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Penang Turf Club to build bungalows

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Turf Club (PTC) is planning to embark on a RM30 million development project to build 25 bungalow units on the fringes of the PTC, which would be rented out when completed to generate income for the club.

PTC president Datuk Ong Eng Khuan, who spoke after an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) where the resolution for the development was passed said two plots measuring 1.42 acres and 4.22 acres, totalling 5.64 acres have been earmarked for the purpose.

Ong said construction on the low-density development project would begin as soon as development plans are approved by the Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) and will be completed by end-2012.

The proposed development is for eight units of freehold detached houses and 17 units of gated and guarded community detached houses.

The first plot of 1.42 acres is located at the corner of Jesselton Road and Brook Road and is presently used by the club as a plant nursery while the second plot totalling 4.22 acres is bounded by Scotland Road and Sungei Ayer Terjun and the continuation of Brook Road up to Scotland Road.

The lots were gazetted for redevelopment in 2007 under the Penang Structure Plan 2020.

"The objective of this development project is to enhance the value of the property and also to enable the club to fulfil its social and environmental responsibilities while generating income from premium rentals. Funding will be via the PTC's own financial resources.

"These parcels of land are freehold and zoned for residential development and will not interfere with the running of the club. Besides upgrading the area with a well-landscaped residential development, it will also optimise size potential, increase land value while providing quality landed properties in George Town.

"The project will be tailored towards attaining a suitable rating in the green building index to be implemented by the government soon," he added.

He said the estimated total capital outlay for the project including land cost will be RM86.7 million while the projected annual return from rental will be 6.43% of the development cost and 2.24% of the capital outlay (including land cost). The projected net annual income from rental is expected to be RM1.94 million.

"The proposed development has taken into consideration all aspects of planning, building standards, MPPP guidelines, site conditions and developments in the neighbourhood.

"With the existence of the race course on the opposite side and the proximity of established housing areas, the proposed site is conducive for low-density development as proposed and being free from squatter problems, we hope to develop the site upon approval by the MPPP," he added.

The bungalow development plan comes in the wake of the cancelled agreement between the PTC and Abad Naluri Sdn Bhd, the developer of the ill-fated RM25 billion Penang Global City Centre (PGCC), after Abad Naluri failed to deliver a new turf club in Batu Kawan in exchange for the PTC land in Batu Gantong.

Abad Naluri signed an agreement with the PTC in 2004 and paid an advance of RM10 million to acquire the land in Batu Gantong for RM488 million.

As part of the deal, the company was supposed to build a race course in Batu Kawan for RM375 million and hand it over to the PTC by 2007. The balance was to be paid in cash to the club.

However, following the change in state government after the March 8 general elections, the PGCC project failed to take off.

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