Dato' Khor Teng Tong, our Executive Chairman, shared a few words during Gurney Paragon Mall Soft Official Opening on 23 July 2013.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to welcome all of you to our very own mall, our very own Gurney Paragon. And I must admit that my fellow colleagues and I feel proud that we have today brought to life this latest “hot and happening” place to Penang. And at the number 1 address in Penang – Gurney Drive.
This marks culmination of my 35 years in the property development industry. Hunza bought this 10+ acre land back in December 2004. In the past, our business model was to develop and sell projects. With good margins, of course.
So we did calculations. We calculated, we computed and re-counted. Yes, we were convinced that we were financially sound enough to embark on this integrated project, and to own it outright. So with retained earnings from previous projects and the profits generated from the sale of 220 units of Gurney super condos, and financing from our friendly bankers (OCBC and Great Eastern), we can truly call this mall our very own.
So a local born and bred entity invests close to RM 500 million, in the local economy. This demonstrates our confidence in the local economy. It is also proof that we are in this for the long haul, that we are now a real estate investor, investing our retained surpluses into owning, managing this asset to earn steady recurring income.
We have gone on record to state that we will attract established retail names who have yet to set up in northern Malaysia. I believe we have achieved this; this is evident from the list of tenants we have.
And I want to share with you that in St Jo’s, we have an award winning building. It just won the gold medal from The Association of Consulting Engineers Malaysia for a one-of-a-kind in the world engineering feat. In fact, the engineers recognized that it’s so unique that they gave us the “gold award with special merit”. St Jo’s, a heritage building was previously a private building, only for the Christian Brothers and the students of the private school; it is now open for the rakyat to enjoy.
Hunza’s investment, as well as the investments by all our tenants in setting up shop here, have resulted in Penang having a new place for shopping, dining, entertainment. To see and be seen. For locals and tourists. Creating thousands of new jobs. This is good for the economy.
We have, in our discussions with fund managers, analysts, investors, bankers, business writers, mooted our belief that an integrated development like this is a great investment. Especially so in Malaysia, where we have a growing population. And more importantly, a nation with rakyat that’s climbing the income ladder at a fast pace.
I used the word “culmination” in my opening remarks. As for the future, Hunza looks forward to our latest land acquisition, the 42+ acre in Bayan Baru. It is our plan to replicate our success there, on a bigger scale.
In closing, with hands on our hearts, we thank each and everyone who has helped Hunza along our 35 years so far, and in particular, bringing Gurney Paragon Mall, to life. Especially our consultants, contractors, my Hunza colleagues who have toiled and put in long hours to make today possible.
We also must thank our tenants, the shops who have decided to call Gurney Paragon Mall their homes, for being here, for their confidence in Gurney Paragon. Apart from putting in investments of approximately RM200million, they too have put in their fair share of hard work to open with us today, to make this event possible.
I would like to take this opportunity to invite everyone here to our Grand Official opening in October.
So please continue to work with us, as we work hard and smart to build a better tomorrow.