50-year-old flats to be torn down in Penang’s first urban regeneration project

Penang Housing Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo.

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government today said it would demolish an old flat complex in Bayan Baru under a pilot project to reuse existing spaces for taller apartments in order to increase floor space and take in more people.

State Housing Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said the authorities would tear down the Mahsuri flats, popularly known as the “five-point block”.

The flats which are over 50 years old will be demolished in stages under the urban regeneration initiative, with occupants to be given 700 sq ft replacement units once the new apartments are ready.

The 300 households at the Mahsuri flats currently reside in units measuring 250 to 429 sq ft. Once the new apartments are up, 1,150 units will be available in five blocks.

Jagdeep said the low-medium cost units measuring 700 sq ft will be sold for RM72,500 while the 850 sq ft units will go for RM300,000.

The project is expected to be completed in three years’ time. Existing residents will move out in the second year and will be given money to rent accommodation elsewhere while the project is ongoing.

Jagdeep said there are four other urban regeneration projects being undertaken by the state: at Taman Free School (1,130 units,) Rifle Range (3,639 units), Taman Siakap, Perai (200 units) and Taman Mak Mandin, Butterworth (200 units).