A friend said, even if mainland Penang is RM100,000 cheaper, he would still prefer to live in the island. Actually, if he is talking about Batu Kawan, I think the price difference is higher than the RM100,000 than he is talking about. There has been many articles about mainland Penang versus Penang island side. The main grouse remain that despite all the talk, not many has happened. Eco World may have a huge piece of land in Batu Kawan but nothing has happened yet. IKEA Penang which was so loudly trumpeted had also quietened down.
Fortunately, all these are about to change. Aspen’s Vision City township in Batu Kawan had started earthworks last month. Approval for infrastructure work had also been obtained. The first proper would be the Verve and it will start building end of the year. the Verve is a gated commercial district of 441 shop-offices and it is 85 percent booked. the Verve is a joint venture between Aspen Group and Ikano Pte Ltd. (Yes, IKANO!) At the end of the project would be an IKEA furniture superstore as well as an integrated shopping centre by IKANO which is scheduled for total completion in 2025. (Yes, this is 10 years away) Do not worry, IKEA is scheduled to open in 2018 while the shopping centre in 2020.
The project includes condominiums, retail and serviced suites, hotels, a financial hub, a medical centre and an international school. So, is the attractiveness of Batu Kawan increasing? As usual, it’s a chicken and egg situation. If ALL that was planned can be completed, of course a lot of ‘islanders’ would become ‘mainlanders’. However, for all these shop offices to have sufficient business, they need more residents first. Thus, the condos would have to be fully booked and occupied, right? We shall see what happens when the residential part starts. Hopefully, it’s made affordable so that the first phase of all the residential units are taken and occupied once its completed. IF however, majority buyers are investors, then it will be an uphill task moving forward even if there’s IKEA furniture store. Happy buying.
written on 20 June 2015
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