IPOH folk are happy that its most iconic landmark, the Majestic Station Hotel, will be revived.
They said it was high time that some form of development should take place to give the building, where the Ipoh railway station is housed, a new lease of life.
Perak Tourism Association president Datuk Mohammad Odzman Abdul Kadir welcomed the project.
“It will definitely boost the tourism industry in the city and state, ” he said.
It was reported that an agreement was signed between Railway Assets Corp (RAC) and developer Syarikat Majujaya Hebat Sdn Bhd for the project on Jan 30.
The hotel will be renamed Hotel Grand Majestic and is expected to open in 2023.
Dubbed Ipoh’s Taj Mahal due to its similarities with the renowned building in Agra, India, the Majestic Station Hotel closed down at the end of March 2011.
Mohammad Odzman hopes that all would be in place before the hotel reopens, including public transportation services and information centre.
“There is ample time for the government to get input from locals, ” he added.
E-hailing driver R. Kumar said the new hotel would provide more opportunities for service providers like him.
“This means there will be more jobs for us and other taxi drivers, ” he said.
He suggested that the hotel also have an English-style cafe to benefit train passengers who can relax before their trip.
Meanwhile, Perak Heritage Society committee member Mohd Taib Mohamed hopes the interior designer for the new hotel would ensure the architecture is similar to the railway station building.
“The aspiration and spirit should be based on the neo-classical style of the railway station and Ipoh Town Hall.
“The artist’s impression of the hotel that I have seen does not seem to blend in with both buildings and that is disappointing.
“This is important because it is part of Ipoh Old Town, ” he said.
Mohd Taib hoped restoration work would be planned properly.
“The integrity of the building such as the facade and its architectural details should not be compromised.
“It is listed as a heritage building and the Ipoh City Council will have guidelines on such work, ” he said.
Transport Minister Anthony Loke who was present at the signing ceremony in Putrajaya, had said the hotel would also boost the city’s public transportation sector.
He added that the Kuala Lumpur-Ipoh-Kuala Lumpur was the most popular electric train service route, with over 1.4 million passengers using the service last year.Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu, who was also present, said the revival of the hotel would give a new lease of life to the old Ipoh icon.
He added that Perak Ruler Sultan Nazrin Shah had asked for the facade of the hotel to be retained.
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