Southbay Plaza (GPS: 5.28475, 100.28888) is a mixed development project in Batu Maung, Penang. Constituting the first phase of Southbay City, it comprises a shopping mall and two serviced condominium blocks. It is being developed by Mah Sing Group on freehold tenure.
Southbay Plaza comprises two 30-storey residential blocks connected by a retail podium. The retail podium will have shop outlets of one-, two- and three-storey configurations, with sizes of 1,200-1,500 st ft for the one storey, 2,800-3,200 sq ft for the storey, and 4,500-14,000 sq ft for the three-storey. I suppose there should be a supermarket of some sort to act as anchor tenant.
The two high-rise blocks are intended for serviced apartments. They come in 8 different designs (Types A-H), with sizes from 1,030 sq ft to 1,635 sq ft. The developer's indicative price for the "residential suites" start from RM600,000 upwards.
Southbay Plaza as seen from the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway. (12 June, 2016)
Front entrance of Southbay Plaza (11 June, 2016)
Another view of Southbay Plaza (11 June, 2016)
Rear side of Southbay Plaza (11 June, 2016)
Side view of Southbay Plaza (11 June, 2016)
Southbay Plaza under construction (12 December, 2015)
The nearest market is the one at Jalan Baru Batu Maung. The nearest petrol station is in Bayan Lepas town, about 6 km away. The nearest petrol station along the expressway is the Caltex at e-Gate, 11 km away. The nearest shopping mall is Southbay Plaza itself. The nearest school is SRJK Wen Khai at Jalan Baru Batu Maung. The nearest hospital is Pantai Hospital, 6 km away.
Southbay Plaza is 17.1 km from Magazine Circus. A single round trip to downtown totals over 30 km, so for residential owners, it is more suitable for those who work or own businesses in the Bayan Lepas area. The same consideration does not apply to commercial owners, as the Batu Maung area will become more densely populated in the coming future, offering improved catchment of traffic to the plaza.
Traffic along Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway is increasing rapidly. The widening of the expressway to six lanes the whole way may improve the traffic flow marginally, but congestions are still expected during peak hours.
Let's evaluate Southbay Plaza from the commercial property and residential property perspective.
According to the literature in the property supplement of The Star (11 July, 2012, pg 27), one can reach George Town's World Heritage Site in just 15 minutes. True, if you drive at 2:00 am in the morning. During work days, particularly at morning and evening rush hours, you will have to battle the congestion from the Penang Bridge and the traffic lights at Macallum Street and Prangin Road Ghaut, which together can consume twenty minutes or more.
On Saturday, 21 July, 2012, I tested this myself. From the construction site of Southbay Plaza, I drove back to George Town. I started my journey at 5:10 pm in the evening, just as workers constructing the Second Penang Bridge were going home. I drove at an average speed between 70 to 80 km per hour, within the speed limit. As it was a Saturday, there were no jams.
At 15 minutes after I started my journey, I arrived at the junction of Macallum Street Ghaut. That's where the delay began. I took a further 12 minutes to clear the three traffic lights (Macallum Street Ghaut, Magazine Road Ghaut and Prangin Road Ghaut.) I arrived within the core zone of the George Town World Heritage Site in 25 minutes. I believe the journey will be longer on a normal working day, however, I would confirm that it is possible to go from Southbay Plaza to Macallum Street Ghaut in 15 minutes. If the authorities improves on the stretch from Macallum Street Ghaut to Prangin Road Ghaut, by building a flyover, the 15 minutes is possible.
The development of Batu Maung, by Mah Sing and other smaller developers, will certainly provide a catchment for commercial owners. Many people, reluctant to go anywhere else will resign to shopping and entertaining locally, so this works out well for shops in Southbay Plaza.
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