RM25 billion PGCC: 33 tower blocks, over 40 storeys each


It’s a RM25 billion whopper: about 33 tower blocks, each over 40 storeys high on the land being used by the Penang Turf Club. Imagine that!

And it looks like two different meetings on the Penang Global City Centre (PGCC) project are going to be held at two posh venues on Monday, 10 September – one at The Mansion and the other at the Penang Sports Club.

I now gather that the meeting at the Penang Sports Club was requested by the Jesselton Residents Association, which is concerned about this mega project on the doorstep of their peaceful and tranquil neighbourhood. Apparently, the developers requested that only three reps attend the meeting but the Jesselton Residents Association asked for 10.

The meeting at the Mansion will be a briefing on the PGCC on behalf of the developer (Abad Naluri) by Equine Capital executive chairman Patrick Lim (who is said by some to be the most influential businessman in Malaysia). The target audience: activists and performing arts people. Let’s see how many people actually turn up. I believe activists from the main Penang-based NGOs are boycotting the event; I am not sure about the performing arts folk though.

This briefing is being arranged by the Fox Communication people in Penang, K Y Pung, The Star’s former regional associate editor, and Mohd Tajudin, former journalist of theSun.

Speaking of The Star, Kanda Kumar of the Malaysian Nature Society is not too happy with the way the paper covered/edited his remarks about the project. See the newsreport below followed by his observations of the coverage. Looks like the spin-masters are at work again.

Metropolitan Park to have more open spaces for the public

PENANG: The northern region’s largest public park will take shape under the proposed Penang Global City Centre to be launched by Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Sept 12.

The 40ha Metropolitan Park, which will link the Youth Park and Botanical Garden, will see more open spaces for the public.

Malaysian Nature Society (Penang branch) chairman Kanda Kumar said that with a rising population, the green lung and open spaces provided by the Youth Park and Botanical Garden was not sufficient.

“I hope the management of the Metropolitan Park will make the entire area accessible to the public,” he said.

Kanda said he was told that the Metropolitan Park would be equipped with a cogeneration plant that would recycle heat for consumption in PGCC.

“I understand that this method will reduce the expenditure on energy in the Penang Global City Centre by about 40%.

“There will also be a central chilling plant to supply chilled air to the properties in PGCC, reducing the usage of electricity and minimising the release of carbon dioxide,” he said.

Abad Naluri Sdn Bhd will develop the RM25bil PGCC.

The Metropolitan Park will have recreational facilities such as children playground, fitness stations, multi-purpose outdoor court, jogging path, children wading pool, water features such as reflecting pools, garden pavilions, amphitheatres, food and beverage facilities, public toilets and car park.

PGCC will feature two five-star hotels, a performing arts centre, high-end retail outlets, two iconic towers, residential properties and a world-class meeting and convention centre.

And Kanda’s unhappy response to The Star report:

With reference to the report ‘ Mega park taking shape’ in the Star today, 6th September 2007, the write up does not carry the full content of my comments. The negative aspects of the proposed development of PGCC that I brought up, was not included in the report.

First and for most I had said that it was not possible to comment on the development without details of what was involved in the development other that a park would be created and also if it was what the people would want is that the whole area be developed into a park.

Secondly there is a great need for more public parks in George Town but these parks should be spread out in different locations for easy access for the public and reduce travel time and distance to access these parks. Although the Metropolitan Park would be created in the PGCC, this park will be concentrated in an area that already has the Youth Park and the Botanic Gardens and would cause more traffic problems and congestion in the area androads leading to the area by people wanting to access the park. Further morethe high density development of PGCC as proposed, in itself will be a heavy burden on the traffic flow in the area and the proposed construction of 2 flyovers will not solve the problem of traffic congestion along the roads leading to the flyovers. A complete study on the traffic flow has to be undertaken to gauge the effects on traffic flow due to the high density development.

Thirdly the PGCC is a high development project in a low density area, this low density area currently acts as a balance between the high density areas of Ayer Itam and the Tanjong Tokong/Pulau Tikus areas.

The fourth point was that is not possible for zero carbon emission for a project this size and density and any new technology proposed needs to be verified and its effectiveness has to be proven and examples of where such technology has been proven effective has to be stated. I did not mention anything about cogeneration plant as I do not know what it all about and only have read about chilled water or ice being used in central ventilating systems in buildings in New York.

I had also mentioned about EIA/DEIA and other requirements but these were not stated in the report.

Thank you.

Kanda Kumar
MNS Penang

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