Last week when I reviewed the top 10 property investment hot spots of 2013 in Malaysia, I did touch a little bit of about Penang Island. Since, I received few emails, requesting me to cover Penang Island review in English language as well. The reason being some of the readers are not good in Chinese language or had never got the chance to learn it. Some have given comments that although they are Chinese by ethnic, their Chinese language is “as good as Tamil language”, thus based on such request, I would write the Penang review in 2 languages, which is in line with our blog’s theme, i.e. Bilingual Property Blog, as we are the only bilingual property review blog in the country.
For Penang property investment, the concentration has been in the Southern part of the Island. This is because the Northern Beach Areas such as from Gurney Drive, Tanjong Tokong, Batu Feringgi, Tanjung Bungah till Teluk Bahang, are flooded with many new developments, there are many projects still under constructions and currently there are oversupplies of condominiums in this vicinities, resulting in “got price but no market” or “price stagnant but no active transactions” kind of situation. Even the popular landed gated and guarded property such as the Moonlight Bay, after Vped for 3 years, the occupancy rate is still low, the occupancy rate is still disappointing low at around 20%, there are still some units available from developer, Ivory Properties, the biggest property developer in Penang.
Above Pic: Moonlight Bay by Ivory Property.
The central part of the Island or Georgetown area has been classified as UNESCO world heritage site, thus there are a numbers of restrictions on the new development such as the maximum height of the new building not to exceed 5 levels and etc. The recent launching of Shorefront Luxury Condominium which next to E&O hotel, needs to follow the UNESCO requirement, when doing their product planning.
Thus the only potential development area is at the south east part of Penang Island. This area covers from the 1st Penang Bridge till the Second Bridge in Batu Maung. There are few big projects ongoing for now in this area. To name a few:-
1) Setia Pearl Island (112 acres), Setia Green, Setia Vista in Sungai Ara, and Setia new commercial development called Setia Spice, in PISA area, inclusive of Intenational Convention and Exhibition Area.
2) Mah Sing’s South Bay development. Southbay township sits on a prime 35-acre site and features integrated commercial and lifestyle developments made up of a mixture of residential suites, office suites, Grade A offices, retail outlets, hotel and resort, and other recreational attractions. (Sources: Mah Sing’s website)
3) IJM’s The LIGHT Waterfront Penang, Pearl Regency Luxury Condo, The Adress, Vertique. For commercial, The Maritime. Besides, IJM also in the plan of building Penang Waterfront Conventional Center (PWCC). Both SP Setia SPICE/ Pisa and IJM’s PWCC can also be used to run the concert.
Based on the above 2 heavy weights conventional centers in the making, Penang will become the hot spots for international convention events. Penang airport has been extended to accommodate the growing numbers of international flights. Since the new DAP government in power in 2008, the Penang has gained greater attention and popularity from foreign investors, one of the indicators would be the number of international flights, for example, flights to and from Penang-Singapore has been increase to 40 flights per week, compared to only 8 flights per week between these 2 international cities before 2008. Flights to other major cities like Bangkok, Hong Kong, Ho Chee Mint City also been increased tremendously.
Below is the brief information on the 2 conventional centers:-
1) SPICE （By SP Setia)
SPICE, or the Subterranean Penang International Conference & Exhibition Centre, is an exhibition centre presently under construction at PISA, Bayan Baru, Penang. It is also often written as sPICE. The project said to cost between RM250 million to RM300 million is being developed by SP Setia Group for the Penang State Government.
SPICE will involve the construction of a semi-subterranean facility for conferences and exhibition. It will enlarge the area available at the Penang International Sports Arena. The project was originally called the Peanng International Convention Centre (PICC) but was renamed in an announcement made by Penang Chief Minister as mentioned in a report in the Star on 16 January, 2011.
SPICE will include the Penang People’s Park, which provides environmentally friendly recreational facilities. I suppose the existing swimming pool at PISA will be upgraded and improved as part of the project. In addition, there will be a ball room and other function rooms. There will also be a multi-storey car park enabling the entire site to have a total of 2,200 parking lots.
The SPICE project has not been without controversy. Residents of Bayan Baru, Relau and other surrounding areas are concerned that SPICE will cause an increase in traffic congestion. As with many controversial projects in Penang (ie the Penang Bridge, the Jelutong Expressway, etc.), there would be many naysayers, but once the benefit is realized, the criticisms are quickly forgotten. Having said that, they are also controversial projects that stick out like sore thumb after their implementation. It goes to be seen whether SPICE will join the former or the latter
2) PWCC (Penang Waterfront Conventional Center, PWCC) – By IJM
隨著檳州政府宣佈將湖內檳城國際體育競技場（PISA）改建為州內首座會展中心“sPICE”後，如今，又有新的一座會展中心出現在島上，恭候國際商家選擇。這座傲立在檳城大橋旁（E-gate對面），望向一整片蔚藍大海的新博覽場地名為“檳城海濱會展中心”（Penang Waterfront Convention Centre，PWCC），面積超過1萬平方公尺，耗資約3億4千600萬令吉。
“檳城海濱會展中心”除了作大型會議及展覽用途之外，還能當成演唱會場地，可供9千個座位，是國內少有的世界級場地。此外，其附近還有設有酒店、購物廣場、辦公大樓和豪華公寓等，生活機能健全。該中心由IJM置地工程（IJM LAND）及新加坡新達城國際會議展覽中心（Singapore Suntec International Convention&Exhibition Center）的擁有單位Suntec國際合建，並由後者管理。