Strategically located at the golden belt of Ipoh downtown, One Octagon is accessible from all directions. Situated close to Ipoh’s commercial center, it is also a hub of Ipoh cultural tourism.
The octagonal Yau Tet Shin Bazaar was a cherished memory for many locals of Ipoh, and a place for tourists to buy the famous Ipoh pomelo and other local produce. Its unique octagonal design and strategic location at the center of Ipoh downtown made it a crucial landmark in Ipoh for decades.
In 2001, as the bazaar entered its 40th birthday, due to its dilapidated state, it was considered as dangerous and was demolished by the city council, much to the chagrin of the Ipoh residents.
Fortunately, under the leadership of PCCCI, and the active cooperation of Perak State government, in 2011, PCCCI gained a 99-year lease to the original site of Yau Tet Shin Bazaar, and was authorized to develop the One Octagon
With great effort, PCCCI finally managed to retain its originality, and was renewed for the modern era.
At its 56th AGM, PCCCI unanimously agreed to authorize the central committee to accept the Perak state government’s commission to develop and manage the Yau Tet Shin Bazaar cultural center, as well as the state government’s commission to construct a multistorey building on the original site of the bazaar.
In a fair and transparent manner, PCCCI invited reputable developers to participate in the development plan. However, the development companies participated in bidding could not fulfill the requirements of PCCCI. Therefore the central committee members decided to pool together the resources and formed a new company, thereby the One Octagon Private Limited was incorporated.
One Octagon Sdn Bhd Managing Director cum PCCCI acting president Dato’ Liew Sew Yee said: “Since no suitable developer won the bid, the board members decided to respond to the president’s call, and raise funds to form a new company, so that we can ensure the renewal of this historical site.”
A Golden location is worth the price of gold
Under the original plan, One Octagon will have 4 floors of indoor parking (about 350 parking bays), 3 floors of commercial units and 14 floors of serviced apartments. The ground floor will feature multipurpose cultural shophouses. The total value of the development is close to RM70 million.
In 2010, the average apartment price at Ipoh downtown was RM300 per square foot. However, even with an average sales price of RM580 per square foot, the One Octagon was still well received by the market. Two positive factors which should not be overlooked were the premium location of this development and the credibility of PCCCI.
It was worth mentioning also that as the Department of Civil Aviation allowed buildings outside of airline route to go as high as 120m above sealevel, the board of directors of One Octagon, which was still laying the foundations at that time, immediately resolved to add another two floors to the building making it 120m tall, and thus became the tallest building in Ipoh with 23 floors. As such, One Octagon has gained an additional 22 apartment units, to a total of 160 units, fulfilling the demand of the market.
Besides preserving the original concept of the Yau Tet Shin Bazaar, One Octagon also boasts local product specialty shops, multipurpose exhibition hall, Art exhibition center and modern shopping plaza, with the aim to provide an integrated hub of culture and tourism, to drive the cultural and tourism development of Ipoh, thereby expanding its economy.
Under the plan for a cultural tourist hub, PCCCI has already submitted a relevant memorandum to the Ipoh City Municipality, with a proposal to make Theatre Street and Clark Street into a cultural destination. If related businesses are willing to paint their shopfronts, as well as investing in and cooperating on the development the related cultural industry, PCCCI planned to propose a land and property tax incentive for participating business owners.
Liew Sew Yee also revealed that PCCCI suggested the shop owners to refit the 4m at the back of their shops into a pedestrian street which sells Perak’s local produce, handicrafts and snacks, making it into a tourist attraction, to increase the appeal of the surrounding area of One Octagon.
The One Octagon cultural tourism zone is poised to restore the magnificence of Ipoh from yesteryear, stimulating the economic development of Perak with its unique history, culture, local products and delicacies.