The Penang State developer, the Property Division of Penang Development Corporation (PDC) is paying close attention to the development of Batu Kawan Township. Previously, the division had success in the development of Bayan Baru Township and Seberang Jaya Townships, both areas gaining strong commercial interest and a boom in housing and property. What is the future of Batu Kawan?Batu Kawan, which is an island with a small town off Seberang Prai, sees the link of Penang Second Bridge as part of its growth. For a long time, Batu Kawan was considered a quiet backwater area, noted for sugar-cane, coconut and rubber plantations in the 19th century. As we move ahead, there is supposed to be a most expensive mixed-development golf project, which is a collaboration with Korean investors, and is scheduled for completion in 2013. With all these developments, it is no surprise that the State government is encouraging more development to happen.One of the suggestions by Penang Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) deputy chairman, Albert Lai, was that the state government should pull in foreign investment to make the mainland area boom. At this moment, foreigners are more interested in Penang Island, and pays very little attention to the mainland, mostly because they prefer the island’s image of being a beach destination coupled with technological advances. As the Penang island grows, the housing and commercial properties are also getting much more expensive.It is normal to find homes costing above RM500,000 in the island, but similar homes in the mainland may only be within the RM250,000 bracket. If the authorities wish to build Batu Kawan into a prominent area, then a lot of work need to be done.For example, there is a need to equip the place with social amenities such as schools, hospitals and a mix of homes. Since the new golf club is supposed to be there by 2013, it is about time that the government start moving a step ahead of it and invite foreigners for property ownership in the area, and encouraging economy in that area.By 2013 too, the second bridge project would have been completed and it will be a good idea to already start looking for foreign investment to rebuild the “almost sleeping” Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone, because that will truly benefit the locals as well with job creation and export. Somehow, economy will be an important pull factor to attract greater development.