Phase 2 of the billion ringgit Penang Sentral integrated mixed-development project in Butterworth is expected to go full swing next year.
The second phase entails the development of an office tower and retail mall, said MRCB Land Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Raymond Cheah.
Cheah said, the office tower and retail component would serve as a catalyst to the transport hub in Butterworth, which is the largest urban settlement in the city of Seberang Perai.
“We are accessing the market. We may start building the office tower first to build up the population before establishing the mall,” he said in an interview.
Cheah is bullish about the new developments for Penang Sentral as the project is located in an established neighbourhood comprising commercial, residential and industrial properties.
“There is a cargo hub and oil depot. Further north is the North Butterworth Container Terminal, with berthing and storage capacity, while further south is the Prai industrial zone comprising light and heavy industries. We believe there will be additional requirements for office space, retail, and apartments.”
The Penang Sentral project is undertaken by Penang Sentral Sdn Bhd and sits on a 9.2ha land.
The total gross development value of the project is estimated at RM2.9 billion. It is expected to be completed in the next 10 to 12 years.
There will also be a business hotel, small office home office units and serviced apartments in future phases.
The Penang Sentral is an integrated hub for bus, rail (KTM Bhd's electric train service and Komuter train services) and sea transport and costs about RM230 million.
It has nine levels altogether, with level three being the main pick-up and drop-off point. Level one is for passengers of express and stage buses while level two is the transit floor for the purchase of bus tickets. Levels three to five are for retail and food courts while levels six to nine are for parking.
The transport hub, which opened in late 2018 is expected to handle around 4,000 passengers daily.
Cheah said the retail occupancy rate of the transport hub, which commenced operation in November 2018, stood at 82 per cent.
He expects it to be fully-tenanted within the year.
The anchor tenants include Penang Port Sdn Bhd.