GEORGE TOWN: IJM Land Bhd will start construction of its RM4.5bil The Light City project, which is located next to the Penang Bridge, no later than April next year.
IJM Perennial Development Sdn Bhd general manager Tan Hun Beng told StarBiz that the group expected to receive approvals for the planning permission and building plan from the local authorities in November and early February, respectively.
“Construction work is scheduled to start no later than April, ” Tan said.
IJM Perennial is a joint-venture company formed by IJM Corp Bhd and Singapore’s Perennial Real Estate Holdings Ltd to oversee the project.
“The first phase will have a mall with a 680,000-sq-ft net lettable area, the Penang Waterfront Convention Centre, a four-star hotel with 500 rooms, offices and the Mezzo residential condominiums.
“The second phase will have a 300,000-sq-ft mall, a five-star hotel with 250 rooms, offices and the Essence residential condominiums. The first phase is scheduled for completion in 2024, ” Tan said.
Tan added that The Light City was supposed to start work in 2018, but because of the property market slowdown, the plan had to be revised.
“Because of the property market slowdown, we redesigned the plan of the scheme so that the mall could be launched in two phases, according to the pace of market demand.
“The revised plan can now accommodate more food and beverage outlets and possibly, an experiential themed park in phase two, ” Tan said.
IJM Land senior general manager (north) Datuk Toh Chin Leong said the commencement of the second phase would depend on the sales of the Mezzo condominiums and the occupancy of the mall.
“If the sales and occupancy of the mall are good, we will start the second phase as soon as possible, ” said Toh.
“The retail mall and the hotel business would be well supported by the convention centre, which is expected to bring in the crowds.
“The demand for convention centre space is driven by the meeting, incentive, convention and exhibition market, which is booming in Penang.
“Our location is well-centralised around the airport, free industrial zone, George Town city and the mainland. This is also an added advantage, ” explained Toh.
Meanwhile, Penang Master Builders and Building Materials Dealers Association adviser Datuk Lim Kai Seng said the The Light City project would generate about RM2bil worth of jobs for the local construction industry.
“About 40% of the RM4.5bil gross development value would need to be spent on construction works and another 10% for renovation works.
“The first phase alone should generate over RM1.3bil worth of construction jobs, ” Lim said.
IJM is one of Malaysia’s leading conglomerates with businesses in construction, property, plantations, industry and infrastructure. It has operations in 10 countries, with the primary focus on Malaysia, India, the United Arab Emirates, China and Indonesia.
Perennial is an integrated real estate and healthcare company headquartered and listed in Singapore.
As a real estate owner, developer and manager, Perennial focuses strategically on large-scale, mixed-use developments. It has operations in China, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar and Ghana with a combined portfolio spanning over 65 million sq ft in gross floor area.