Sign of prosperity: A model of Bintulu Commerce Square.

Residential and commercial property prices here are set to remain high and unlikely to drop in the near terms.

The reasons for this is the steady demand driven by government development initiatives like the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).

These same initiatives are also giving local developers the feeling of being insulated from the economic woes plaguing the US and Europe.

In fact, several big developers here already gearing up to boost their property inventories, anticipating a much bigger economic boom triggered by SCORE projects.

Sarawak Land (Kemena Park) Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of timber giant Samling which owns a piece of prime land in the middle of ParkCity Commercial Centre, has started construction of the town’s largest mall cum hotel.

It will have all the features of a modern mall, while the four boutique hotels at each of it four corners will have a total capacity for 280 rooms.

Less than 15 minutes away from the Bintulu Commerce Square, another equally big shopping mall, the Times Square, is also shaping up.

Expressing his optimism, Troy Yaw Chee Weng, the Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda) Bintulu liaision chairman said: The first and second booms created by the oil and gas industry have transformed this once fishing village into a vibrant industrial town, Bintulu is today.

Troy Yaw Chee Weng - SHEDA Bintulu liaison chairman

“But the third wave of development, a more exciting phase of Bintulu transformation and development, will be driven by SCORE initiatives.

“I believe this third wave is so much bigger and will last much longer. Until today no one is really able to comprehend how big it’s going to be.

“There will be plenty of opportunities,” Yaw said.

According to Yaw, that bright outlook, coupled with the scracity of land in the central business district and the expected influx of big spending expatriates, will push up property prices here.

“We’ve been told there are more than 200 Japanese families already settling here in Bintulu.

“I don’t know how many more this high income, big sepnding group of people will be coming.

“But it certainly is a very welcome news to us,” added Yaw.

Yaw is also a board member of Samling Strategic Corporation whose many subsidiaries have been actively exploring business opportunities in the SCORE area.

Asked if property value in Bintulu remain attractive investors in the years to come, he said: “Grab the opportunities now, because as an early bird you will reap the benefits from your investments even over the next three years.”

Yaw foresees residential and commercial property value in Bintulu appreciating faster than before once the SCORE development projects are in full speed.

“Our mall floor space sales are very encouraging, something we have not seen before in Bintulu. We expect a sell-out before the completion date in 2013,” he added.

BDA general Manager Datuk Mohidin Ishak, when asked for his comments, said he was upbeat about property prices and sales.

He said if one was looking for business opportunities, Bintulu would have plenty because it was striving to achieve city status by year 2020.

“For this to happen, it must be ready to have a well-planned central business district, hotels, high-end residential areas, shopping malls and recreational centre.

“All this is taking shape, meaning they are spinning off opportunities, not only int he town proper but also in surrounding places like Kidurong, Samalaju, Sebauh and Tatau.

“I dare say, with big money earned, purchasing power will be greater, therefore, one can expect property prices and value to respond accordingly,” Mohidin said.