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Old September 18th, 2005, 02:06 PM   #1
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Bayan Bay is now QUEENSBAY

Saturday September 17, 2005


Chew Piau’s comeback

BY DARSHINI M. NATHAN & JOSE BARROCK


SINCE Tan Chew Piau's absence of more than a decade from the public eye following the disposal of his controlling stake in his listed vehicle Chew Piau Bhd, there has only been mild curiosity surrounding his activities.

In recent months, however, reference to the construction magnate who later diversified into property development is popping up quite regularly. Recently, it was announced that one of his property assets – CP Tower in Petaling Jaya – would be sold to CIMB-Mapletree Management Sdn Bhd. There was also talk that Eastin Hotel, Tan's sole hotel asset, was up for grabs.

News of this kind has naturally given rise to the question of whether Tan is withdrawing from the local real estate scene for good.

As it turns out, this could not be furthest from the truth.

Tan is making a comeback - in a really big way.

He has sunk his teeth into a 73-acre chunk of abandoned land on Penang island. The original project that was destined for the area has now been revived and reworked and is estimated to carry a gross development value of more than RM1bil. This will be enough to keep Tan busy over the next five years at least.

Having grouped his team together for the mammoth task, Tan is now intent on bringing to fruition the largest integrated township folks on the island have ever seen. And with it, he aims to introduce lifestyle concepts, which until now have been almost exclusively targeted at Klang Valley urbanites.

Under the renamed Queensbay development, the CP group intends to launch a string of high-end offerings in Penang's Bayan Lepas area to attract the more discerning home buyers.

“It is a lifestyle that we are bringing to the purchasers and that will be the project's major draw. The Penang market is certainly big enough to cater to exclusive upmarket developments like this. It is a very niche market and there are enough affluent people there to absorb products like these,” Tan, who is the group's executive chairman, tells Bizweek.



Opportunity comes knocking


Chew Piau

Tan's involvement in the stalled project is hardly coincidental. The CP group was identified by the project's original owners as the developer most suited to undertake the rescue of the Bayan Bay development, as it was formerly known.

“I was called because of my track record in construction and property development. I have rescued other projects in the past as well,” he says.

The project's original developer was Bayan Bay Development Sdn Bhd, which was 70% owned by Anson Perdana Bhd and 30% by Penang Development Corp. Anson Perdana fell into financial distress following the Asian financial crisis (Anson Perdana is now under liquidation).

The prolonged adverse economic conditions following the crisis saw to it that several earlier attempts to revive the project fell flat. “There were just too many risks involved in embarking on such a large-scale development,” Tan says.

Coupled with that is the fact that one of the rescue conditions is that the white knight would have to first complete the megamall, the project's largest component.

Bayan Bay Development stipulated this for the sole reason that the situation had become untenable for those who had purchased units within the mall prior to the project being shelved.

“Many had taken loans and are currently servicing them with nothing to show for it. So there was some political pressure to complete the mall as well.

“But this condition also means that a massive capital commitment is required upfront... easily more than RM200mil. This is what put off a lot of potential investors,” Tan comments.




The work begins now



Tan has worked this little twist into his strategy to good effect. He reckons that completing the megamall first would work to his advantage, as it would give the area the critical mass required to attract purchasers to take up the corporate offices and retail office suites that will be launched later.

To this end, the modified plan has increased the mall's net lettable area to 1.2 million sq ft from the 1 million sq ft planned initially. The completed mall will stretch over half a kilometre and span a gross area of 2.6 million sq ft. Jusco has signed on as an anchor tenant.

Tan says the mall has all the makings of a regional shopping destination. The mall will be positioned to cater to the middle-to-upper class segments.

“Penang lacks properly managed malls. Most of the lots in the malls are sold as individual units and as such there is no control over what the owners do to them. Here, we have controlling rights and we will undertake the management of the entire mall,” he elaborates.

Work on Queensbay's first phase, which will comprise shop offices, landed properties, condominiums and the shopping mall, commenced in the second quarter of this year.

