THREE warehouse buildings in Swettenham Pier, Penang, and the inland portion of Tanjung City Marina off Weld Quay, will be handed to the private sector to be turned into tourist attractions.
Penang Port Commission (PPC) chairman Datuk Tan Teik Cheng said PPC had invited interested companies between Nov 16 last year and March 15 this year to participate in the request for proposal (RFP).
He said several companies had submitted proposals and an evaluation process by several committees was carried out to choose the successful bidder.
“After the evaluation by several groups and professional teams, including Valuation and Property Service Department, and after obtaining approval from the board of directors, PPC will hand over the management rights to the qualified company in early August.
“A consensus has been reached to create a one-stop tourism destination that includes shopping and tourism centres at Swettenham Pier which will drive vibrant economic activities and benefit the state,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.
Tan added that the signing of the lease agreement would be done in early August and Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong would be invited to witness the signing ceremony.
The lease for Warehouses Five, Seven and Eight as well as the inland portion of Tanjung City Marina is for a period of 30 years with an extension option for 15 more years.
“This development will be a flagship project in Malaysia.
“More cruise ships will be attracted to make the pier their home port.
“Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal (SPCT) will be fully upgraded and at the same time, Warehouses Five, Seven and Eight, which have been unused and not in operation for a long time, will be renovated.
“The inland area of Tanjung City Marina can be further developed to complement the cruise ship industry.
“SPCT’s berth was extended from 400m to 620m on May 31.
“This will allow two large-scale cruise ships to berth at SPCT at the same time, with a capacity of 12,000 tourists simultaneously,” he said.
In line with George Town’s status as a Unesco World Heritage Site, Warehouses Five, Seven and Eight will remain in their original appearance after renovation and enhancement.
The project is expected to be completed in 2024.