RM650mil Hunza projects

Hunza Properties Bhd is launching about RM650mil of residential properties in Kepala Batas in Seberang Prai and Tanjung Bungah on Penang island this year.

Group executive chairman Datuk Khor Teng Tong told StarBiz that residential properties worth about RM300mil in gross development value (GDV), comprising double-storey semi-detached, terraced, and low-medium cost houses, had been planned for Kepala Batas.

“We have already started work on the houses and will launch the properties for sale in the second half of 2012,” Khor said. “After the launch, the group will still have about 350 acres of undeveloped land-bank in Kepala Batas, which will be used for residential development.”

In Tanjung Bungah, Khor said the group would launch Alila 2, a 265-unit condominium project, in the second half of this year. It would have a GDV of about RM350mil.

“The condominium units will have built-up areas ranging from 1,700 to 3,000 sq ft,” he said.

On the group's proposed mixed-development project with an approximate GDV of RM6bil to RM7bil on a 16.2ha site in Bayan Baru, Khor said the group had engaged two internationally renowned architect consultants to advise on the master plan.

He said the group had just acquired a 2ha land to develop 1,000 low-cost homes for the households currently occupying the over 16.2ha site. “We have initiated steps to obtain approval from the local authorities to develop the low-cost homes.”

Khor also said the group was targeting to complete the Gurney Paragon shopping mall in November 2012.

“So far we have committed to lease out about 45% of the over 700,000 sq ft of nettable area of the shopping mall,” he said.

On the preservation of St. Joseph's Novitiate building in Gurney Paragon, now known as St. Jo's, Khor said the group had spent RM10mil to restore the heritage structure and a further RM3.5mil to transform it into a new dining and entertainment hub in Penang.

“Hunza will work hard to continue to bring in established names that have yet to set up a presence in Penang to open their businesses in Gurney Paragon,” he said.

Khor said the multi-purpose hall of St. Jo's would be used for hosting events such as meetings, conventions, and weddings.

St. Jo's was completed and formally opened in 1918 by the De La Salle Brothers, who pioneered education in Malaysia and around the world. - By David Tan (The Star)

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