Kom­tar-Bayan Lepas LRT line seen gen­er­at­ing RM2­bil jobs

The Star Malaysia - StarBiz - - NEWS - By DAVID TAN david­tan@thes­tar.com.my

GE­ORGE TOWN: The LRT line link­ing Kom­tar and Bayan Lepas, es­ti­mated to cost around RM7­bil to con­struct, is ex­pected to gen­er­ate about RM2­bil worth of jobs for the lo­cal con- struc­tion in­dus­try, said Pe­nang Mas­ter Builders and Build­ing Ma­te­ri­als Deal­ers As­so­ci­a­tion.

Its pres­i­dent, Datuk Lim Kai Seng, said the first phase of the LRT, which in­volved soil in­ves­ti­ga­tion and align­ment stud­ies, had al­ready gen­er­ated about RM100mil worth of jobs for the lo­cal con­struc­tion in­dus­try.

The pro­posed 30km LRT project will cush­ion prop­erty prices in Pe­nang, ac­cord­ing to Real Es­tate & Hous­ing Devel­op­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (Pe­nang) past chair­man Datuk Jerry Chan.

“Although the vol­ume of trans­ac­tions has de­clined by about 30% in the first quar­ter com­pared to the pre­vi­ous year’s cor­re­spond­ing pe­riod, the price of prop­er­ties, how­ever, has not been af­fected yet by the de­cline, due to in­ter­est rates re­main­ing at the same level, and high land and build­ing con­struc­tion costs.

“The other fac­tor that will help to bol­ster prop­erty prices in Pe­nang is the pro­posed LRT project. The project will def­i­nitely help (hold up) the prop­erty prices in ar­eas where there is a high den­sity.

“In pop­u­lar ar­eas of the is­land where prop­er­ties are sought af­ter, we will see prices mov­ing up due to the ac­ces­si­bil­ity of the LRT over time,” Chan said.

Zeon Prop­er­ties Sdn Bhd chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Leon Lee said that the price of prop­er­ties near in­te­grated transportation sys­tems in other coun­tries was ei­ther sta­ble or tend to move up­wards most of the time.

He said in­fra­struc­ture such as transportation cen­tres and bridges were vi­tal el­e­ments.

“The com­ple­tion of a bridge con­nect­ing Shen­zhen (China) and the New Ter­ri­to­ries of Hong Kong re­sulted in prop­erty prices in the sur­round­ing ar­eas es­ca­lat­ing by about 155% over a pe­riod of 10 years.

“In 2002, the prop­erty price in New Ter­ri­to­ries of Hong Kong was about HK$2,742.69 per sq ft.

“It shot up to HK$7,007.38 per sq ft in 2013, which took only about 10 years,” Lee said.

Lee added that the price of prop­erty in Batu Maung had in­creased sig­nif­i­cantly when the sec­ond Pe­nang bridge open.

“In 2007, a ter­race house in Batu Maung was worth about RM700,000. A sim­i­lar unit now is priced at RM1.4mil. This proves my ear­lier point (about bridges),” he said.

The Kom­tar-Bayan Lepas LRT is the state’s first rail net­work pro­posed un­der the RM27­bil Pe­nang Trans­port Mas­ter Plan (PTMP).

It will be­gin from Kom­tar in the north­east corner of the is­land and pass through Je­lu­tong, Gel­u­gor, Bayan Lepas and Pe­nang In­ter­na­tional Air­port be­fore end­ing at the pro­posed Pe­nang South Recla­ma­tion de­vel­op­ment. It is ex­pected to pro­vide a fast route to the air­port and will tra­verse densely pop­u­lated res­i­den­tial, com­mer­cial and in­dus­trial ar­eas.

There are 27 LRT sta­tions along the align­ment, with the main­te­nance de­pot lo­cated on the first is­land that is to be re­claimed on the is­land’s south coast. The align­ment also fac­tors in in­ter­changes with fu­ture LRT, Sky Cab and mono­rail lines that are be­ing planned, in­clud­ing one that will cross the chan­nel to con­nect Gel­u­gor with Pe­nang Sen­tral in But­ter­worth.

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