From its humble origins of a fishing village and estates on the mainland in Seberang Perai Selatan, Batu Kawan has now become Penang's third satellite town and is earmarked to be the state's major industrial area, like the island's Bayan Lepas.
The area has also been in the limelight after the Penang state government proclaimed that the RM2.7 billion Bandar Cassia would offer up to 11,800 medium-cost housing units modelled after Singapore's Housing and Development Board schemes.
In 2014, the Penang Second Bridge was opened to facilitate an alternative route to the island. The 24km Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge connects Batu Kawan to Batu Maung, on the island which is nearby the Bayan Lepas Industrial area.
This led to new housing projects emerging within Batu Kawan – which is also where the Penang state stadium is located – particularly in the Bandar Cassia area. Among the many residential areas that are springing up include upcoming a luxury gated and guarded community within a golf course, high-rise apartments, a hotel and service apartments apart from mixed developments and commercial areas. There is also Hijau E-Komuniti – one of the largest master-planned development projects in the state.
Also famed for its seafood offerings, Batu Kawan is also going to house popular furnishing store IKEA in 2020 and a Penang Designer Village development besides being an industrial and education hub.
In September 2015, the state government announced it was trying to identify a new name for the township of Batu Kawan. The area is directly accessible from the North-South Expressway with its own exit route.
There are no public transportation routes plying into Batu Kawan as of yet.