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Friday, December 12, 2008

Gurney Paragon mall delayed

A model of Gurney Paragon. Inset: Datuk Khor Teng Tong.

GEORGE TOWN: Hunza Properties Bhd has delayed the construction of the RM400mil Gurney Paragon shopping mall on Penang island, said group executive chairman Datuk Khor Teng Tong.

Construction work on the mall was originally scheduled to begin in September, Khor said.

“But we decided to hold back because the cost of building materials is still high,” he told reporters after the group AGM yesterday.

“Although the price of steel has dropped, the other aggregates such as sand and cement are still costly.

“We will review the situation in March before setting a fresh target (for the) completion date.”

He added that “the present cost of building the shopping mall, taking into consideration also the cost of land, is about RM400mil.”

The Gurney Paragon shopping mall, with a gross built-up area of over one million sq ft with 700,000 sq ft of lettable area, was originally scheduled for completion in 2010.

But the construction of two condominium blocks in the Gurney Paragon project, which had a a gross development value of RM400mil, would continue and should be completed in 2010, as planned, Khor said.

“We started work last July and (work) has been going on non-stop since. Some 50% of the 220 units have been sold,” he added.

On the soft property market environment ahead, Khor said the group would still look for land for new projects in prime locations on the island and in the Klang Valley.

“We are also planning new residential projects in Tanjung Bungah on the island, Bertam on the mainland, and in Segambut (in Kuala Lumpur),” he said.

The group still has about 755 acres of undeveloped land in Tanjung Bungah (nine acres), Bertam (400 acres), Juru (40 acres), Sungai Petani (300 acres) and Segambut (six acres).

On its 36-storey “super-condominium” Infinity project in Tanjung Bungah, Khor said the group had recently completed the 26th storey. “It is scheduled for completion next year. About 60% of the project has been sold.”

By The Star (by David Tan)

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