Property hotspot in Penang

The development potential of Penang island's southeastern area is growing as more property developers are eyeing it for their projects.

Business Times has learnt that CP Land Sdn Bhd, the property arm of the CP Group, has disposed of 40 hectares of land it owns in the Queensbay area at Bayan Lepas to a Penang-based property player.

Sources said the land was sold at RM420 per sq foot (psf) to Asia Green Development Sdn Bhd in May and the transaction is believed to be worth RM160 million.

Asia Green is said to be planning to build serviced apartments on the land, which is currently serving as a parking lot.

The Queensbay development sits on 29.2ha of sea-fronting land on which Penang's largest shopping centre, Queensbay Mall, and the Eastin Hotel are sited.

The mall was sold by CP Group Sdn Bhd to CapitaMalls Asia last year for RM657 million.

On Monday, Penang property player Ivory Property Group Bhd announced that it had won the rights to buy 41.50ha of land at Bayan Mutiara on the island, which lies south of the Penang Bridge and close to the Queensbay area.

Some 27.34ha are existing land and 14.16ha are to be reclaimed for a proposed mixed development, Ivory told Bursa Malaysia in a statement.

The reserve price of the Bayan Mutiara land is said to be RM200 psf and it is learnt that Ivory's winning bid was RM240 psf, implying that total land cost was about RM1 billion.

It is also learnt that Ivory's payment to the Penang Development Corporation will be staggered over five years and the company intends to embark on its maiden launch of the project next year.

Meanwhile, at a stone's throw from the proposed Bayan Mutiara development, Boustead Holdings Bhd is believed to be embarking on a reclamation project.

A financial daily last September reported that Boustead will be allowed to reclaim an area "very much less" than 40ha between the existing Penang Bridge and the Penang Second Crossing in Batu Maung as compensation for having had to reduce the height on a 12-storey hotel it is developing at Weld Quay on the island.

Boustead was reported to have submitted a compensation claim of RM60 million to the Penang Island Municipal Council for revoking the initial approval of a 12-storey building in order to comply with heritage status guidelines within the Unesco heritage zone.

Boustead's initial plan was for a RM140 million development of a four-star hotel with 300 rooms.

Property experts told Business Times that the cost of reclamation per square foot currently stands at RM40 and Boustead is likely to pay RM174.5 million for the reclamation of the 40ha.

It is also learnt that the Penang government will be given 8ha of the 40ha free of charge. - By Marina Emmanuel (Business Times)


July 27, 2011 at 4:20 PMMalignant

How the hell does Ivory gets to buy land from the state ??? This rogue developer has no substantial low cost housing to its record, despite having gone through so many developments. DAP or BN ? Same thing. We need individuals to represent us, not parties.

July 27, 2011 at 4:45 PMcondomana


You are right. The details have to be scrutinized. RM240/sqft sounds like a steal to me. No? But then again, it was a tender and RM240 was the highest bid I suppose.

Is land in that area so cheap? Mah Sing & SP Setia must have made HUGE profits building houses in that area! I hope the state makes good use of the RM 1 billion raised.

July 27, 2011 at 5:44 PMkucing

If the next housing bubble is going to burst in 2-3 years time, those bought at the current property launch or those over-geared developers (big or small) will be toasted !!

Mah Sing + Ivory 's balance sheet are very unhealthy and their aggressive way of building sounds very risky !!

Just my 2 cent

July 27, 2011 at 7:24 PMJoe

how come Asia Green bought at RM420 psf from CP Land while Ivory only got it at RM240 psf since both lands are near to each other? Ivory must be earning like crazy..somemore no cheap houses from Ivory....wondering why local government is not controlling this...poor penangites we are...

July 27, 2011 at 7:54 PMdrgill71

Cheap homes in Penang? Tht's a very idealistic approach to property in Penang... an average terrace home on the island goes for 7oo+k.. @ launch of project... by the time fully built est reaches addition 100 - 150k... most of penang property being bought by foreign speculators but at the end of the day penangites suffer

July 27, 2011 at 8:21 PMpetestop

From what I heard, only Ivory and SP Setia bid for Bayan Mutiara.

Still at least it is an open tender, rather than "direct nego"

Also would hate it if Bayan Mutiara becomes another government complex, which was originally planned during KTK time, abandoning the Komtar complex.

Now I see Komtar is being renovated and connected to the other Malls, at least got some chance for it to come up again.

July 27, 2011 at 8:23 PMpetestop


I doubt that our children will be able to afford to stay on Penang Island :(

But I think it is inevitable for a location with limited real estate, like on an island.

July 27, 2011 at 9:40 PMPeople

the State government should not sell land to this developer Ivory ... where is the low medium costs projects from this developer ??

corruption going on ??

July 28, 2011 at 2:25 AMPPP

Joe, i think that the land bought by Ivory is leasehold, while the land bought by Asia Green is freehold. Queensbay Mall is freehold, so is Eastin, right? I believe all the land currently hold by CP Group is freehold when they were ask to rebuild Queensbay.

