IJM Land's RM4.5bil The Light City to resume in August

Glittering: Artist impression of The Light City project. A vibrant mix of retail, hospitality, commercial and residential, it is set to catapult Penang into the big league.

GEORGE TOWN: IJM Land Bhd will restart work on the stalled RM4.5bil The Light City project, which is located next to the Penang Bridge, in August.

IJM Perennial Development Sdn Bhd general manager Tan Hun Beng said the construction work was supposed to start in April.

IJM Perennial is a joint-venture company between IJM Corp Bhd and Singapore-based Perennial Real Estate Holdings Ltd to oversee the project.

“But because of the movement control order (MCO), we have to postpone it to August, ” Tan added.

According to Tan, the details of the contract for the project are now being finalised.

“The contract should be awarded in July to the group’s construction subsidiary, Jurutama Sdn Bhd.

“The time is right to start the project because the drop in fuel price will lower the construction cost, ” he said.

Tan added that the project, scheduled for completion within a four-year period, might take longer because of the new SOPs that needed to be adhered to in light of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Last December, IJM Perennial signed with OCBC Bank Bhd, RHB Bank Bhd, CIMB Bank Bhd and Malayan Banking Bhd for a loan facility of over RM1bil to finance the project.

Initially, IJM Land had planned to start work on The Light City in 2018, but given the property market slowdown, the group held back the implementation of the project to revise the plan.

“We made revisions so that the project could be launched in two phases, according to the pace of market demand.

“The new plan can now accommodate more food and beverage outlets and possibly, an experiential themed park in phase two, ” Tan said.

In the revised plan, 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 work on the first phase should create some 1,000 jobs for the local construction industry.

“The first phase is scheduled for completion in 2024, ” Tan said.

Tan said the sales of the Mezzo condominiums and the occupancy of the mall would determine the commencement of the second phase.

“If the response to the condominium and the mall is good, we will start the second phase as soon as possible, ” said Tan.

“The retail mall and the hotel business would be well supported by the convention centre, which is expected to bring in the crowds.

“The meeting, incentive, convention and exhibition market will drive the demand for the convention centre space.

“Our location is well-centralised around the airport, free industrial zone, George Town city and the mainland. This is also an added advantage, ” he added.

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.

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