Gurney Paragon is the first phase of a mixed development which consists of two blocks of luxury condo units. Developed by Hunza Properties, the East Tower has a total of 73 units whereas the West Tower has a total of 191 units. Units here have built-up areas ranging between 2,810 sf and 10,442 sf.
The second phase of the mixed development comprises a lifestyle shopping mall. These condominium towers and shopping mall building are built around the St Joseph’s Novitiate, a heritage masterpiece. St Joseph’s Novitiate is under proposal to transform to its original outlook and shall house boutique retailers and restaurants.
Gurney Paragon is strategically located on a plot of freehold land measuring 10.21 acres, one of the most prestigious and established addresses along Penang’s renowned promenade – Gurney Drive. It is expected to be completed by end of 2010. It is easily accessible via major roads in Penang such as Burma Road, Codrington Avenue, Bagan Jermal Road, and Persiaran Gurney. This freehold condo is also close to many amenities such as restaurants and cafes, Gurney Plaza, Gleneagles Medical Centre, Tanjong Medical Centre, Penang Chinese Girls High School, Convent Pulau Tikus, St. Nicholas School and many others.
Gurney Paragon is currently being developed by Hunza Properties, which is one of the well-known property developers in the local property market. More often than not, property buyers are intimidated to purchase properties, especially if those properties are developed by unknown or less popular developers. Even with the recent economy slowdown, buyers probably need not worry so much about this, as the developer of Gurney Paragon has had many proven track record of successful projects. Having successfully completed other reputable developments such as Marina Bay, Alila and Green Lane Heights, the developer’s good reputation in the local property market has truly demonstrated its credibility.
Gurney Drive is one of the upmarket areas on Penang Island. However, with the rising population at this particular area, it will definitely aggravate the existing heavy traffic flow problem. Thus, Persiaran Gurney (Gurney Drive) which is one of Penang’s tourist attractions is often packed with cars, particularly on weekends and public holidays. Residents at Gurney Paragon may find it difficult to enter and exit the premise, and the situation could even worsen once the second phase of the mixed development which comprises a lifestyle shopping mall is completed.
Further to the population factor, Gurney Drive is already deemed as densely populated with so many new high rise developments mushrooming along Persiaran Gurney and Kelawei Road. As Gurney Paragon, a mixed development on a small plot of land joins the other new developments; the density status of this place would become even more congested. The sea view at Gurney Drive is obviously beautiful but definitely not during the low tide season. Even though a property with a seafront view appeals to most people, one should take note that during the low tide season, Gurney Drive becomes muddy with foul smell. The odour could bring unpleasant experience to residents staying at Gurney Paragon.
A few years ago, the local government had proposed to build the Penang Outer Ring Road (PORR), an elevated expressway which connects Gelugor (near Penang Bridge) to Tanjung Bungah on Penang Island with the intention to cut down traveling time. However, if it was constructed, all developments along Gurney Drive (including Gurney Paragon) would be blocked by it. According to the PORR’s initial route plan, it would be built exactly beside the PG1 condo (1 Persiaran Gurney), and crosses directly in front of Gurney Paragon, as well as other condos along Persiaran Gurney. Even though the PORR has been postponed indefinitely, potential property buyers should take note that there is high possibility of this project being revived in the future.
Recently in July 2009, the developer and contractor of Gurney Paragon have received a stop work order. Due to claims of unstable soil and fallen sheet piles at the construction site, a road adjacent to the multi storey car park of a neighboring condo, Gurney Park had sunk approximately 1.5 meters into the ground. In line with the Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP)’s instruction, Hunza Properties did the necessary remedial work, and the stop work order was subsequently lifted in September 2009. Even though there were no injuries or damages reported apart from the sunken road, many are still skeptical on the suitability and strength of the soil where Gurney Paragon is located. Further to that, there have also been reports of cracks found on nearby properties along Persiaran Gurney ever since the construction works of this condo started.
Even though Gurney Paragon has been scheduled for completion by end of 2010, it was claimed that the developer has been rushing for earlier completion. The nearby residents of other developments have reported that the construction works at Gurney Paragon have been going on at night time, on weekends and even on public holidays. Although an earlier completion date and handover would bring good news to certain owners, but some have doubts on whether the overall quality of the property would be compromised. Based on the earlier mentioned stop work order, it could be the main reason on why the developer is rushing to be back on schedule in order to deliver the property on time, as promised.
Pricing wise, Gurney Paragon’s value is comparable to that of similar developments around the Gurney Drive and Pulau Tikus areas, within the range of RM1.4 mil and above. However, as mentioned earlier, this luxury condo could be sitting on a plot of land with unstable soil. So, some buyers might prefer to buy other condos around the same area that has the same, if not better facilities and advantages. Nevertheless, Gurney Paragon is undeniably the only luxury condo built under a mixed development plan with easy access to fine restaurants and shopping malls.