The RM500mil that is required to fund the first phase of the project will be obtained via a combination of internally generated funds and borrowings.

Given that construction of the mall is a month and a half ahead of schedule to-date, Tan says the targeted opening of the complex has now been brought forward to October 2006 as opposed to the mid-2007 deadline stipulated under the scheme of arrangement with the project's original owners and creditors.




The icing



Arguably, the principal attraction of Queensbay will be its prime waterfront and Tan has every intention of exploiting that aspect of the project.

“We will have a lot of developments that face the waterfront as well as exclusive residential developments in the form of gated communities.”

The pricing of the residential units such as the semi-detached units and waterfront bungalows and villas will be in the range of RM800,000 and RM2.5mil.

A property consultant reckons that the CP group's residential units should be well received given the buoyant demand for upmarket lifestyle offerings on the island.

“Properties in Penang priced upward of RM1mil tend to attract a bigger market segment as interest would not be restricted to Penangites alone. Instead, such developments tend to garner a substantial portion of sales from investors from Hong Kong and Singapore,” he says.

Still, location is a crucial determinant of a development's success. And thus far, the high-end offerings in Penang have been concentrated along the Northeast corridor.

In fact, E&O Property Development Bhd is set to launch the first phase of its Tanjung Pinang mixed development project along Tanjung Tokong on Penang island soon.

The 980-acre development on reclaimed land will feature a mixture of landed residential and commercial properties.

There too the initial plan was reworked when Datuk Terry Tham Ka Hon took over the project so that the earlier 20:80 residential-commercial mix was reversed in order to capitalise on the area's pent-up demand for landed residential units.

“Locations like Tanjung Bungah, Batu Feringgi and Gurney have always been highly sought after because of the aesthetic value and prestige of the area. Bayan Lepas, on the other hand, hasn't carved an image as an upmarket area so pricing in this case could be the make or break factor,” the consultant says.

He also cautions that recent years have seen a number of renowned developers from the Klang Valley moving up north to entice homebuyers in Penang. “Most of them appear to be going after the same segment. So, if demand is constant, this could lead to slower uptake for newer developments”.

And with the country's inflation rate at a record high, up-graders could be forced to hold out for economic conditions to improve before committing to a pricier investment.

“At times of uncertainty, upmarket developments tend to take a back seat to affordable housing. A lot depends on sentiment and where people feel the economy is headed,” a property analyst with a foreign research house says.

Elsewhere, a plan is underway to inject Tan's remaining property asset, Eastin Hotel and construction outfit Tanigra Construction Sdn Bhd, into listed entity Tenco Bhd.

It stands to reason that should the reverse takeover of Tenco go through, the follow-up to the plan would be to inject the Queensbay project into Tenco. In fact, this could very likely have been the ultimate objective of undertaking a reverse takeover of Tenco.

The injection of Queensbay into a listed vehicle will ensure that the funding required for the mammoth-sized project does not become an issue.

Tenco's proposed revamp plan involves the transfer of its listing status to Tanigra Construction. Tanigra is to acquire the entire interest in Tenco which will be satisfied via the issuance of 37 million new Tanigra shares. This works out to a share swap of 7 new Tanigra shares for every 10 Tenco shares held.
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"the said Municipality of George Town shall on the First Day of January in the Year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and fifty seven and forever thereafter be a city and shall be called and styled the CITY OF GEORGE TOWN instead of the Municipality of George Town and shall thenceforth have all such rank, liberties, privileges and immunities as are incident to a city." - Queen Elizabeth II
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Old September 18th, 2005, 02:08 PM   #2
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some old pics of the abandoned mall



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THE CITY OF GEORGE TOWN, PENANG (1ST JANUARY 1957)

"the said Municipality of George Town shall on the First Day of January in the Year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and fifty seven and forever thereafter be a city and shall be called and styled the CITY OF GEORGE TOWN instead of the Municipality of George Town and shall thenceforth have all such rank, liberties, privileges and immunities as are incident to a city." - Queen Elizabeth II
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Old September 18th, 2005, 04:11 PM   #3
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AT LAST!! shes back on track after soo many years! does that mean construction will start soon?

