Hunza plans hotel to complement mall ops

Close on the heels of opening its sea-fronting Gurney Paragon Mall in the upscale Pulau Tikus neighbourhood here, Hunza Properties Bhd is planning to build a hotel near the area.

Hunza Properties executive chairman Datuk Khor Teng Tong said the proposed four- to five-star hotel, which will boast family suites and rooms, is expected to be ready by 2016.

Without delving into the exact location of the proposed hotel, he said construction is expected to commence in two to three years on land measuring between 0.4ha and 0.6ha.

"The hotel is meant to cater to leisure and medical tourists, who are flocking to Penang, and to complement our Gurney Paragon Mall," he said.

Hunza's Gurney Paragon development comprises a dual-frontage premier shopping mall, luxury residences and an office block.

The mall, which will be officially open today, is built around the restored St Joseph's Novitiate, which currently houses food and beverage outlets, as well as space for cultural and corporate functions.

Khor said the mall - home to retail tenants such as Debenhams, H & M, SAM's Groceria, Michael Kors, Godiva Chocolatier, Rabeanco, Tumi, Canali, Victoria's Secret and Sephora - will be 90 per cent occupied by the end of this year.

"Expected new tenants include TGV Cinemas, which will feature Penang's first IMAX cinema, and gym chains," he added, noting that by the second half of next year, the mall operations are expected to contribute between 30 and 40 per cent to the Hunza group's revenue.

On Hunza's multi-billion ringgit integrated development plans on a 16ha site in Bayan Baru, Khor said it would take more than a decade to be completed.

"We have just relocated 825 affected squatters from the proposed site into 700 high-rise units constructed close to the site," he added. - By Marina Emmanuel (Business Times)

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