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Aspen-IKEA JV invests RM2.6b in world-class metropolis

BATU KAWAN (Feb 2): Aspen Vision City Sdn Bhd, a joint-venture (JV) company between Aspen Group Holdings Ltd and IKEA Southeast Asia, has invested more than RM2.6 billion in its 99.15-hectare (ha) master-planned metropolis in mainland Penang.

Aspen Vision City is a meticulously planned integrated multi-phase mixed development envisioned as the commercial hub and central business district in Batu Kawan, with development components including Central Island Park, Vervea Commercial Precinct, Aloft Hotel and the first IKEA store in the northern region of Peninsular Malaysia.

*Progress of Vision City project well on track, says Aspen

*Aloft Hotel appointed to operate in Aspen Vision City in Penang

*Aspen and Singapore’s Oxley in strategic partnership via share placement

Aspen Group president Datuk M Murly said that RM105 million was invested for the first phase of Central Island Park with a 50-metre high water jet, which is currently a hotspot in Penang ever since its grand opening in October last year.

He said for Vervea Commercial Precinct, which has a gross development value of RM845 million and completed in December 2018, RM60 million was invested in a 3,530-square metre trade and exhibition centre and RM25 million for the ETFE (ethylene tetra flouro ethylene) roof.

“We are targeting to open Vervea for business from the first quarter onwards, and we welcome all established local tenants and brands that can cater for the community’s needs in the urban township,” he said, adding the JV company still has around 28.33ha of space left for future development.

He told reporters this after the signing of an agreement between Aspen Group and Marriott International Inc Hotel Development Asia Pacific here, today, for the latter to operate a 308-room, five-star hotel under the Aloft brand in Batu Kawan.

At the signing ceremony, Aspen Group was represented by Murly and executive deputy chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Ariff, while Marriott International was represented by senior vice-president Kevin Chen and director Andree Susilo.

The event was witnessed by Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman and Deputy Chief Minister II Prof Dr P Ramasamy.

Meanwhile, Chen said the hotel for Aspen Vision City marked Marriott International’s 29th hotel in Malaysia, with another 25 which were either in the planning phase or under construction.

“This makes Marriott International the largest international hotel in Malaysia,” he said.

Marriott International Inc is based in Bethesda, Maryland, United States, with a portfolio of more than 6,900 properties including 30 leading hotel brands spanning 130 countries and territories.

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