Gurney Drive is getting a makeover.
Penangites are expected to see the coast along Gurney Drive transform into a new international standard waterfront public recreation area called Gurney Wharf. The Penang government is hoping that this seafront public park will be comparable to Fishermen’s Wharf in San Francisco and Canary Wharf in London.
A preview of Gurney Wharf was explained through a series of images and illustrations displayed at a public exhibition themed “My Gurney Wharf” in front of the Popular Bookstore at Level 2 in Komtar.
During the exhibition launch, Penang Chief Minister Y.A.B. Lim Guan Eng said, “Acknowledging the importance of Gurney Drive and the emotional attachment it brings forth in the hearts and minds of Penangites, the State is proud to propose a masterplan concept to create a new iconic waterfront destination for Penang, for the benefit of the people of Penang, and one that Penangites would be proud to call their own.
“Drawing inspiration from some of the world’s best public spaces we aspire to create a spacious, multi-functional public park-in-the-city that is international in standard yet 100% Penang in spirit,” he added.
The proposed Gurney Wharf concept masterplan features 4 distinct character areas: Seaside Retail F&B, Water Gardens, Beach, and Coastal Grove. According to the plan, Penang’s seafront will be occupied by a waterfronting public promenade as well as dining outlets that includes Penang’s famed hawker fare and a pier walk.
The Water Gardens will consist of lush greenry, ponds, and wetlands with its most unique attribute being the landscaped water gardens with innovative storm water filtration systems, and is modelled after Singapore’s Gardens By The Bay.
There will be a 400-metre man-made beach which will allow public to access it for recreational activities. Plus, there will also be a skate park for teens and youths within the Coastal Grove. The existing casuarina trees – a signature of Gurney Drive – “will be mindfully preserved”.
A series of exhibitions will be displayed at Komtar and Gurney Plaza from this week till next week, and members of the public are encouraged to provide feedback on Gurney Wharf.
“The public can give their feedback and views over this concept. The consultants will make the necessary adjustments based on feedback before having another round of public consultation. We will then exhibit the findings again,” said state exco member Chow Kon Yeow.
Once the project is approved, the first phase of Gurney Wharf (the park) is expected to be completed by mid-2018 while the second phase (the seafront retail outlets) is scheduled for completion by 2020.