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Friday, December 16, 2011

Hunza to submit Bayan Baru plan mid-2012

Hunza Properties Bhd (HPB) expects to submit plans to the relevant authorities by the middle of next year for its proposed integrated development in Bayan Baru on Penang island.

The company's executive chairman Datuk Khor Teng Tong yesterday said that international consultants have begun working on a masterplan for the development, which is expected to carry a development value of between RM6 billion and RM7 billion.

The company had purchased 16.9 ha of prime land in Bayan Baru for RM82 million.

"Our plans will be in tandem with the Penang state goverment's vision to turn the island state into an international city," Khor told reporters after the company's annual shareholders meeting.

Khor said the company has initiated getting the necessary approvals from the state authorities to build affordable housing units for squatters affected by the proposed project.

"Over and above the 16.9ha land, we also purchased 1.6 ha in the surrounding area in order to build around 1,000 low-cost units to house the affected squatters," he added.

"Once all approvals are obtained, we expect to complete building the affordable homes within 18 months."

Khor also said the Gurney Paragon condominiums, which are located at the sea-fronting Gurney Drive promenade, are now 70 per cent sold with its certificate of fitness for occupation obtained in June this year.

"Construction work on our Gurney Paragon lifestyle shopping mall continues and is targeted for completion during the second half of 2012," he said, adding that the first phase of the Gurney Paragon mall (which comprises food and beverage outlets housed in the historical St Joseph's Novitiate premises) will open soon.

He added that HPB's leasing team has been tasked with ensuring an optimum tenant mix and one of the main features of the new mall would be to bring in established shops and operators that are not present in Penang as yet.

For its 2011 financial year ended June 30, HPB recorded RM63.7 million in net profit after tax and minority interest. This compares with RM50.9 million during the previous corresponding year.

By Business Times

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