PENANG will soon have its very own premium shopping outlet, the second state in the country after Johor.
The RM1 billion Penang Designer Village, which will cover an area of 16.2ha, will be built in Bandar Cassia, Batu Kawan, in three years.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said yesterday the outlet mall is the latest component in the state government's plan to develop Batu Kawan with new attractions, making it a quality place to work, live, learn, shop and play in.
"The Penang government hopes that the premium shopping outlet will help make residential living in Batu Kawan more attractive," he said prior to the signing of the purchase and development agreement between PDC, PE Land Sdn Bhd and CB Richard Ellis (M) Sdn Bhd here yesterday.
"We wish to dispel negative perceptions that this new satellite township in Batu Kawan is inferior to living on the island."
The project was awarded to PE Land, the operator of The Spring Mall, Sarawak's premier mall in Kuching.
PE Land will own, build and operate the facilities while CBRE Malaysia will act as the principal consultant.
Also present during the ceremony were PDC general manager Datuk Rosli Jaafar, PE Land chairman Jason Tai, its managing director James Ling, its executive director Joanna Ling, CBRE's managing director Allan Soo and its executive chairman Christopher Boyd.
Apart from the up-market outlet shopping mall, which will feature first-tier luxury international brands retailing at discounted prices, the village will also have a 300-room international-class hotel; food and beverage outlets; a landscaped garden and residential units.
Tai said the new international-class premium life-style district will in time add to the many charms Penang already offers to residents and visitors alike.
"It will create opportunities that persuade visitors to spend more time and money, and in doing so provide further trickle-down effects to stimulate the micro-economy here in Batu Kawan specifically, and in Penang in general," he stated.
Soo, meanwhile, said they have been thinking for many years to pursue retail development throughout the country.
He noted that the outlet mall trend is proven in Asia and Malaysia, and "Penang is like most of Asia, hungry for luxury and premium brands".
"Penang has a strong untapped middle income population and a rapidly growing tourist income stream.
"This is a compelling reason for new brands to be here.
"We see Malaysia ultimately ha-ving four outlet malls, with one in the south, two in the central region and one in the north.
"We have chosen Bandar Cassia because of its strategic location near the second bridge and the North- South Expressway, and also the fact that it is at least 40km from the nearest commercial centre in the city," he said, explaining that outlet malls are traditionally situated away from city centres so as not to affect the inline stores of the same brands.
Soo added that the establishment of the village will create some 3,000 jobs, with positions such as shop assistants and food and beverage personnel to be filled up.