Eco World's RM1bil 190ha mega deal, set to be big player in Penang

Eco World Development Group Bhd will ink a deal next week with the Penang Development Corp (PDC) to purchase 190.2ha in Batu Kawan and in the process become a major property developer in the state.

Sources said Eco World, which was the only bidder for the land, would pay about RM1bil or RM50 per sq ft for the 190.2ha.

The group will sign the sale and purchase agreement with PDC at a later date, but it is learnt that the award would be handed out next week in a ceremony to be attended by Eco World chairman Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin.

According to sources, Eco World is planning a major township development on the 190.2ha that is estimated to have a gross development value of RM10bil and is expected to last several years.

“Eco World is paying over RM50 per sq ft for the leasehold land that will have a development density of 60 units per acre. Eco World will use 60.7ha for the development of the golf course and the remainder for a mixed-development project comprising 60% residential and 40% commercial properties,” sources said.

Eco World will develop a waterfront city overlooking the island, a shopping mall, hotels and serviced condominiums for the site.

The purchase of the land will be the second parcel in Batu Kawan for Eco World. It already owns 24.28ha in the area on which it plans to launch an RM920mil mixed development called EcoMeadows, comprising 50% residential and 50% commercial components, in the second half of the year.

The initial commercial phase of EcoMeadows is expected to be launched in the third quarter of the year.

Another of Eco World’s projects – EcoTerraces located in Paya Terubong – is a low-density, luxury condominium project conceptualised to showcase a stunning landscape of cascading pools and abundant greenery, priced at RM800 per sq ft.

The residential phase of EcoMeadows comprises 3-storey terraces in a guarded and gated scheme in Batu Kawan, priced at between RM700,000 and RM800,000 per unit.

The residential and commercial projects in Seberang Prai will be boosted by the state government’s plan to expand the development of Batu Kawan.

Since PDC put up the 190.2ha for sale, only Eco World was prepared to participate in the exercise. The developer is known for its township development and has so far been able to price its products at a premium compared to its peers.

PDC has some 8,000 acres that is available for development in Batu Kawan.

investPenang director Datuk Lee Kah Choon had said in an earlier interview that stripping out some 2,000 acres from the gross 8,000 acres for infrastructure development, PDC was still left with a net 6,000 acres for industrial, mixed development, residential and eco-tourism projects.

Henry Butcher Seberang Prai senior manager Fook Tone Huat said that depending on the location, the sub-sale price of commercial property had increased between 50% and 100% since 2011.

The 3-storey shop offices in Bandar Sunway in Seberang Jaya have increased to RM600 per sq ft from RM300 per sq ft in 2011.

Since the announcement of the second bridge in 2006, property prices in Seberang Prai and on the island have surged significantly.

The price of vacant land in the area, especially in south Seberang Prai where Batu Kawan and the second bridge are located, is now hovering between RM40 and RM50 per sq ft, a huge jump from the RM8-RM9 per-sq-ft range in 2006, according to Fook.

Land prices in central and north Seberang Prai are now within the range of RM50-RM100 per sq ft, compared with RM20-RM40 per sq ft then. - By The Star

No comments