Wednesday August 1, 2012
Plans for Heritage Square New enclave will complement revitalisation of Komtar, says CM
By WINNIE YEOH and CLIFFORD LEE
GEORGE TOWN: The old Sia Boey market will be part of a 1.82ha plot of land to be turned into a new heritage enclave on the island.
The enclave, to be known as Heritage Square, is a project under the Komtar Phase Five development announced by the state government and the Penang Deve-lopment Corporation (PDC).
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the move was in line with George Town’s World Heritage Listing and would complement the revitalisaation of Komtar as a socio-civic centre and business hub of the state.
“It will be a complete makeover and it will predominantly be used as a public space,” he said after visiting Sia Boey in Lebuh Tek Soon yesterday.
The project will have five major elements – restoration and expansion of Sia Boey (Prangin Market), the creation of urban spaces, a heritage celebration square and an iconic George Town heritage centre, reinstatement and adaptive reuse of old shophouses and restoration of the Prangin Canal.
Under the plan, it is hoped that the square and centre would restore the cultural vibrancy of George Town by promoting living heritage and street life as well as green the city to ensure balanced development in the area.
Lim, who is also PDC chairman, said the draft plans would be open to the public for viewing next week.
“The draft is subject to changes. We want to make public viewing available before Hari Raya Aidilfitri,” he said.
The revitalisation will include a visitors’ centre, crafts and souvenir retail areas, flowers and food hubs.
PDC is also expected to build an adjacent market to complement the existing one. However, this will be a “dry” market instead of “wet” one.
The plan will also see existing shophouses along Maxwell Road undergo adaptive reuse into cafes, coffee shops, teahouses, handicraft centres, mini museums, boutiques and B&B hotels in line with the heritage ambience and theme of the area.
A five-storey building would be erected to add to the vibrancy of the square.
The restoration of the Prangin Canal would include plans for a hawker street food zone and street furniture in well-landscaped areas.