Batu Kawan, situated at southern part of Seberang Perai is the new branding in the making. A decade ago, it was not a place where people would want to visit. An empty land, it was. However, a makeover took place when the Government chose Batu Kawan as the mainland site for major industrial area and a location for the Penang Second Bridge. A land covered with oil palm plantations in the past, has now evolved into a very well planned township. From manufacturing sites to affordable housing, the most anticipated IKEA, Design Village (Premium Outlet which slated to be opened in November 2016), KDU University College and One Auto Hub are some of the upcoming notable development at Batu Kawan.
Located only 20 minutes’ drive away from Bayan Lepas Free Trade Zone and close proximity to Penang Science Park. Batu Kawan is the only locality in Penang where most of the infrastructure, such as interchanges, roads, drainage and highways, have been completed ahead of any other developments.
In terms of population, the construction of the Second Bridge in 2008 has indeed made Seberang Perai Selatan as one of the fastest growing district in Penang. Based on the data from the Department of Statistics (2014), the population increased by more than 27% since 2008. With the extensive population growth channeling into the southern part of Seberang Perai, the rapid demographic transformation will strongly stimulate economic effect and the nature of demand for housing in the coming decades.
The strong influence on the demand for properties is proven by the notable take up rate on the very first condominium at Batu Kawan by Aspen Group – Vertu Resort Condominium and the lifestyle gated and guarded (G&G) development scheme – Eco Meadows by EcoWorld in Simpang Ampat.
The next prominent property development to watch out in Batu Kawan is the Utropolis development by Paramount Property. Apart from developing the KDU University College, which is currently under construction, Paramount Property’s mixed development is slated to launch in stages by 3Q 2016.
The Utropolis is strategically located adjacent to the upcoming KDU University College and a proposed linkage to the Design Village, also just a stone’s throw away to the most anticipated IKEA furniture store. This development by Paramount showcases two blocks of 18-storey residential towers and 196 units of commercial suites. The lifestyle commercial suites are slated to launch in 3Q 2016, followed by studio suites in fourth quarter of the year.
Smaller commercial units, like the 500-1,500sq.ft. commercial suites offered in the upcoming Utropolis are a good starting point for first-time commercial property investors, potentially good returns and easy lets.
Given its strategic location and easy accessibility via Penang Second Bridge, the Utropolis development scheme is expected to attract a respectable response and set a new benchmark for the housing development in the southern region of Penang mainland.
With more and more exciting yet thrilling development in the pipeline along with many new ventures by major developers, Batu Kawan is positioned to be the next well-planned satellite township, comparable, if not bigger, than the mixed development and industrial area of Bayan Baru on the island. It is also becoming the next shopping paradise cum education hubs with the malls and educational institutions completing by 2019.
– Ken Lim