Executive chairman Datuk Khor Teng Tong told a press conference recently the group had allocated RM10mil to restore the St Joseph’s Novitiate built by the Christian De La Salle Brothers in 1916.
Also present was the company's conservation consultant, Assoc Prof A. Ghafar Ahmad from Universiti Sains Malaysia’s school of housing, building, and planning.
“This is the first time a developer in Penang is restoring and incorporating heritage structures into a mixed development project.
“We are trying to model the three-storey, 32,000 sq ft St Joseph Noviate building after Singapore's Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus, a school converted into an enclave of fine dining and retail boutiques,” Khor said.
He said one of the aims of restoring the building and opening it to the public was to educate visitors on the history of St Joseph Novitiate.
The company's restoration efforts were endorsed by the state tourism action council last year.
Khor said the conservation of the building in the Gurney Paragon project, with an estimated gross sales value of over RM1.2bil, would help raise the value of properties near it.
Ghafar said another heritage structure in the Gurney Paragon project, the 430 sq ft National Shrine of the Boy Jesus, would be dismantled, salvaged and reconstructed at a new site.
Source : STAR
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