I feel that there are just too many commercial complexes coming up all over the island recently. Okay, just look at the existing shopping and commercial complexes:
1. Island Plaza in Tanjung Tokong - it is pretty much a dying place with most of the shops closing down and moving out. Having Metrojaya there did not really help it much. It was destined to suffer this setback the moment Gurney Plaza opened years ago. Right opposite it is a huge commercial complex which is also turning out to be quite a failure. Many of the shoplots are vacant and only those on the ground floor are occupied. Even the hawker centre within it are barely surviving.
2. Gurney Plaza - it is now expanding in preparation for the fierce competition it may face from the soon-to-be-opened Penang Times Square complex. It is fortunate that it is still pretty much packed on weekends and public holidays.
3. Midlands Park, One Stop Centre - This is another dying behemoth. It is destined to be a white elephant soon because many shops have closed down and those few that are left are practically struggling to survive. The only shops with brisk business are the DVD / VCD shops on the ground level.
4. Penang Plaza (Fima) - Now, this plaza only has Giant to keep it alive or else it would probably end up abandoned like the white elephant it is soon to become. About 70% of the shops on the upper levels are all vacant.
5. Komtar - although they are upgrading this grand old lady of Penang, it is pretty much a very dark and dinky place. Much more like a covered bazaar than anything else. I wouldn't want to walk the empty corridors even in broad daylight. There are way too many suspicious characters hanging around those dark, secluded corners. The Penang state government has plans to revive it and I am waiting to see what they could do.
6. Prangin Mall - it is like the Sungai Wang Plaza of Penang and although most of the shoplots are occupied, it is also a fire trap with most of the shops placing their wares along the corridors and walkways, obstructing the way. As for the tech section near Parkson, it is like a dead town there. Many shops have closed and only a few strong ones remained.
7. Gama - this is a very old supermarket that has been around for decades. Though old, it is still enjoying brisk business and has sales all the time to draw in shoppers.
8. Sunshine Farlim - this is a hypermarket selling mostly groceries so it does not really qualify as a shopping complex and yes, business is still quite brisk there.
9. Bukit Jambul complex - this is another soon to be white elephant. There is an ongoing legal battle or something between shop owners and management or something. And also, many shops are closing down. And it is pretty much run down.
10. Sunshine Square - it is a departmental store under the same group as Sunshine Farlim and though business is slower it is not dying yet.
11. Queensbay Mall - the newest shopping complex in town and the largest in the state for now. It is so new that many of its shoplots are still vacant. However, it is one of the latest 'in' place to be until a new mall opens up.
Commercial complexes / office lots:
12. Wisma Central along Macalister Road - it is practically a white elephant with only a few shops left open.
13. Axis Plazone in Pulau Tikus - another white elephant in the making. It currently has the Bandar Baru supermarket on the ground floor to keep it alive.
14. Bangunan KWSP - although newly built, most of its office lots are still vacant.
15. Bangunan Umno (along Macalister Road) - the shiny blue building is also soon to be another white elephant as it also has a lot of vacant lots within.
There are actually plenty more office buildings and commercial complexes all over the island and most of it are not even fully occupied. There are so many I actually lost count!
The worst of all is that residential houses are being turned into shops while there are so many of such complexes with plenty vacant lots. AND more are being built even as I type up this list.
Every single new development coming up on the island has a commercial complex or an office building or retail lots. It is all very well and good if ALL those buildings I mentioned above are filled and above their capacity.
However, that is not the case at all. There are plenty of vacant units in the older buildings and some new ones too and now, they are building even more. Shouldn't something be done about those older buildings first before the government approve more commercial complexes?
Seriously. I remember some DAP fella would point at some decrepit building or other (in the newspapers) and declare that the state government should do something about those white elephants in the past.
So, now, my question is, will the DAP-PKR state government do what they preach?