GEORGE TOWN, Feb 23 ― Penang unveiled today plans for a new seafront public park for its popular Gurney Drive on the foreshore that is soon to be reclaimed.
The state government initiative, named as Gurney Wharf, will be created on land to be reclaimed by Tanjung Pinang Development Sdn Bhd (TPD), a subsidiary of Eastern & Oriental Berhad (E&O).
The proposed Gurney Wharf concept masterplan is divided into four areas that will feature a seaside retail food and beverage area, water gardens, a man-made beach and a coastal grove.
“This masterplan concept will create a new iconic waterfront destination for Penang and for the benefit of the people of Penang,” Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said in a news conference at his office here.
Lim said the state has already approved land reclamation work for the Gurney Drive seafront and is now proposing the concept masterplan for Gurney Wharf on 131 acres of reclaimed land to gain public feedback.
The proposed masterplan for the massive project, expected to cost hundreds of millions ringgit, will be publicly displayed at an exhibition at Level Two in Komtar from today until Friday.
The exhibition, titled “My Gurney Wharf”, will also be displayed at the Gurney Plaza mall for nine days from this Friday.
Land reclamation works along the seafront of Gurney Drive is expected to start by the end of March while safety fencing along the stretch of promenade will be put up by the end of this month.
According to E&O group corporate strategy director Lyn Chai, the 2km-long anti-climb mesh fencing will be along the perimeter of the Seri Tanjung Pinang Phase Two (STP2) and Gurney Drivee foreshore reclamation area.
“We will use a specially-designed permeable mesh fencing material so that the public can continue to use the promenade and enjoy the sea view and breeze,” she said.
TPD is reclaiming land for STP2 as per its concession agreement and reclaiming an additional 131 acres along Gurney Drive for the Penang government.
In the proposal, Gurney Wharf’s seaside retail section will include water fronting public promenade, seafront dining facilities and a pier walk.
The water gardens will consist of lush gardens, wetlands and landscaped water gardens with innovative storm water filtration systems.
The man-made 400 metres of sandy beach area will allow public to access it for recreational activities while the coastal grove will have a skate park alongside the existing row of casuarina trees lining the current Gurney Drive.
Once the project is approved, Phase One of Gurney Wharf is expected to be completed by middle of 2018.