PULAU BANDING (Feb 3): Emkay Group expects to complete the RM29 million Phase 2 of Belum Rainforest Resort by March next year, said chairman Tan Sri Mustapha Kamal.
Located in Perak, it is part of the Pulau Banding eco-tourism project near the 130 million-year-old Belum-Temenggor rainforest which comprises four phases and will have an estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM639 million.
Phase 2 will add 36 more rooms, six kampung-style houses and new facilities such as a larger main lobby, swimming pool, convenience store, five spa rooms and an administrative centre, Mustapha told reporters at a media familiarisation trip here on Wednesday.
The new houses will be built in the style of traditional Malay homes in Perak with modern executive suites attached at the back, said project architect Juteras Sdn Bhd managing director Khoo Boo Siew.
"The houses will be in the traditional Malay style in Perak, but obviously they will have to be adapted for more commercial use," he explained.
In total, Phase 2 will have a built-up of 40,000 sq ft. Work on Phase 2 began last month, and Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir vi-sited the site on Wednesday.
According to Mustapha, during the MB's visit, they discussed ways to jointly boost Pulau Banding's appeal and consequently the state's tourism sector.
"The synergy would be for instance, for the state government to speed up the necessary approvals while we spend our money to make things happen."
He said the group plans to add more recreational facilities to the island resort as well.
"We've got to have jogging paths, nature trails, rock climbing, mountain biking ... we're going to provide all of this," he said.
Phase 1, which was completed in June 2009, comprises the 70-room Belum Rainforest Resort, the Pulau Banding Rainforest Research Centre and the Sg Enam Base Camp.
Plans for Phase 3 are for homestead parcels with an estimated GDV of RM432 million, constituting the bulk of the Pulau Banding project's value.
"We plan to submit the paperwork for approvals in March," said Mustapha, adding that more details will be revealed following the approvals.
The final phase will see two parcels measuring a total of 54.31 acres (23ha) — at the southern and northern tips — allocated for boutique resorts, priced tentatively at RM142.5 million.
The group is looking for interested investors to buy or jointly develop these parcels.
Emkay Group, the developer of PJ Trade Centre in Damansara Perdana in Petaling Jaya currently has three ongoing mixed-developments namely Neo Damansara in Damansara Perdana as well as NeoCyber and MKN Embassy Techzone in Cyberjaya.
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