Largest mall up north in the works

Ho (with blue tie) briefing Chow (pointing) on the GEM Soho model. Present (from right) are Ramasamy, Jawi assemblyman H’ng Mooi Lye and Rozali.

THE upcoming GEM development by Belleview Group in Jalan Baru, Prai, with a RM2.5bil gross development value has started and is expected to be completed in 2022.

The 8ha project, which includes four towers of 38-storey residential units, a six-level shopping mall and 20-storey hotel, will be constructed by China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) in three phases.

Belleview Group managing director Datuk Sonny Ho said piling works were currently being conducted before building starts around March.

“Construction will start with the mixed used residential and shop units followed by the hotel and mall.

“The 978 units of GEM Soho feature facilities such as a three-tier security system, a sports and recreational club on the eighth floor, a Sky Park on the 38th floor and easy accessibility by road and public transportation.

“Featuring eight layout designs of one to four bedrooms, sized from 441 sq ft to 1,445 sq ft, the units are priced at about RM400 per sq ft.

“Beside it will be a 320-room four-star hotel and GEM Mall, set to be the largest shopping mall in the northern region covering 4.5ha and total lettable area of 1.2 million sq ft of space for 400 retail shops, ” he said.

Ho said the mall’s anchor tenants include a Sogo department store, Golden Screen Cinemas cineplex with 20 screens for 3,500 seating capacity, a 38-lane bowling centre and an Olympic-sized ice skating rink by Patine Leisure Japan.

Guests having a closer look at a scale model of the GEM condominium on display after the ground-breaking ceremony at Jalan Baru in Prai.Guests having a closer look at a scale model of the GEM condominium on display after the ground-breaking ceremony at Jalan Baru in Prai.

“Under the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP), LRT and monorail stations are planned in front of the development, ” he said after a ground-breaking ceremony at the project’s sales gallery recently.

Ho said the project’s main construction had been awarded to CCCC which built the second Penang bridge and was currently undertaking the reclamation job of Gurney Wharf and East Coast Rail Link.

The project is also a joint venture with LTC Group, which owns SOGO Malaysia.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who was present, announced that GEM would be the first transit-oriented development in Seberang Prai.

“Penang is committed towards success of the PTMP and anticipates for transit-oriented developments to create a more sustainable community and improve public health.

“A community with a strong and reliable transit system and elements of streetscaping can reduce vehicle dependence and congestion.

“PTMP is critical towards not just attaining sustainable prosperity but also delivering a liveable city with public transport connections, ” he said.

Also present were Deputy Chief Minister ll Prof P. Ramasamy, Consul-General of the People’s Republic of China in Penang Lu Shiwei, Seberang Prai City Council mayor Datuk Rozali Mohamud, LTC Group managing director Lionel Cheng and CCCC managing director Allan Ni.

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