E&O Hotel extension was scaled down

The developer of a high-rise hotel within the heritage zone said it had scaled down the project due to the importance of George Town's status as a Unesco World Heritage site.

Eastern and Oriental Bhd Group communications and investor relations director Lyn Chai said the company reduced the E&O Hotel extension from 28 floors to 16 floors.

Despite obtaining approval to build an additional 100 suites in 1995, she said the company realised that having Unesco status would boost Penang's image.

"We are aware of the numerous bidding processes that Penang undertook to get the elusive Unesco status.

"That is why we also want to play a part to preserve it. The company could have gone ahead to complete the entire 28 storeys but we chose not to do so," she told the New Straits Times in a telephone interview from Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Chai said the company opted for a sympathetic stand at the expense of its business in a bid to see George Town prosper as a heritage site.

She said this when commenting on the company's project at Lebuh Farquhar, which is at the heritage enclave buffer zone.

Chai said the E&O Hotel full-suite new block sits on the existing car park.

Meanwhile, state Tourism Committee chairman Danny Law said the state heritage management committee headed by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng would meet with developers, property owners and heritage conservationists to iron out the implementation details of heritage guidelines next month.

He said the state government and the Penang Island Municipal Council had formed a local government working committee to churn out a set of binding policies with all the stakeholders.


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