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Monday, December 3, 2007

RM9billion riverside city in Kuala Lumpur

A strong team of foreign and local financiers, project managers, consultants, architects and designers will be working on the Tamansari Riverside Garden City project, previously the Pekeliling Flats

The RM9 billion urban regeneration project at the intersection of Jalan Pahang and Jalan Tun Razak area in Kuala Lumpur will have as its centrepiece a 60-storey tower unlike any other in the world.

The project owners will only unveil the uniqueness of the tower at an official ceremony planned for later.

Meanwhile, a strong team of foreign and local financiers, project managers, consultants, architects and designers have been assembled for the Tamansari Riverside Garden City project, previously the Pekeliling Flats area.

Construction is scheduled to start by January 2008 and the entire project is targeted for completion within seven or eight years.

The project owners comprising Australian financial services group Macquarie Bank, Australian construction and engineering company, Leighton Group, construction investment firm Saha Regal and local project developer ASIE Sdn Bhd signed a joint-venture agreement recently.

Master planner and architect for the project is the renowned firm Goh Hock Guan & Associates (GHG).

Also involved are Malaysia's Bank Pembangunan Bhd, Australia-based design group, Hassell; global project consultant, Rider Hunt; and international consultant engineers comprising the ARUP group, Lincolne Scott and Connell Wagner.

Based on a waterfront city-within-a-city concept, the 22.3ha Tamansari will consist of a mixed development of commercial and residential properties.

Speaking to Business Times last week, GHG principal Goh Hock Guan and ASIE chairman Datuk Khalil Akasah summarised the development as being another prestigious address in Kuala Lumpur.

Parcel M within the Tamansari project's first phase will cost about RM700 million. The project parcel will be connected across the busy Jalan Tun Razak to the site across the highway via an elevated walkway.

It will include the area where one part of the Pekeliling flats once stood. Residents of the one-room flat built in the 1970s have since been relocated to a three-room flat built by ASIE with financing from Bank Pembangunan.

Parcel M within the first phase will include the unique tower to be built on the banks of the Gombak River. The parcel will cost about US$1 billion (RM3.36 billion).

Other parcels within the entire project will include hotels, condominiums, office and commercial blocks, government and public housing and a medical centre.

The entire project will be done on a private financing initiative basis. Its ownership will remain with the joint-venture partners while financing will be undertaken by Macquarie Bank which will also conduct international sales of the properties.

As at December 2006, Macquarie has total assets of about A$112.6 billion (RM335 billion) and a market capitalisation of A$153.4 billion (RM457 billion).

The Leighton Group is an internationally renowned project developer and contractor based in Australia.

GHG, meanwhile, is helmed by Goh, a veteran in town and project planning whose numerous projects include the highly successful Subang Jaya.

ASIE was first awarded the project by the government in 1998, but it was unable to proceed until residents of the Pekeliling flats were relocated.

ASIE is controlled by Khalil, who was an aide to the late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, Malaysia's second prime minister.

By New Straits Times (by Mustapha Kamil)

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