GEORGE TOWN - Penang-born international fashion icon Jimmy Choo has bought his first property in his home state - a townhouse in the palatial Y Cantonments in Penang, Malaysia.
"This is the first property I have purchased here since I left for Britain as a child. I'm buying a townhouse as my Penang residence," he said. "Now that I have a home in Penang again, I intend to invite all my superstar friends to visit my hometown."
Choo's six-bedroom, four-storey townhouse, located about 400m from Pulau Tikus market, will be ready by 2015 and is one of 20 exclusive units to be built by developer The Yeangs. Piling for the project has already started.
The units, to measure almost 2,000 sq m each, are priced up to RM4.4 million (S$1.8 million). Half have already been snapped up in a neighbourhood made up of Penang's rich and famous.
Choo's residence will have a private rooftop garden, a private elevator made of glass and a master bedroom that will take up the entire third floor. It will have a private plunge pool and an open-air shower and deck.
Choo, 60, who made his fortune designing exclusive shoes for Britain's royalty and superstars, said he was eyeing several other properties in Penang.
"Penang has the potential to grow into a world-class economic and education centre. I have been away for decades and have seen so much around the world," said Choo, who has been an Officer of the Order of the British Empire since 2003.
"I see a lot of possibilities for Penang."
He said that he chose Y Cantonments as he was impressed with its "sustainable design".
He said: "I am attracted to the eco-friendly elements in the architecture, such as the rainwater-harvesting system and low-energy design."