1,480 sq ft onwards. Rental from RM3,500 per month. A penthouse unit with a floor area of 6,000 sq ft is for sale at RM1.5 Million.

Miami Green, another sea facing condominium with standard size of 1,100 sq ft to 1,270 sq ft. Selling price ranges from RM350,000 per unit.

Twin Towers, a standard unit with a floor area of 1,325 sq ft currently for sale at RM340,000.

Coastal towers- Rental rates from RM1,200 per month for unfurnished units. A renovated and fully furnished unit on high level with seaview and has a floor area of 1,210 sq ft is for sale at RM380,000.

Straits Regency – A standard unit of 1,530 sq ft is for sale from RM380,000 onwards while rental rate is RM2,500 per month for furnished unit.

Tanjung Bungah Beach condominiums- Rental rate for fully furnished unit with floor area of 2,200 sq ft ranges from RM6,000 per month whilst a deluxe penthouse unit with floor area of 4,478 sq ft is for sale at RM1.7 Million.

Sri Golden Bay Condominiums. Each standard unit has a floor area of 2,875 sq ft with selling price ranges from RM1.4mil onwards.

The Cove or [Video] - A newly completed super condominium comprises four blocks of 40-storey freehold luxury condominiums– Each unit has a floor area of 5,850 sq ft with five bedroom and large balcony facing the sea ! Sales Price from RM1.4 mil to RM2 mil.

New condominium schemes along Penang tourism belt
Notable new resort condominium schemes currently under construction are The waterfront condominiums, Shamrock Beach development comprises 3-storey landed seafront link houses and villas, Alila, a high end condominiums and villa project comprises 418-unit by Hunza Group and IGB’s project comprises 37 units of 3-storey bungalows located adjacent to Mar Vista.

Springtide Residences, a 39-storey condominium project with only 74 units of high end sea front condominiums and three beach villas located in Tanjung Bungah. The units, measuring 3,989 sq ft and 5,078 sq ft, are priced at RM430 per sq ft.

Infinity sea front super condominiums located along Tanjung Bungah comprises 2 36-storey blocks , typical floor area range from 3,669 to 4,873 sq ft and priced from RM1.5mil each.

Moonlight Bay villas, an on-going luxurious lifestyle project by Penang-based developer, Ivory Properties Group, comprising 70 four-storey detached villas priced between RM1.8 mil to RM3 mil offering sea and hill views. All units come with lifts and condominium facilities. Land area range from 2,600 to 6,000 sq ft whilst built-up areas range of 3,800 to 5,500 sq ft. More info at related link- Ivory’s four storey villas with lifts.

Skyhome – another ongoing high end condominium project by Giant Resorts comprises one block of 32-storey beach front super condominiums 47 units. Each standard unit has a floor area of 6,300 sq ft priced from RM2.2mil onwards.

The Residences @ Feringghi Park - An ongoing housing scheme at Batu Feringghi resort area comprises mainly 3-storey semi-detached and bungalow homes. More info about Blossom Time’s Batu Feringghi project at Naluri unit’s maiden project set to blossom.

Other planned resort condominium schemes likely to be launched next year include Plenitude’s 10.6 acre sea front resort development located opposite Rasa Sayang Hotel and Spa, a 42-acre mixed-development joint development project at Mount Pleasure Resort by AP Land and IJM Properties and Bolton’s first project in Penang in Tanjung Bungah – a high rise condominium project comprises two blocks of 28-storeys with total 396 condominium units.

Besides its historical and truly Asia multi-cultures and heritages, Penang has good health care services which is fast catching up with those in developed European countries and good supporting international schools namely St. Christopher International Primary School, The International school of Penang and Dalat international school. Penang Island is certainly a choice liveable city in this region and ideal destination for your holiday and retirement homes. More at related link -Making Penang, Malaysia your second homes.

With only USD72,000 (RM250,000) and above, foreign investors are eligible to purchase and own a resort condominium or holiday home in Penang. There is no restriction for foreign investors to acquire more than one properties. Subsequent disposal of the properties will no longer be subject to any real property gains tax following the recent relaxation of property rulings by the Malaysian Government.

For advisory on property investments in Penang tourism belt, email to us at Izrin &Tan Properties Sdn. Bhd. or call us at +604 6588333 (Penang Office) or +603 92839782 (Kuala Lumpur Office) and we would be pleased to assist.

If you have not visited Penang before or lost touch with Penang for many years, watch this video show by David Chan’s Penang Scenic Slide Show and Lone Pine Hotel’s Penang Scene.

View of the Tanjong Bungah Coastal Area

Coastal Tower along Tanjong Bungah-Batu Feringghi coastal area

View of Eden Seaview in Batu Feringghi

Sri Sayang Service Apartments

Ferringhi Villa, Landed bungalow homes in Batu Feringghi

View of the Batu Ferringhi Beach .