YTL new project in George Town heritage area

The heritage enclave of George Town in Penang may see a waterfront development soon.

It is learnt that YTL Corp Bhd will embark on a project, through joint-venture company PDC Heritage Hotel Sdn Bhd, to build luxurious condominiums and an eatery on a 1.4ha seafront site adjacent to the 124-year-old Eastern and Oriental (E&O) Hotel along Lebuh Farqhuar.

PDC Heritage was set up about a decade ago, with YTL Corp holding 51 per cent stake and Penang Development Corp (PDC) the remaining 49 per cent.

It is not known if PDC has since divested its interest in the joint-venture company.
According to sources, the project will feature six blocks of high-end condominiums.

A double-storey building housing food and beverage outlets will also be built on the site where two dilapidated heritage structures are currently standing.

However, the development value of the proposed project is not known.

Local authorities gave PDC Heritage approval in June this year to convert its prime seafront land from leasehold to freehold status.

The land, bordered by the E&O Hotel and St Xavier's Institution, was originally state-owned and had nine pre-war buildings.

In 1996, the land on which sat government staff quarters, the former Public Works Department district engineering office, watchman's quarters and a garage, was alienated to PDC.

In 1998, PDC came under fire from heritage activitists when it demolished the 80-year-old buildings without local council approval to make way for a five-star hotel, which was to be developed by PDC Heritage Hotel.

YTL Corp group managing director Tan Sri Francis Yeoh could not be reached for comment. - By Marina Emmanuel (Business Times)