Set to create Penang’s first university metropolis
Penang, 25 March 2014: Paramount Corporation Berhad (PCB), a leading property developer in the Klang Valley and Kedah, today inked a deal with Penang Development Corporation (PDC) to purchase 30 acres of freehold land in Batu Kawan, Penang. The land, located 5 minutes to the Second Penang Bridge at Bandar Cassia, the newest and largest township on the mainland of Penang state, comprises 10 acres of institutional land and 20 acres of land for integrated development.
The signing will see PCB build Penang’s first university metropolis in the fast-growing district of Batu Kawan. The metropolis will be developed by Paramount Property, the property development arm of PCB, and will be anchored by a new purpose-built campus for KDU Penang, owned by PCB’s KDU Education Group.
Under the terms of the agreement, PCB acquired the land from PDC at RM65,557,800, with the institutional land transacted at RM40.50/sq ft, while the land for development transacted at RM55/sq ft, both with freehold titles.
In addition, PCB is required to complete and commence the development of the education component within 5 years. It is also required to complete the integrated development within 10 years, both from the agreement date. It is to obtain all approvals from relevant authorities and complete the development at its own cost.
The deal is in line with PDC’s policy to promote and sell land to attract catalyst projects in Bandar Cassia, and to provide services that will help complement the area’s industrial and housing development sectors. It also firmly supports the Penang State Government’s and PDC’s efforts to promote quality education and knowledge-based projects.
A signing ceremony to mark the completion of the deal was held today between PCB and PDC at KDU College Penang, and witnessed by Penang Chief Minister, Y.A.B. Mr. Lim Guan Eng. PCB was represented by Dato’ Teo Chiang Quan, Executive Deputy Chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer of Paramount Corporation Berhad and Datin Teh Geok Lian, CEO of the KDU Education Group, while PDC was represented by Dato’ Rosli bin Jaafar, General Manager of PDC, and Encik Iskandar Basha bin Abdul Kadir, Deputy General Manager of PDC.
Commenting on the purchase, Dato’ Teo said, “This is an important acquisition for Paramount. We have been able to bring, for the first time, the synergies of our two businesses – Paramount Property and the KDU Education Group – to one location in the northern region of Peninsular Malaysia, where we have had a strong presence for over 30 years. And it is very much in line with our corporate strategy, which is about strength through synergy.”
Dato’ Teo added, “The creation of a new campus for KDU Penang, and its elevation from college to university college also brings to life our brand ethos of always contributing towards the development of human capital, by creating even more opportunities for young Malaysians to get a high-value, high-quality education in sectors most relevant to the development of the state and country.”
He added that the land deal was timely as the new KDU campus in Batu Kawan would feature facilities that are more in line with the requirements of a university college, with a comprehensive range of academic, sports and recreational facilities, creating a live-and-learn, work-and-play environment that stimulates and promotes learning.
He said KDU Penang would offer forward-looking programmes in pre-university studies, hospitality, culinary and tourism, engineering, information systems, business, mass communications, design and English, with a strong focus on skills development and a spirit of entrepreneurship.
By having a campus at Batu Kawan, which is also home to the planned Batu Kawan Industrial Park, KDU Penang would also be able to collaborate with employers to provide students with more opportunities to undertake internships and participate in professional activities. Similarly, the staff of KDU Penang will be able to collaborate with the manufacturing and commercial industries nearby to carry out joint research projects, which will bring tremendous benefits to the university college in the long run.
Programmes will be work-integrated and community-integrated to prepare job-ready graduates, and will also incorporate sustainability issues as a component of their curricula.
In terms of property development, PCB believes this new university metropolis in Batu Kawan will become the new property magnet to meet the needs of Penang’s growing and maturing population, especially given its position as the 3rd satellite town in Penang, after Bayan Lepas and Seberang Jaya, and the state’s main industrial site on the mainland.
The proposed university metropolis in Penang mirrors Paramount Utropolis in Glenmarie, Shah Alam, which was successfully launched in Selangor last year. Paramount Utropolis is a 21.7-acre freehold live-and-learn, work-and-play integrated township, anchored by a 10-acre purpose-built KDU University College campus. The development includes serviced apartments, SOHO’s (small offices-home offices) and a 120,000 sq ft retail center, making it a beacon for residents in the neighbouring Glenmarie area. The development is set to transform Glenmarie from a sleepy industrial area to a vibrant learning, commercial, retail and residential hub.
“It is this same essence that we want to capture at our new university metropolis in Penang. We want to create a community inspired by learning, and motivated to make Batu Kawan grow and prosper,” Dato’ Teo concluded.