Penang ropes in S’pore agency as consultant

The privatised building and development division of Singapore’s Housing and Development Board (HDB) —Surbana International Consultants has signed on here to offer consultancy services for their first ever public housing project in Malaysia.

The project, located in Bandar Cassia in Batu Kawan, will have a gross development value (GDV) of more than RM2bil and will be developed over a period of 10 to 15 years.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the project, which will build 11,800 affordable apartment units on a 80.9ha piece Penang Development Corporation (PDC) land, is billed as the biggest public housing project in the state’s history.

“The proposed scheme will cover five parcels of land and provide some 11,800 quality affordable residential units of three-bedroom apartments housed within blocks of nine to 20 stories. The price ranges from RM72,500 for 800sq ft apartments to RM220,000 for larger units,” Lim said during the letter of commitment signing ceremony in Komtar.

He said 53% of the total number of apartments would measure 1,000sq ft, 24% 900sq ft and the balance of 2,760 units at 800sq ft.

Lim said the Penang Government had chosen Surbana to undertake the design and concept for the first phase of the Bandar Cassia project.

“It is widely known that HDB is the best public housing body in the world. “So instead of imitating the original, the Penang Government has decided to choose the original and select Surbana for its outstanding record in having developed Singapore’s housing sector,” Lim said.

He said the contract between Surbana and the state would see the consulting company receiving 1.5% of the RM450mil GDV from the project’s first phase.

The developer will be chosen by open tender at a later date, Lim said.

Surbana (Malaysia) managing director Michael Vong said the first phase, which will commence at year end and take some three years to complete, would see some 2,000 apartment units being built.

“The units will be located in 16 apartment blocks,” Vong said. - By The Star

1 comment

February 12, 2012 at 12:34 PMcondomana

Some politicians have questioned the need to hire foreign HDB consultants, citing we have plenty of local consultants to do the job. I guess LGE will just have to give the people more info. How is he going to do it (affordable housing) differently this time? What's the long term strategy? How would it impact the people? What's the vision?