He joins, New launches, Penang gains

An industry veteran so famous that any connection to him means ‘sure successful’ thus far, Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin has joined Eco World Development Group Bhd as a non independent & non executive director. His son, Liew Tian Xiong is already a Director in Eco World. This has been speculated for a long time but is announced recently. Nevertheless, Tan Sri will continue to be the chairman of Battersea Project Holding Company Limited as well as the managing director of Qinzhou Development (Malaysia) Consortium Sdn Bhd.

On a separate occasion, Eco World will be launching a huge project by Penang’s standard, a RM1.26 Billion GDV development called EcoTerraces and EcoMeadows. If based on name alone, I’d buy EcoMeadows. However, EcoTerraces is in island while EcoMeadows is in Perai. The RM340mil EcoTerraces is a RM340 million project sited on a 5.26 acre land. It comprises of luxury landed homes, condominium units, and a private residents’ club about five minutes from Air Itam town in the northeast district. The preview is expected in August which is already the second half of 2014. Perfect timing perhaps?

Their second project on a much larger piece of land of 24.28ha land would be launched next year. this is the RM920 million mixed development EcoMeadows. The main attraction would be the fact that it is freehold and very near to the second link. I seriously think this project would be a great success because of their brand name which has been built thus far. However, pricing should not be too premium to ensure fast take up. This is because Eco World is not the only developer with lands near the second link and everyone would be rushing to follow their launching.

Eco World’s Group president and chief executive officer, Datuk Chang Khim Wah is also confident that the second half of the year will see a recovery from the lacklustre first half due to the cooling measures from Bank Negara. He likes Penang because of its strong underlying demand, good economic prospects and contiued job creation on both the island and the mainland.

I always love all these new developments in Penang, especially by huge and established developers. The reason being, for any development to really take off, the plan has to be an integrated one and any small developer definitely cannot be the catalyst. However, a few huge developers can do it. Remember how Sungai Ara was not seen as a popular area before SP Setia? Or the Tanjung Seri Pinang which has created a totally new space in Tanjung Tokong? Do not forget Balik Pulau’s MTT integrated development as well. They even built a British International School to support the whole development! All these means exciting times will continue for Penang. I think anyone thinking of long term investment in Penang should be smiling.

written on 12 May 2014

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