Penang calls for proposals to revive Komtar’s charm

GEORGE TOWN: A ride in a sky lift up to the 65th floor of Komtar to view the scenery from one of Southeast Asia’s tallest buildings soon will be among the attractions the landmark tower offers visitors.

This could come to fruition as the state government has called for a request for proposals (RFP) for the revival of the 59th, 60th, 64th and 65th floors of the Komtar building. The floor space covers 52,000 sq ft and there is another 205,674 sq ft on the rooftop of the fifth floor, which now houses a food court, geodesic dome and open space.

The 65-storey tower, completed in 1985, is a 12-sided geometric block, 760 ft (232m) tall which sits atop a four-storey podium.

Komtar occupies an 11-hectare site and is the most ambitious urban renewal project undertaken by Penang Development Corporation (PDC), the development arm of the Penang state government.

Over the past two years, the state government and PDC have undertaken a revitalisation process aimed at bringing back the glory of Komtar as a socio-civic and business hub of the people, which over the years had fallen into a state of despair.

To date, the efforts by the state government have attracted two major anchor tenants, Pacific Hypermarket and Departmental Store and an IT mall taking up several floors at the complex.

The ground floor of the podium block has also been revived with Komtar Walk, a sheltered mall with several upmarket food and beverage outlets taking up space, making Komtar almost 95% occupied.

At a press conference attended by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, PDC general manager Datuk Rosli Jaafar said the revitalisation and upgrading efforts would complement the state’s aspiration to promote Komtar as a tourist attraction.

At present, certain sections of the 64th floor have been rented by telecommunications companies to install their equipment while the deck at the 65th floor was originally planned as a landing spot for airlift evacuation.

“The state government and PDC want to fully utilise these strategic areas by creating new activities to attract more people here while at the same time unlocking the value of our assets,” Lim said.

“By the same token, at the 59th and 60th floors, plans include turning the premises into an international class restaurant that can serve as a major tourist attraction and to complement this, the 64th and 65th floors can be incorporated as part of a plan for a restaurant cum viewing deck.

“We feel that these uppermost floors of Komtar have immense potential to become a major tourist attraction as they offer a bird’s eye view of the city and the mainland,” Lim added.

He said PDC was also studying a proposal for an outdoor sky lift connecting the fifth floor to the 65th floor which would improve the mobility for tourists to visit the top of Komtar in a spectacular ride.

Currently, the only way up to the top is via the lifts inside the building.

“It is a known fact that many cities create attractions using their high-rise buildings including the Burj Khalifa, Dubai UAE, Taipei 101 and Shanghai World Financial Centre and they have been success stories, and Komtar will be no exception,” Lim added.

The RFL from prospective companies is to propose a creative development for the 59th, 60th, 64th and 65th floors, suitable concepts of usage at the fifth floor, lease period and amount of lease, manage and operate, design, manage and operate the sky lifts connecting the fifth-floor rooftop, with the 59th, 60th floors and thereof up to 64th and 65th floors.

Documents for collection have been out since Monday and the submission of RFP is by Nov 15. The documents of the proposal are available from the PDC office in Bayan Baru while enquiries can be forwarded to [email protected]
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