The multi-billion-Ringgit Tanjung Aru Eco Development (TAED) project will start work early next year with the Phase 1 of the development.
The construction site for the Phase 1 work is at the First Beach area or will be known as Aru Gateway which is approximately 64 acres, with a mixed commercial area stretching along Mat Salleh road.
The master plan of the total development is 860 acres in size but only 31 percent of the total areas will be utilised, said Datuk Victor Paul, who was appointed as Executive Director to manage the project on pro bono basis.
"The remainder of the areas will be given back to the people of Sabah" stressed Victor.
"We will keep the Second and Third Beach areas open to the public while we are doing the Phase 1 of the project which is expected to be ready in 36 months" he added, when delivering his paper on TAED during the 5th Sabah International Surveyors' Congress 2017 on 21 August.
Land reclamation of 606 acres will take place has been designed to maximise the protection and minimise pollution and erosion of the beach.
The development is also the first approved local plan in Sabah, meaning that it is an independent area, he said, adding that, they are also trying to get tax exemption for the development. He said the development will increase employment opportunities for the people across the board.
However, the development, which is set to transform Tanjung Aru Beach, has continued to face a lot of resentment from the people.
The development was not to bring negative implication to the much loved Tanjung Aru Beach but rather to protect it from further soil erosion, pollution and degradation, said Victor.
Victor also took the opportunity to share on how the actual idea for the development came about.
"The Chief Minister (Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman) called me; he asked if I would like to build the park. I told him I was not interested" he said.
He added that Musa wanted to return Tanjung Aru Beach to the people of Sabah and mentioned that Musa, like the rest of Sabahans, was deeply rooted in the state.
He disclosed the federal government has allocated a grant of RM500 million for the project whilst the Economic Planning Unit has given them a loan of RM1.4 billion.
He said Tanjung Aru beach will be developed for the benefit of the present and future generations of all Sabahans.
Victor added that Tanjung Aru Beach had undergone heavy erosion over the last 50 years and that despite efforts by the Sabah government to stop the erosion through the setting up of barricades against the sea waves, it had failed.
"We want to create a sustainable eco development to have an engine of growth" said Victor.
The whole development consists of eight district zones; Aru Gateway, Prince Philip Wharf, Prince Philip Park, Aru Village, Aru Oceanfront, Aru Marina, Tanjung Aru Beach and Golf Retreat.