The Penang government will adopt the Business Improvement District Scheme (BIDs) to rejuvenate the inner city.
State Local Government and Traffic Management Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said the scheme was popular in many countries but would be the first for the state.
“BIDs will turn Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak (Komtar) and its surrounding area into a premier shopping destination and a bustling cultural, business and social centre.
“We are looking into enhancing connectivity between the commercial enterprises there by eventually linking Komtar to shops along Macalister Road, Campbell Street and Kimberly Street with underpasses and walkways.
“The first phase will be to connect Komtar to Gama and Berjaya Times Square,” he said, adding that BIDs was about creating a safer, more comfortable environment while improving commercial activities to make the place more vibrant.
Chow said a BIDs committee chaired by Penang Development Corporation (PDC) general manager Datuk Rosli Jaafar was set up last September and the project is spearheaded by Think City Sdn Bhd and Khazanah Nasional Bhd.
He said everything was still in the conceptual stage.
Chow was speaking to reporters after opening two link bridges connecting 1st Avenue to Prangin Mall and Komtar yesterday.
On Komtar’s final phase, Rosli said the immediate plan was to clear the area of dilapidated buildings before work could start.
“We have received proposals for boutique hotels and arts and craft trades.
“We want commercial development that’s compatible with the heritage value of the place,” he said, adding that there would also be an urban park for the public.
Comprising five phases, the Komtar project undertaken by the PDC, was launched in 1974. - By The Star