Quote:
To this end, the modified plan has increased the mall's net lettable area to 1.2 million sq ft from the 1 million sq ft planned initially. The completed mall will stretch over half a kilometre and span a gross area of 2.6 million sq ft. Jusco has signed on as an anchor tenant.
does that also mean that this baby will be the biggest/largest mall in Penang after its build!?

Last edited by SEED; September 18th, 2005 at 04:17 PM.
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Old September 18th, 2005, 06:41 PM   #4
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Construction has already resumed for months. My mum's office is near that area. I can see that they are rushing on it, can see them working even at night.
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Old September 18th, 2005, 07:26 PM   #5
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Briliant!! jlshyang, thx forda update dude! boi.. finally i can see this eyesore get build..
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Old September 19th, 2005, 02:34 AM   #6
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Great news. Finally there is something to talk about.

Err..where is the exact location of this project by the way?
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Old September 19th, 2005, 05:13 AM   #7
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Hopefully by the time I go back next time, the construction is done.
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Old September 19th, 2005, 05:30 AM   #8
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When are u coming back?
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Old September 19th, 2005, 05:40 AM   #9
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Hhaha this is a tough question... I also dunno... maybe year end?
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Old September 19th, 2005, 07:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magician
Hhaha this is a tough question... I also dunno... maybe year end?
No wonder lar you having a hard time to answer.

MAYBE only liao
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Old September 19th, 2005, 10:35 AM   #11
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Okay.....since the words is out....hehehehe.......my friend told me in June that this project is gonna be resumed but she asked me to keep it a secret.

So I dare not say it out ler hehehehe.......

She's working on something for the mall actually
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Old September 21st, 2005, 10:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZaHiRnYa???
Great news. Finally there is something to talk about.

Err..where is the exact location of this project by the way?
its near the airport and next to penang gold coast(south of penang).. (TYW+Pab correct me if im wrong)
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Old September 21st, 2005, 11:07 AM   #13
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Talking of Gold Coast, didnt Selangor have a Gold Coast plan few years back for her coastal towns? What is happening there?
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Old September 21st, 2005, 02:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by szehoong
Okay.....since the words is out....hehehehe.......my friend told me in June that this project is gonna be resumed but she asked me to keep it a secret.

So I dare not say it out ler hehehehe.......

She's working on something for the mall actually
It is quite obvious actually with the lights all switched on at night and the big cranes moving around. I really hope to see another mall coming up in Penang but hopefully it doesn't turn out like another Prangin Mall or Bukit Jambul Complex.
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Old September 21st, 2005, 02:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlshyang
It is quite obvious actually with the lights all switched on at night and the big cranes moving around. I really hope to see another mall coming up in Penang but hopefully it doesn't turn out like another Prangin Mall or Bukit Jambul Complex.


Well my gag order is only until the press mooted it out......I din even know they restarted construction already. When my fren told me, they haven't started yet


Many Penang shopping complexes have poor control over their tenant mix because the lots are usually up for sale. KL malls (also some Penang malls like Gurney Plaza) usually have lots just for rental. And the mall owners are strict and rich enough to control the tenant mix Sad to say.....Bkt Jambul Complex and Prangin Mall are quite 'ah beng' .......even Sg. Wang (which is one of the most 'ah beng' malls in KL) have better tenant mix.
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Last edited by szehoong; September 21st, 2005 at 02:24 PM.
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Old September 21st, 2005, 03:39 PM   #16
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Bkt Jambul... Ohh quite a lovely township... I stayed in Vistana in that area during my field work in Penang and the room i had was fantastic! But too bad I didnt know how to drive to Gurney (it was a Saturday nite u see...) Was sposed to chill-out in this Chill-Out place... Nonetheless, Bkt Jambul has quite a number of nice cafes etc and I had my late dinner at a very friendly Teochew Porridge corner shop opposite Bkt Jambul Complex. Yeah I agree that Bkt Jambul complex is abit crappy... It does not compliment its surroundings... But it's certainly better than Island Plaza which is pretty much left empty (the complex really owe a big thank you to Fitness First).

