Penang Sentral to take off in 2013

Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) says the Penang Sentral project in Butterworth, estimated to be worth over RM3 billion, will begin in 2013 after more than four years of delay.

Penang Sentral, an integrated mixed commercial development was expected to start in 2008 but works got delayed due to land acquisition matters. MRCB was awaiting federal government allocation to fund the public utility project.

It was then reported that Phase 1, comprising the integrated transportation hub with a retail component, worth an estimated RM400 million, would start in December 2010.

MRCB's property division head of marketing Zamry Ibrahim said construction will begin next year and there would be some changes to the plan, like the incorporation of more green elements in the buildings.

"There is a lot of demand for energy efficient buildings from multi-national companies and local players. We will develop what is required by the market," Zamry told Business Times in an interview recently.

The 9.6ha Penang Sentral will feature a transport terminal for ferries, buses, taxis, trains and a projected monorail station.

Zamry said the terminal will be integrated and surrounded with commercial, residential and retail components, similar to MRCB's Kuala Lumpur Sentral integrated commercial hub in Brickfields.

The 28.8ha KL Sentral development, which started over eight years ago, currently comprises a transport hub for rail, buses and taxis, two hotels, a mall, and several residential and commercial towers.

Penang Sentral, which is part of the Northern Corridor Economic Region initiative, will be developed by MRCB and Pelaburan Hartanah Bumiputera Bhd.

The project is poised to be the catalyst of growth to rejuvenate the economy in the northern region.

It has been reported that Penang Sentral is expected to generate economic spill-over effects of over RM8 billion when it is completed in about 10 years.

It is also expected that with the completion of the KTMB electrified double tracking project, train service between Penang Sentral and KL Sentral will be shorten to three hours. - By Sharen Kaur (Business Times)

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