BATU KAWAN: The master city developer of the Batu Kawan satellite township has reached out to traders and entrepreneurs in Penang to tap the vast economic opportunities available in the state’s first integrated planning enclave.
Batu Kawan stands to become the first fully planned township on land scarce Penang; other than Bayan Baru on the island, which has already become a hustle and bustle locality similar to Petaling Jaya in Selangor.
Aspen Group’s president and CEO Datuk M. Murly said that Batu Kawan is suitable for all local content, as it moves ahead to become the cornerstone of development in Seberang Prai.
“We would welcome new businesses and entrepreneurs to join us in developing Batu Kawan.”
When Aspen successfully won the bid to become the master developer of Batu Kawan, it envisioned that the area had vast potential to drive forward the mainland property sector.
Murly said that the township can offer growth opportunities for traders and entrepreneurs to invest either in the property or service sectors. He said this at the signing ceremony of the hotel management agreement between renowned hotel chain Marriot International Inc and Aspen Vision City Sdn Bhd.
The ceremony was witnessed by Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow here.
Both Aspen and Marriot would work to bring up the distinctive Aloft hotel brand, the second in the northern region. It will offer 308 rooms and suites in a 30-storey building.
“Batu Kawan will become a major attraction for businesses and leisure visitors to the northern region,“ added Murly.
Strategically located next to the biggest industrial park on the mainland, and next to the Sultan Muad’zam Shah Bridge (second Penang Bridge), the new township is already home to the Swedish global furniture retailer, Ikea, and the first premium outlets mall, Design Village up north.
Ikea is schedule to formally open its doors next month.
Murly said that the benefits of Batu Kawan continues to reign despite concerns over the slowdown in the property market.
Earlier, Marriot International senior vice-president (hotel development in the Asia Pacific) Kevin Chen said that Penang has room to grow as presently its tourism attractions were only in pocket areas.
“People always want a diverse attractions so Batu Kawan is poised to be the next area of interest for investors and retailers.”
Chen said that there is room for capacity building in Penang on the mainland.
He also welcomes working with the home sharing services provider Airbnb, saying both the formal hospitality operators and the home sharing network operator can co-exist as the market is large enough for both.