I was as excited as many Penangites when we learnt of Eco World’s huge development in Batu Kawan. Well, this has been cancelled. According to reports from many media, Eco World Development Group Bhd and Penang Development Corp (PDC) have agreed to rescind the letter of award (LOA) for the proposed RM10 billion Eco Marina mixed development project. This is because after a detailed planning process, Eco World found out that the land space needed for the golf course is much bigger than previously estimated. Thus, this has affected the viability of the overall project.
Obviously, building a golf course versus residential units, the former meant costs while the latter meant profits. In this case, there are less land for residential units. Eco Marina’s GDV was reported to be RM10 billion and would have taken 10 years to complete. The project’s first phase is expected to include a mixed development of residential and commercial properties. A golf course and club house were supposed to have followed in the subsequent phase. As per the Letter of Acceptance (LOA) in April 2015, Eco World was to buy 121.6 hectares of 99-year leasehold land in Bandar Cassia, Batu Kawan, for RM790.93 million to develop residential and commercial properties. It would also lease the 60.70 hectares for a 30-year period (with an option to renew for another 30 years) for RM65.34 million to develop a golf course with a minimum of 18 holes.
This does not end yet. Eco World president and chief executive officer Datuk Chang Khim Wah in a statement said, “While we accept the unavoidable circumstances which have necessitated the rescission of the LoA, we remain interested in Penang as a value market for Eco World.” Of course, Eco World is not the only developer in mainland Penang or nearby Batu Kawan. There is also another development over a period of ten years. This is still happening currently and I could see some progress overtime I drive into Penang using the second bridge. 2018 IKEA Batu Kawan,RM8 billion development, 10 years to complete Let’s see if another major developer would step in? Perhaps in the upcoming new tender by PDC, we can see more than just one developer participate? That would drive up the value,definitely. Give to the one with the most benefits to Penang. Happy believing in Batu Kawan.
written on 10 June 2016
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