Quoted from Business Times: Wednesday, December 09, 2009, 09.25 AM
THE sleepy hollow of Balik Pulau on Penang island is set to buzz with the construction of an international school soon.
Penang-based property developer MTT Properties and Development Sdn Bhd, which is developing the 120ha "Botanica. CT" township in the south-west district of the island, has begun earthworks for a full boarding international school that will be sited within the development.
The establishment of the school in the township is expected to enhance demand and value of properties within the development.
"The school will offer the British curriculum system for students of Year 7 onwards and will be able to house 800 students," MTT Properties and Development group general manager Jason Tan told Business Times. The first enrollment for the school - which is expected to incur development and set-up costs of close to RM100 million and sprawled over 2.8ha of land - is planned for September 2011, Tan added.
Botanica. CT is undertaken by MTT Properties and Development, which is a subsidiary of MTT & Priority Group of Companies and has a history which dates back to 1963.
"Apart from full boarding facilities, the school will have a state-of-the-art library, science laboratories, workshops, a multi-purpose hall, concert auditorium, tennis and netball courts, swimming pools and a football field.
"About 40.6 per cent on which the school land is sited has been earmarked to be left as open or green areas," Tan said.
Penang is currently home to several international schools including the International School of Penang (commonly known as Uplands School), St Christopher's International Primary School, Fairview International School, Tenby International School and Dalat International School, which are all located in the north-east district of Penang.
Tan said MTT Properties and Development is hoping to launch the third and fourth phases of its CT.Botanica development next year.
"Phase 3, which carries a development value of around RM65 million, will feature 103 residential homes, with two- and three-storey super-link homes and two-storey semi-detached home. These will be completed in 2012," he said.
Phase 4, which is slated for completion in 2012, will comprise 29 tropical hillside three-storey villas, with seven exclusive designs and boasting their own pools.
The project's first phase was launched in 2006 and the majority of its buyers are locals, with approximately 10 per cent of them comprising foreigners from the UK and South Korea.
"While Phase 3 is likely to be owned by local homeowners, the fourth phase may probably have more foreign investors and we hope the setting up of the international school will help us attract even more foreign buyers," Tan said.
The company plans to market its Tropical Hillside Villas in Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia.
"London is also a focus for us, due to the existing familiarity with Penang and the potential links which may be created due to the international school," he added.