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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Hunza hires Singapore, KL experts for mall in Penang

GEORGE TOWN: Hunza Properties Bhd (HPB) is looking to conclude some 80 per cent of tenancy deals for its lifestyle shopping mall, which will be ready by the middle of 2013.

Executive chairman Datuk Khor Teng Tong said the company, which plans to hold and manage the mall, a component of its Gurney Paragon development here, has engaged experts from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur to ensure smooth operations of the mall, expected to boast new retail names in Penang.

"The rental income stream from the mall in future will enable the group to have a strong base of recurring income," he told a media briefing here on Wednesday.

Sited on a plot of 4.08ha freehold land, Gurney Paragon is an integrated development comprising two blocks of high-end condominiums, an office block, St Joseph's Novitiate, three-storey podium retail lots and a shopping mall which total some 700,000 sq ft.

Khor said about 57 per cent of net lettable space has been rented out to tenants such as food and beverage outlets and beauty and wellness operators.

Industry experts have also speculated that HPB is looking to list its Gurney Paragon lifestyle mall in a real estate investment trust on Bursa Malaysia some three years after the mall is in operation.

Of the total 220 Gurney Paragon condominiums, only 13 more units have been left unsold and the company is looking to sell these by the end of the year.

On the progress being made on HPB's 6.48ha plot of land acquired in Bayan Baru, Khor said the company expects to complete the required affordable housing units for affected squatters by 2014.

He said of the 800 who are entitled to be compensated, some 200 squatters were not owners of the squatter homes.

"We are looking to construct some 800 units of affordable housing so that squatters who are entitled to be relocated can move into their new units," he added, saying that the new units will be located within close proximity to their existing homes.

"Only once this is done will we break ground on the project, which is currently tagged at RM4 billion," he said.

Land cost and relocation of squatters are expected to cost some RM200 million.

By Business Times

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