Thursday, February 6, 2014

EcoWorld - Second Penang Bridge

The Second Penang Bridge opening is likely to see the entry of Eco World Development Group Bhd in Penang as the company looks to emerge as the biggest landowner in Batu Kawan.

Eco World is participating in a request for proposal (RFP) by Penang Development Corporation (PDC) to buy 190 hectares on a hillock close to the landing point of the new crossing between Batu Kawan in Seberang Prai and Batu Maung on the island.

It is further learnt that the winning bidder will have to develop a golf course on 60ha of the total 190ha plot.

Eco World is currently (Feb 2014) the only company that has shown interest in bidding for the land, for which the bid is expected to open at RM45 per sq ft.

If Eco World succeeds in its bid, an affordable housing component will also feature on mainland Penang, where the company has already acquired some land in Seberang Prai Selatan.

Sources said that if Eco World, with nationwide landbank of 1,200ha (of which about 40ha are in Penang), wins, its chief operating officer Datuk S.Rajoo will be making a comeback to Penang to oversee the development of the mammoth project. Rajoo was formerly SP Setia Bhd’s northern region general manager.

The RFP is for an international theme park and golf resort development at Bandar Cassia in Batu Kawan.

The PDC is said to be inviting local and foreign firms to bid for the purchase and development of 87ha for the international theme park, and the 190ha, which Eco World is making a bid for, is meant for a golf resort development.

The RFP, which was advertised on August 14 2013, listed October 31 2013 as its closing date. No official word, however, is out on the status of the successful bidders.

In Jan 2014, Penang-based property developer Aspen Vision Sdn Bhd had formed a partnership with Ikano Pte Ltd – the regional franchaise holder for Swedish home furnishing store Ikea. Aspen-Ikano Sdn Bhd is to carry out a mixed development project comprising offices and residences over a 99ha site.

The land, which is strategically located at the landing point of the Second Penang Bridge, is set to be developed over 10 years. It will include 12.1ha for the development of an Ikea store and the first phase of a shopping mall development (due to break ground next year and will take five years to complete), 18.2ha for the development of the shopping mall's second phase, and 68.7ha for mixed development.

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