High-end condominiums 'Gurney Paragon' records 40pc bookings

Hunza Properties Bhd had recorded over 40 per cent bookings for its high-end condominiums at the "Gurney Paragon" project on Penang island.

The company's executive chairman, Datuk Khor Teng Tong, yesterday said the buyers for the units which are priced from RM1.6 million to RM2.9 million are made up of both locals and foreigners.

"Piling works have just been completed for the 220 condominium units which carry a gross development value of RM380 million," he told reporters after the company's annual shareholders meeting in Penang.

Khor also said the company is investing RM10 million to refurbish a heritage building at the project site.

The historical St Joseph's Novitiate building which fronts the famed Gurney Drive waterfront will see its stained glass windows, doorknobs and other old fixtures restored, he added.

"We are also taking preventive measures to ensure the safety of the 82-year-old building during the construction of the two condominium towers which will frame the building," he added.

The 82-year-old French style building which served as a novitiate for the Christian brothers sits on a 4.08ha freehold site. It was purchased by Hunza Properties from the Federation of Malaya of the Christian Brothers' Schools for RM97 million.

The "Gurney Paragon" project which will comprise a shopping mall, retail lots, 220 high-end condominiums and an office block is due for completion by the first quarter of 2010.

On the company's RM240 million "Infinity" beachfront project in Tanjung Bungah, Khor said foundation works have been completed.

"The current take-up rate for the project is 37 per cent," he noted, "and close to half of the buyers are from countries like the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Middle East."

The 119 units are priced between RM1.6 million and RM3.2 million and Hunza Properties has begun rehabilitating the nearby Sungai Kelian and carrying out landscape works for RM600,000.

"We are adopting the stretch of beach fronting the project which we will maintain but will remain accessible to the public," Khor added.

For its 2007 financial year ending June 30, Hunza Properties recorded RM57.5 million in profit before tax. This reflects a 65.2 per cent increase from the RM34.81 million recorded in 2006.

Profit after tax for 2007 was RM39.24 million, a 98 per cent increase from the RM19.8 million recorded during the 2006 fiscal year. - By NST

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