OPENING OF HOTEL AND MALL MARKS THE RETURN OF "LITTLE HONG KONG" FOR SANDAKAN
Sandakan, Sabah – 20 October 2012: With the grand opening of the Four Points by Sheraton Sandakan Hotel (‘FPSS’) and the Harbour Mall Sandakan (‘HMS’), Sabah Chief Minister, Y.A.B. Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Aman is looking forward to see Sandakan’s revival to its halcyon days as the “Little Hong Kong” of the East.
The hotel and mall form part of Sandakan Harbour Square (‘SHS’), an integrated masterplan development with a GDV worth approximately RM510 million (US$170 million). The urban renewal project which won the Asia Pacific Property Awards 2009 (Commercial Redevelopment category) also consists of a Central Market (market and fish jetty), town square and waterfront esplanade (for community events), Swiss Inn Waterfront Hotel; as well as commercial shop offices.
Sandakan Harbour Square is developed by ICSD Ventures Sdn Bhd (a subsidiary of London-listed Aseana Properties Limited) together with joint development partner Sandakan Municipal Council; and managed by Ireka Development Management Sdn Bhd.
The hotel and mall grand opening was symbolised with plaque signing and hand print ceremonies during a gala dinner attended by guest-of-honour, Y.A.B. Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Aman, Chief Minister of Sabah; Yang Berbahagia Datuk Ir. James Wong, President of Sandakan Municipal Council; Lai Voon Hon, Managing Director of ICSD Ventures Sdn Bhd; Lai Siew Wah, Group Managing Director of Ireka Corporation Bhd; as well as other distinguished guests, business associates, the media and representatives from Sandakan Municipal Council.
“Having witnessed the birth of this project in 2003, I can testify that Sandakan city centre has been transformed from a sleepy backwater to the modern, vibrant Nature’s City it is now. Sandakan Harbour Square scheme is a great example of private-government joint partnership. This iconic landmark has rejuvenated Sandakan into a thriving commercial hub, complementing this famous eco-tourism destination with international class accommodation and shopping facilities. We must not also forget the abundant employment and business opportunities Sandakan Harbour Square brings to Sandakan,” said Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Aman.
Lai Voon Hon, Managing Director of ICSD Ventures Sdn Bhd added, “From the technically-challenging sea reclamation (which added 25% land area to the CBD of Sandakan in 3 months) which we completed well ahead of schedule, to today’s grand opening of this final phase (consisting of FPSS and HM), we are indeed grateful for the strong support we have received from the Sabah State Government, Sandakan Municipal Council and Sabah Tourism Board. Undoubtedly the success of Sandakan Harbour Square is also fuelled by the economic potential of the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC). ICSD Ventures, Aseana Properties and Ireka are very proud to see our vision coming to fruition – to bring modern lifestyle, social rejuvenation and tourism boost to Sandakan city”.
Standing majestically fronting the coastal shores of Sandakan Bay, FPSS is the only internationally branded hotel in Sandakan. Each of the hotel’s 300 stylish contemporary guest rooms is filled with thoughtful touches including the signature Four Points by Sheraton Four Comfort™ Bed. FPSS is also the only hotel in the city to offer a stylish Presidential Suite – a well-appointed suite featuring a lounge area, dining facilities, separate kitchenette, and study. Housing the largest state-of-the-art function space in the city, FPSS is fast gaining popularity as the venue for business meetings, conferences, convention, banquets and wedding receptions.
On the other hand, the Harbour Mall Sandakan is known as the city’s only modern lifestyle mall to offer unparalleled shopping, dining and leisure experiences – all under one roof. Having opened for business since July, Harbour Mall Sandakan has been bustling with activities with foot-fall traffic from locals, tourists and students (Sandakan is the Education Hub of Sabah state). Managed by international mall manager, CB Richard Ellis (CBRE), HM boasts household renowned brands such as Parkwell Supermarket, Levi’s, The Body Shop, McDonald’s, Guardian pharmacy and Gintell. HM also promises ultimate convenience with ample covered parking bays, valet parking service, a food court and an entertainment and games centre; making it a preferred destination for fairs, exhibitions, road shows, community events and campaigns.
The 12-acre Sandakan Harbour Square was completed well within the targeted 10 years in 4 phases. Sandakan is a famous eco-tourism destination in South East Asia. Unique attractions include the Sandakan Heritage Trail, Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary, Turtle Islands Park, Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary, Sun Bear Sanctuary, Kinabatangan River, and Gomantong Caves.