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Ivory in talks to develop commercial components in Bayan Mutiara

GEORGE TOWN (June 19): Ivory Properties Group Bhd is in talks with a few parties to develop commercial components in Bayan Mutiara, says executive director/chief operating officer Murly Manokharan.

He said the interested parties are from local and overseas including from Singapore and Japan, who showed interest in the commercial development in Bayan Mutiara.

"We expect one deal on the joint venture partner within the next three months," he told reporters after the group's annual general meeting here on Tuesday.

On whether Ivory is offering land for sale in Bayan Mutiara, Murly said: "I won't denied it but offering for sale is not the right word. It was looking for value-add investors specifically for commercial content, hospital and office."

Stressing that it won't be a direct outright sale, Murly said the partnership will be an added value like the strategic collaboration between Ivory and Dijaya Corporation Bhd.

He said for investors who are interested to own land in Bayan Mutiara, a joint venture company could be set up for financing and cashflow positioning of the projects.

According to him, joint venture partners would enable the group to become an international player as well as raising the benchmark in terms of pricing, quality, planning and design.

The entire project covers a total land size of 41.5 hectares (ha), comprising 27.3ha of existing land and 14.2 ha area to be reclaimed.

The development components will include luxury condominiums, medium-rise condominiums, business suites, serviced residences, iconic office block, waterfront entertainment city, commercial and retail spaces, waterfront villas and medical facilities.

Murly said the commercial content would comprise about 20% of the whole project, offering between 2.5 million sq ft and three million sq ft of commercial space.

He said the first phase of residential development in Bayan Mutiara would be launched at year-end or first quarter of next year, with a gross development value of between RM700 and RM800 million.

To be developed under a joint venture company, Tropicana Ivory Sdn Bhd, the first phase would comprise affordable homes with 1,500 units measuring 500 sq ft to 600 sq ft.

Murly said Ivory received the planning permission approval for the sales gallery in Bayan Mutiara and hoped it will be completed by year-end.

On the entire project, he said the group will be re-submitting the entire masterplan to Penang Development Corporation (PDC) by September for approval especially the details on reclamation.

"PDC required us to get the approval for the reclamation as well. Initially we submitted (the plan) without the reclamation portion. So now they want to look how reclaim approval process taken to prepare the masterplan," he said.

On whether the protests over Bayan Mutiara land issue would effect Ivory's plans, Murly said the plan will still proceed as the developer have not heard anything from the residents.

"It (the protest) is between the non-governmental organisation and state government. So far we have not heard anything from the residents. It's political, therefore, we don't want to comment," he added. — Bernama

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