FEBRUARY 24 — 1 Why is it called Gurney Wharf? Is there going to be a wharf there?
The name is inspired by the vibrant spirit of world-famous waterfront places such as those in San Francisco, London and Sydney.
Our intention is for Gurney Wharf to be as outstanding as those iconic destinations yet with its own distinctive Penang character.
2 Who owns the reclaimed land on Gurney Drive foreshore/Gurney Wharf?
Once reclaimed, the land will belong to the Penang government.
3 Traffic is already a huge problem when repair works are done at part of the Gurney Drive. Is it going to be worse when works start?
The Penang state government has announced its Penang Transport Master Plan to address traffic issues for the future needs of Penangites. All reclamation and dredging works will be coming from the sea.
E&O also has a track record of full compliance and the Company will continue to abide by, and work closely with, all relevant authorities such as MBPP to address any possible issue.
4 What are the details on the Gurney Expressway?
The Gurney Expressway is part of the Penang Transport Masterplan, which will be carried out to alleviate our traffic issues.
5 What is the reclamation cost for Gurney Drive? Who is financing this?
The reclamation package for Phase 2A of Seri Tanjung Pinang Phase 2 and 131 acres along the Gurney Drive foreshore is estimated at RM 1.07 billion. This sum does not include other ancillary costs for infrastructure, consultants/experts etc.
The entire reclamation cost will be borne entirely by E&O whilst the cost of the Gurney Wharf “Park On The Sea” will be borne by the state government after the proper due diligence exercise is conducted and discussions done.
6 What is the development cost for Gurney Wharf? Who is financing this?
Today’s press conference is to present and gain feedback on the proposed Gurney Wharf concept masterplan. Feedback can also be submitted via the Feedback Box at the exhibition area.
After the feedback exercise, we will determine the other practical elements of the project including how the Gurney Wharf will be financed.
7 Is E&O developing Gurney Wharf? If yes, what is E&O getting in return?
As a responsible corporate entity, E&O has borne the cost of engaging among the world’s best architects to produce the concept masterplan for Gurney Wharf by coming out with the funds first as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility ( CSR).
Notwithstanding that, today’s press conference is to present and gain feedback on the proposed Gurney Wharf concept masterplan. Feedback can also be submitted via the Feedback Box at the exhibition area.
After the feedback exercise, we will determine the other practical elements of the project including identifying the developer.
8 When will the reclamation for Gurney Wharf be completed?
Reclamation works for the Gurney Wharf land are expected to take 18 months and on this basis, to be completed by the final quarter of 2017.
This timeframe includes the:
8-10 months required for land reclamation; plus another
6-8 months required for soil treatment and settlement.
9 How long will the public have to wait before they can enjoy Gurney Wharf? When will Gurney Wharf park and seafront retail F&B be completed?
Gurney Wharf will be delivered in phases. In the first phase, it is envisaged that the park area excluding the seafront retail F&B could be delivered by mid-2018.
The second phase encompassing the seafront retail F&B is likely to be completed by 2020.
The actual project timeframe for Gurney Wharf will eventually depend on a host of factors such as when we finalise the financing arrangement as well as the timing of planning and building approvals.
10 What will happen to the existing Gurney Drive?
From the Gurney Drive roundabout to Jalan Pangkor spanning close to two km, the Gurney Drive will remain open and accessible to both vehicular and pedestrian use. However, it is also within the plan to beautify the existing Gurney Drive and create permeability to the proposed new Gurney Wharf public park and seafront.
E&O will be installing anti-climb fencing that will be attached securely on the far side of the sea wall to allow continued public access. The fencing will be constructed with mesh material to allow breeze to pass through, and also installed with planter boxes to grow creepers.
11 What is the length of the public seafront promenade?
Approximately 1.5 km
12 What is the distance from the existing Gurney Drive to Gurney Wharf?
13 What is the distance from the underpass (from the existing Jalan Pemenang) to the new promenade?
For Q12 & 13:
Access from existing Gurney Drive to Gurney Wharf :
From Jalan Pemenang Underpass to entrance to park area (100m); to new Promenade (230m)
From Jalan Burmah Underpass to entrance to park area (100m); to new Promenade (140m)
14 What will we see in the next two years until reclamation is complete?
Most immediately, silt curtains and navigational buoys will be positioned off the waters of Gurney Drive before dredging vessels are mobilised.
In this regard, E&O being mindful of the fishermen in the area, has launched a proactive SMS alert system for the fishermen so that they know which area to avoid as well as getting their cooperation to monitor the works.
The public will also see the mesh fencing coming up along Gurney Drive as a safety measure.
15 When are the fencing installation works starting?
Targeted for 29 February 2016.
16 From which end of Gurney Drive will the fencing start and end?
From the Gurney Drive roundabout to the southward end of Gurney Drive at Jalan Pangkor.
17 How long will the fencing installation take?
Estimated 12 weeks.
18 How much will the fencing cost?
Costing approximately 40 per cent more that the standard metal sheet hoarding commonly used in the property and construction industry, the mesh fencing along Gurney Drive is expected to cost around RM1.3 million.
19 For how long will the fencing be there?
In the interest of public safety, the fencing is expected to remain until the Gurney Wharf project is complete.
20 When the fencing comes up, does it mean people lose access the Gurney Drive promenade i.e. they will have to stop their recreation activities and also forego the sea view?
Given this new design of fencing, people will still be able to walk along the existing Gurney Drive promenade, enjoy the view and breeze through the mesh fencing.
Every effort will be made to ensure Gurney Drive’s signature casuarina trees are retained, with the same level of attention and care that E&O had taken to preserve the trees at Lone Pine when the Group undertook a major refurbishment and expansion of the hotel in 2010.
21 What will happen if another tsunami hits Penang, specifically the project site?
Mitigation measures to arrest the impact of a potential tsunami have been incorporated through the design of the platform level of the reclamation project.
To provide a prospective on this, the existing Gurney Drive sits at the level of +3.2 metres CD (chart datum) while the areas to reclaimed will be at platform levels of +5, +5.5 and +6. The platform levels of the land to be reclaimed is also higher than the waves of the 2004 tsunami which hit shores at +4.2 (based on data collected at the project site where the tsunami hit).
Press statement by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng in Komtar, George Town on February 24, 2016.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail Online.