July 28, 2011 at 1:13 PMkoktiong

Ivory is a rogue developer! Look at Times Square, bcos of his reputation, its a fail project. Many properties around Georgetown and surrounding were sold at good price except Ivory Time Square project.

Now Ivory stop his 3rd phase TQ project, what about those owning TQ like Birch Plaza and Birch Regency, can they have their strata title ?

July 28, 2011 at 1:57 PMAnonymous

honestly speaking, i never see how Ivory is successful in commercial/ mix-development project. University Place at Bukit Gambier failed, Penang Times Square also failed. Reason is that Ivory is unlike Queensbay, E-gate, Gurney etc. where the shop houses are not for sale but being managed by the developers themselves. This is how they can control the type of bussiness & to makesure that 80-90% of the shops are ready for bussiness by the time of their opening. But Ivory need $$, therefore they would rather sell the shops instead of managing it themselves. This is why you will see that hardly there are shops open for business. And some of the business in fact are low class.

July 28, 2011 at 3:44 PMAnonymous

I am not a big fan of Ivory, however I still would like to point out some contradicting remarks here. Firstly, I noticed that the price for Times Square is actually appreciating. The asking price ( I don't have actual transaction) is at least >=450k right now, as compared to ~250k during the initial launch. This price is already 400psf and matching with the others. I already heard some plan about phase III, thdid they ever declare they gonna cancel or delay it indefinitely? Lastly, queensbay shoplots not for sale? In actual they are, just check

July 28, 2011 at 3:47 PMBobbyBob

Anonymous you are right, moreover no control over the trade mix, hence you will see many shops selling china shoes, chap pa lang spectacles, and not much big brands or good restaurants in Times Square. I've been there only once then I never step foot in there again. Perhaps it's different now? LOL.

July 28, 2011 at 5:05 PMpetestop

Only some 10% of Queensbay shoplot is for sale, that is only bcoz these are the holdout units from owners who refused to sell to Capital Land.

Most of the 90% who sold earlier was likely out of desperation since already 10 years since it was abandoned. They probably regretting it now since Queensbay turn out so good after Capital Land took over.

July 28, 2011 at 9:15 PMAnonymous

Ivory is now part of Dijaya Corp...or rather both of these companies colloborate in property development....meaning more $$$ flow in into Ivory

July 28, 2011 at 11:13 PMMalignant

Thank you for enlightening us on the BLR rise. What mortgage specialist company are you from? Ah Leng Ah Long Moneylenders?
Back to the matter, we do not know what tenure of land will be issued to Ivory. Freehold or leasehold. They will push for freehold for sure, if the state has not stated it clearly in their tender. If it is leasehold, it must be subject to no change, or else it is just another avenue for corruption.
What is important here that why the state had chosen to sell SUCH A LARGE piece of property. This clearly shows corruption at play as no one today can claim stupidity. When you offer out such a big piece of property, not many developers can afford to buy it. Only 2 players. Also, it will be impossible, ok highly improbable for a single developer to complete development on it. why don't the state carve out many smaller lots, where more developers can afford to have a share in the cake? This would create more jobs and healthy competition. More architects, more enginners. contractors, tradesmen, suppliers can take part. If we look at Georgetown today, we can see the variety of smaller buildings take have risen. Many participated.
Also, the price per square feet will be lower, as the large it is, the cheaper it is. Another factor, when you sell a smaller piece out 1st, you can then ask higher price for the balance of the land later. One example, next door, higher value. Look at CPland. They are selling raw land. And this should not be allowed. Is there restriction to Ivory to sell just raw land later? Is there requirement for a percentage of open space / park area for that piece of land? Is there requirement for low cost housing for those land? All these requirements/restrictions and more can be quantified/set/calculated before this land is carved out for sale, not necessary only to be done upon submission of planning permission/building plans.
The silence of the professionals, such as architect/engineering bodies, NGOs and such are so deafening. If we don't stand up and speak up now, we leave a bleak future to our future generation here in Penang.

August 5, 2011 at 12:02 PMJames


BN or Pakatan.. all are doing same mistakes.
Middle class income group are the worst affected.
I suggest for a rally to urge the authority to come up with a solution to prevent property price rising and standardizing the pricing for properties,thus preventing property price rising due to speculators.
Look at the price for properties around Penang Island for the past 2 -3 years... it's unbelievable, but people are still buying.
No one questioning all these developers with their high price.
No one questioning the authority for allowing these developers selling at extremely high price.

If all of us can unite against these opportunistic developers & greedy speculators and those bunch of opportunistic VIPs/ politicians/ millionars controlling properties in Penang Island... we can organise a rally..something like "bersih rally" i guess.. to voice our concerns.

We should act now against them..
we should show our firm concerns now before these developers starts their projects in bayan baru/ bayan lepas area soon.

where is the low medium costs projects from these developers in these areas?
when medium or low income group could afford to buy property within RM300K?
Do you think these developers going to bulid medium or low cost projects in these areas?

are we going to be silent and but at properties at their projected price?

we should voice our concern in great unity spirit through a rally !!!

August 5, 2011 at 12:04 PMJames

sorry for typo.

** are we going to be silent and buy the properties at their projected price?