Talking of Fitness First, there's this gym centre on Gurney that resembles Fitness First (similiar logo) but is not Fitness First... forgot the name... copycat to the max!
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Old September 21st, 2005, 06:14 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by szehoong
Well my gag order is only until the press mooted it out......I din even know they restarted construction already. When my fren told me, they haven't started yet


Many Penang shopping complexes have poor control over their tenant mix because the lots are usually up for sale. KL malls (also some Penang malls like Gurney Plaza) usually have lots just for rental. And the mall owners are strict and rich enough to control the tenant mix Sad to say.....Bkt Jambul Complex and Prangin Mall are quite 'ah beng' .......even Sg. Wang (which is one of the most 'ah beng' malls in KL) have better tenant mix.
Yeah, that's right! 'Ah Beng' mall, hahaha. I only go to those malls for a purpose, to get cheap and affordable stuff, eg. gifts within a certain budget or DVDs and games. Other than that, it's not such a good place to shop or hang out.'Ah beng' shoppers and all those noisy arcades with illegal gambling machines which are still operating til today + ah bengs puffing their way.
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Old September 21st, 2005, 06:27 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lastresorter
Bkt Jambul... Ohh quite a lovely township... I stayed in Vistana in that area during my field work in Penang and the room i had was fantastic! But too bad I didnt know how to drive to Gurney (it was a Saturday nite u see...) Was sposed to chill-out in this Chill-Out place... Nonetheless, Bkt Jambul has quite a number of nice cafes etc and I had my late dinner at a very friendly Teochew Porridge corner shop opposite Bkt Jambul Complex. Yeah I agree that Bkt Jambul complex is abit crappy... It does not compliment its surroundings... But it's certainly better than Island Plaza which is pretty much left empty (the complex really owe a big thank you to Fitness First).

Talking of Fitness First, there's this gym centre on Gurney that resembles Fitness First (similiar logo) but is not Fitness First... forgot the name... copycat to the max!
It's quite a distance frm Vistana to Gurney but it can never beat the distance in KL la since the island is so small, haha. Bukit Jambul is mainly a residential area. I don't think there will be much activity there until the Queensbay Mall is ready + the Crystal Point 2 project ala Gurney Place can take off again and after the completion of Giant Hypermart.
I'll be moving into Sg Ara housing area soon which is very near Bt. Jambul so i'm hoping that all those projects will be completed when i move there, lol.
If not i'd rather stay in my current place, Greenlane, strategic location in the middle of both Bt Jambul and downtown.

hmm...Island Plaza. It's such a waste. Used to be quite a nice place catering the upper class community but it's constructed at the wrong timing, during the economic crisis and eventually Gurney Plaza took all away from it, haha. Hope they could revive it though with Metrojaya opening in Island Plaza at the end of the month and i can see that Penangites are getting wealthier nowadays and more willing to spend, check out the residences in Pearl Hill, Tg Bungah, Jesselton, Bt Jambul, the area around Disted College, Sungai Ara, Hargreaves Circus, Cheeseman Road, York Road , Ivory residences near USM etc. They are really really impressive!! Wish i could own one, hahaha.

Last edited by jlshyang; September 21st, 2005 at 06:42 PM.
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Old September 24th, 2005, 06:37 AM   #19
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Aiyoh Queensbay? Bayan Bay sounds so much better, so much more natural and tropical-island-resort like, befitting of Penang. There are far too many 'Queens' names around.. Queensland, Queenstown, Queens itself... Besides, which queen is the place being named after? Doesn't seem to me to have any connection with Penang?
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Old September 24th, 2005, 07:17 AM   #20
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Yeah!!! I agree!! Bayan Bay sounds so much better then Queensbay!!!
I don't know how on earth did they come up with that name
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