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Rice Miller City Residences launching on Friday

KUALA LUMPUR: Asian Global Business Sdn Bhd (AGB) launches The Rice Miller City Residences on Friday, July 8, after some delay due to reconfiguration of plans following Penang's World Heritage listing in 2008.

The initial plan was to build a 13-storey building but the height has been reduced to five storeys to comply with new regulations, including height restrictions in line with Penang's Unesco World Heritage site status.

The residences are part of the RM250 million Rice Miller mixed development located in historic Weld Quay in Penang. The entire in-city resort development by the old Penang harbour lies within the Unesco World Heritage site in George Town. It consists of four adjoining parcels of freehold land on a 1.2ha site and is bound by Beach Street on the west and Weld Quay to the east. It is a 20-minute drive away from the Penang International Airport.

The Rice Miller development now comprises a 48-suite boutique hotel; two office buildings, lifestyle restaurants, cafes and retail spaces; and the low-rise low-density Rice Miller City Residences which comes with a private club, gym, pool and spa.

AGB managing director Dr Noraini Abdullah said the company was inspired by waterfront developments such as London Docklands and Sydney Darling Harbor. "In the United States, empty waterfronts in Boston, New York and Baltimore have produced turnarounds as new housing transformed wharves and crumbling old buildings re-emerged as festive market places," she said.

The Rice Miller City Residences offers 99 private city residences spread over five storey buildings. They range from studio units to three-bedroom and duplex units with sizes between 766 sq ft and 3,472 sq ft. The units with prices ranging between RM1.13 million and RM3.7 million have been almost 50% booked so far.

The development will feature colonial architecture with modern amenities. Part of the infill site comprising old godowns and shop offices will be refurbished and restored, said Noraini. The whole development is slated for completion in 1Q13.

AGB chairman and Penangite Kate Lim said: "We aim to respect George Town's traditional urban character while restoring the city's sense of dignity and importance."

As for the hotel, it is looking at a rate of RM1,000 per night for suites which are about 550 sq ft in size. The boutique hotel will be called The Rice Miller Hotel.

The developer may look to expand the Rice Miller brand to other countries in the future. In January, it appointed Zinc | InVision Hospitality, a joint partnership between Thailand-based InVision Hospitality and Singapore-based investment company Cinnovation | CG, to manage The Rice Miller development.

The official launch will be held at Carcosa Seri Negara in Kuala Lumpur on Friday. PPC International Sdn Bhd has been appointed joint marketing agents for The Rice Miller City Residences project.

An artististic impression of The Rice Miller project in Weld Quay, Penang.

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