Affordable housing coming up

A DEVELOPER is building 554 low medium-cost apartment units along Lebuhraya Halia in Tanjung Tokong, Penang.

Currently 30% complete, the 38-storey Taman Bukit Erskine developed by Ivory Villas Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary company of Ivory Properties Group Berhad, is expected to be completed in 2014.

Ivory Properties Group Berhad executive director Ron Loh said each unit with a built-up area of 654sq ft comes with three bedrooms, a bathroom and a washroom.

“Despite being a low-medium cost project, the apartments offer good views,” he said in a press conference at Penang Time Square on Friday.

He added that the project was abandoned for 11 years due to the 1997 economic crisis and was revived when Ivory took up the project as a white knight in 2007.

Originally named Fettes Villa, the project was later renamed Mount Erskine Development which consists of The Peak Residences, The Latitude and Taman Bukit Erskine.

Loh said the group had since changed the initial 500sq ft layout plan to 654sq ft and increased the units from 363 to 554.

He also said former purchasers who had paid the deposit in the previous project can opt to purchase the units or get a full refund next year.

“According to a court order, we can only refund the deposit a year after we launch this project.

“So far, 30% of the 363 former purchasers wanted to continue with this project,” he said.

State Town and Country Planning, Housing and Arts Committee chairman Wong Hon Wai who launched the project said that he had contacted Rapid Penang to consider plying the route there.

“They used to ply the route but in 2007, they stopped due to poor response.

“I suggest that the bus company conduct a study on the need to service the route there since the apartments are coming up,” he said.

He added that the public could send their feedback to Rapid Penang at

Wong also said that since 2008, seven abandoned projects including Taman Bukit Erskine had been revived and were at different stages of completion.

The projects are Desa Aman in Paya Terubong, Taman Cemerlang in Bandar Baru Air Itam, Mengkuang Heights and Taman Guar Perahu Indah in Central Seberang Prai, Taman Orkid Indah in North Seberang Prai and Taman Pekatra in South Seberang Prai.

On a related issue, Wong said the request for proposal (RFP) period for the revival of the Majestic Heights project in Paya Terubong ended on Jan 6.

He added that the Malaysia Building Society Berhad and the property liquidator Deloitte Kassim Chan had called for the RFP on Oct 7 last year.

“Phase 2A, 2B and 3A have been abandoned.

“They are going through the submissions by several developers.

“We hope that the phases can be completed soon after being abandoned for more than 10 years,” he said. - By The Star

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