The rich moving to southern coast Penang

Once considered a backwater area, Penang island’s south-west and south-east coastal areas are now coveted prime locations for millionaires and foreigners.

With the convenience of the Jelutong Expressway, international airport and Penang Bridge, the coastal areas with a scenic view of the channel and bridge have been the focus of several major developers including the Kuala Lumpur-based IJM Properties, Techware, Ivory Properties Group, Prima Prai Group and Penang Development Corporation Properties Sdn Bhd (PDCP).

The modern, high-end homes have attracted many Malaysia My Second Home Programme (MM2H) residents, expatriates working in the nearby Bayan Lepas MNCs as well as wealthy locals with some extra change to spare.

Among the new luxury bungalows and high-end condominiums dotting the coastline and surrounding areas are Putra Marine Resort, The Sanctuary, The View Twin Towers, The Spring, Nautilas Bay and D’Residence.

The Putra Marine Resort is an 18-storey building comprising 126 condominium, duplex and penthouse units while The View Twin Towers in Glugor consists of two 29-storey condominium blocks and a total of 164 units – all offering unobstructed view of the sea and city.

In Batu Uban, there is The Sanctuary – a luxury bungalow project designed by renowned Australian architect John Colliere.

Besides The Nautilas Bay by-the-sea, triple-storey courtyard homes along the promenade, IJM’s upcoming The Spring exclusive condominiums will see 396 sea-view units being developed under the tropical garden concept.

In addition, PDCP’s D’Residence bungalow village – a prestigious project in Bayan Mutiara, will be completed soon and is already sold out.

According to PDCP chief executive officer Osman Kallahan, gross development value (GDV) of the bungalow village was estimated to be worth RM250mil.

“We will use the profits to construct 536 low-medium and medium cost apartments on 22,864.7sq m of land in Bayan Mutiara itself.

“Both projects are scheduled to start construction in July 2009 and completed in December 2010,” he said, adding that other upcoming low cost housing projects included flats in Sungai Nibong and Bayan Baru, low-medium cost flats in Pantai Jerejak, Lebuh Cecil and Bayan Baru, and medium cost apartments in Bayan Baru and Sungai Nibong.

“These are expected to be completed between 2009 and 2011. Although D’Residence is our most prestigious project to date, I want to stress that we have not and will not neglect the community’s need for affordable housing,” he said.

Bayan Mutiara is a self-contained, mixed development on approximately 627,262.7sq m of prime land located on the south-eastern foreshore of the island. Out of that, 119,301.3sq m is D’Residence.

Under Phase One of D’Residence development, a total of 113 superlink, twin, supreme and premium bungalows with prices starting from RM880,000 are being built.

Phase Two would include 50 twin, supreme and premium bungalows. The first phase would be completed by March while the second would be ready in December next year.

“D’Residence has received overwhelming response. Both phases are sold out,” he said, stressing that since the company was wholly-owned by Penang Development Corporation (PDC), PDCP would continue to provide affordable homes for the people.

“We build homes for every stratum of society but fundamentally, we are still driven by the people’s needs – and that is an objective that will never change,” he said, adding that although PDCP was not profit motivated, the company adopted a private company approach in terms of getting things done.

“My background is that of a private developer so the way I run things here is similar – we focus on good business sense, efficiency, quality and excellence in every project we embark on.

“That is why we did not build low cost housing on the Bayan Mutiara coastal land – no smart businessman would have done that because it would mean not maximising the plot’s full value.

“We had to come up with a development that made good economic sense and was still very beneficial to society.

“This is in the best interest of the people because profits obtained will be used to build more affordable and better quality homes for the community in other areas,” he said.

Osman said all profits from the company’s development projects would be used for building affordable housing on the island and Batu Kawan for the next five years.

“Our development plan is to build 45% low cost, 31% medium cost, 16% medium-high cost and 8% high cost homes,” he said, adding that in the past 35 years, PDC had built 22,000 homes.

“However, since PDCP was incorporated three years ago, we have conducted a whole new re-branding exercise.

“Prior to 2005, PDCP was merely a housing division under the PDC.

“D’Residence proves that a government-linked company (GLC) can deliver excellence and quality,” he said.

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