I was based in Penang for 15 years after my graduation. The last office I was based before I moved to KL was in Penang Road and there are many historical buildings nearby including the Eastern and Oriental Hotel of Penang which was just opposite my office. Georgetown is a UNESCO Heritage City and thus, any development must take this into account because we do not wish to infringe on any of the conditions for continuation of the status.
This UNESCO Heritage City will have another upcoming attraction and it’s just slightly over 1km down the road from Eastern and Oriental Hotel. It’s known as the Eastern Seafront Development (ESD) project and it will start in 2020 with the Promenade Walk above the sea being the top attraction. This Promenade Walk along the waterfront would start from the Swettenham Pier in Esplanade to the abandoned Tanjung City Marina.
Article in thestar.com.my (It’s an exclusive article) Penang Port Commission (PPC) chairman Jeffrey Chew said, “The estimated cost is over RM1bil. The seamless promenade walkway is expected to start in the first quarter of next year with the entire project to be completed in 2024.” The PPC is the owner of the land parcel along the coastal stretch after the Astaka until the Rapid Penang Bus Terminal in Weld Quay.
The projects in the ESD include the expansion of the Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal (SPCT) and the upgrading of the ground transport area (GTA), including port warehouses, a yacht club and the Tanjung City Marina. He said, “We are unlocking the land bank with the RM155mil SPCT expansion (set to commence in the first quarter of next year) and the warehouse development, which has been given to a private company.”
He added, “George Town World Heritage Incorporated will be involved in its planning every step of the way. The development will have retail, culture and duty free elements while maintaining its original heritage value. The warehouses are set to be ready in 2022.” Do read the full article with a lot more details here: Article in thestar.com.my (It’s an exclusive article)
Every weekend, Georgetown is bustling with people. Lots of foreigners and we could see this is making the expansion of Penang International Airport compulsory. I think that’s good thing for the economy. In fact there are today so many shops renting out bicycles to tourists which meant that the tourists are touring the city centre versus just going to one particular attraction and leave.
Of course, if I would suggest, it may even be better if we start having more roads which are closed to cars. With more people on foot and cycling, we will have even more economic activities as people will have more time and more opportunities to browse shops which they could otherwise miss if they were inside a car. All the best and hoping for a smooth development of ESD.
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