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PHH to embark on RM100 mil luxury condo project

GEORGE TOWN: Penang Heritage Hotel Sdn Bhd (PHH) will embark on the RM100 million gross development value project on the 3.47 acre state owned land along Farquhar Street, once conversion of the land from leasehold to freehold is completed.

YTL Land and Development Bhd executive director Datuk Yeoh Seok Kian said the necessary plans then would be submitted to the Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) to change the development plan from hotel to commercial and residential development.

Yeoh presented Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng with a RM8.2 million cheque, which was premium for the land conversion during a press conference.

PHH is now proposing three blocks of 6-storey luxury condominiums with 76 units including a basement, a clubhouse and restaurant, in line with the Unesco guidelines for George Town as a World Heritage site which limits the height of buildings within the heritage enclave.

PHH is a joint venture company set up on Oct 17, 1995 with PDC holding a 49% stake and YTL Hotels and Propperties Sdn Bhd (YTL H&P) a 51% stake.

Initially, the title issued to PHH in 2001 was 99-year leasehold, which ends in 2097.

Though the sales and purchase agreement was inked in 1999, the proposed five-star hotel project failed to take off due to the economic downturn then.

Last year, the state government allowed the conversion of the land from leasehold to freehold with several conditions including the height of the building conforming to heritage guidelines, all costs for conversion to be borne by YTL H&P and PDC's equity increasing from 49% to 50% with costs also borne by YTL H&P.

A supplementary agreement was also entered last month to ink the new conditions with YTL Land replacing YTL H&P as the new joint venture partner.

Yeoh said YTL Land, which has also embarked on several joint venture projects with PDC, was looking at enhancing its landbank in Penang to carry out other projects.

"We are impressed with the state government which has been forthright and quick in assisting us to get this project off the ground.

"We hope to do more in Penang and we are on the lookout for more land in Penang," he added.

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