Continued from Heritage Buildings for Commercial Reasons in Penang: Part 1
Some such heritage sites are also available for off-site customized dinners. Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion and Pinang Peranakan Mansion are two of such sites, and which allow bookings by tour companies and other individuals for gala dinners. Tour companies will bring in caterers with additional tables and chairs and performance troupes. Usually, there will be a little bit of decoration to enhance the property, without overshadowing the original beauty of the heritage. There may be additional lighting, flowers and other accessories involved.
Another popular business that utilizes heritage buildings are hotels. There are a lot of heritage buildings renovated internally to create rooms for tourists who want to experience living in the building. Very likely, the hotel owners will rent a whole stretch of heritage buildings, and create these as boutique hotels. The boutique hotels have their individual styles, and careful examination will see the stark differences among them.
Many offices, especially law firms and accounting firms, may rent an office space within the heritage buildings. In fact, even before the heritage status was obtained, there had already been a lot of such offices already nested within these heritage buildings. Some offices may also be trading houses, and there are also those who may actually use some of these heritage buildings as warehouses.
Usually, the banks and restaurants rent the heritage buildings instead of putting up the property for sale. The restoration works are usually undertaken by some development companies with the working capital sufficient for the project. So will the hotels, but some of these hotels may be the same development companies that undertake the restoration projects.
During restoration, there are guidelines and regulations which stated that the restoration works must follow the original blueprints of the Penang apartment and properties, just as we said earlier. Skilled workers may be hired especially for buildings with carving and sculpturing works. For example, the heritage site may include some heritage temple buildings, and there may be wall paintings or pillar wood carvings that need such skills to restore the beautiful masterpieces to their original splendour. Thus, restoration works can be pretty expensive, but still manageable through fair and open tender of the restoration projects.
Conservation works of heritage buildings is a long term commitment that demands the attention of both the government and the private sectors. The government may undertake the effort to call for tender of the projects, while the private sector may help to finance the projects as a continuous effort to maintain the heritage status.