BY Roznah Abdul Jabbar
With the first phase of highly-anticipated Warisan Merdeka project already underway, Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) has now announced that the second phase could commence by as early as 2020.
President and chief executive officer of PNB, Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah, said the second phase of the project will include the development of a hotel or condominium.
However, he revealed that PNB has not allocated the total investment involved in its construction.
“We are looking into the details as of now and we also want to make sure that the first phase will be completed as planned,” he said.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Abdul Razak launched the project last week and officially named the 118-storey tower as Merdeka PNB118.
PNB’s chairman Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid said the first phase of the Warisan Merdeka project is poised to generate primary and secondary economic multiplier effects of about RM11 billion.
He said the first phase of the 118-storey tower project, with a development cost of RM5 billion, would help stimulate economic activities, add value and create more than 10,000 jobs, adding that the construction would be closely monitored to avoid cost overruns
Scheduled for completion in 2020, it will also have a seven-level shopping mall, with over 80,000 sq metres of retail outlets.
Merdeka PNB118 will consist of firstly, an 82-storey office with a total nett rental space of approximately 1.7 million sq ft.
“Sixty floors or 73 per cent of Merdeka PNB118 will be occupied by PNB and PNB Group of companies, while 22 floors will be opened for rental to local and international companies,” he said.
Ahmad Sarji said the second component of the first phase would be 18 floors of a six-star luxury hotel offering 236 rooms, while (thirdly) the remaining 18 floors would accommodate a Sky Lobby and an observation deck, as well as mechanical and electricity facility floors.
The shopping mall is the fourth component of the project.
Ahmad Sarji said the tower would be the first Malaysian building to satisfy the triple green building platinum accreditations locally and internationally including Green Building Index.
The construction of Merdeka PNB118 will be led by state-controlled UEM Construction and South Korea’s Samsung C&T Corp on the site of two former national stadiums in the capital’s old downtown area.
Designed by Fender Katsalidis Architects of Australia, the 630-meter tall tower will overtake the 88-storey Petronas Twin Towers as the tallest skyscraper in the country, the second tallest in Asia and the world’s fifth tallest in the ‘Mega-Tall’ cate gory buildings.
There will also be a dedicated 18-floor luxury hotel. The development will be connected with a new subway line currently under construction.
The project, first mooted by Najib in 2010, has been controversial as the construction site is in the heart of the older part of Kuala Lumpur, surrounded by pre-WWII buildings. Critics also questioned the need for another skyscraper when many buildings in the city are not even fully occupied.