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Friday, December 11, 2009

Naza TTDI to build iconic tower

The iconic tower on a 25ha site near the proposed Matrade Centre could even be higher than 100 storeys

Naza TTDI Sdn Bhd, property arm of the Naza group, will build an iconic tower on a 25ha site near the proposed Matrade Centre in Kuala Lumpur, but is yet to finalise the height.

Group managing director SM Faliq SM Nasimuddin suggested that the building could even be higher than 100 storeys.

However, much will depend on the amount of investments it can secure.

Buildings of such height could cost up to 50 per cent more than an average high-rise.
SM Faliq was confirming a recent New Straits Times report that it was one of three developments expected to house iconic structures in Kuala Lumpur.

The other developments slotted for the iconic structures are believed to be Permodalan Nasional Bhd's (PNB) 7.2ha project surrounding Stadium Merdeka and Pelaburan Hartanah Bumiputera Bhd's (PHBB) site at Dataran Perdana.

Currently, the country's highest building is the 88-storey Petronas Twin Towers.

"The master plan (for the 25ha area) is yet to be finalised. It should be completed by early next year," SM Faliq said after the launch of Naza Talyya's newly refurbished hotels in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

"No matter what the height, the structure will be a green building," he added.

The company is expected to hold a press conference on its developments sometime next week.

Four international firms are working on the master plan for the 25ha development near Jalan Kuching, which includes the RM628 million Matrade Centre, deemed to be the largest exhibition and convention centre in in the country.

PNB did not respond to queries sent to its communications team.

However, a source said PNB had managed to secure the approval of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for its proposed iconic development.

Sources said the third site, to be developed by PHBB, was expected to house a 50-storey building although a much taller one had been planned initially.

Meanwhile, news of the proposed iconic structures have triggered a backlash from some property players in the country.

Property tycoon Datuk Tan Chin Nam said building 100-storey office structures could cause a glut in office space and leaving the buildings empty subsequently would mean non-income producing space.

"Why do we need to go for high-rise when we have land? The money could be put to better use," said Tan, patriarch of the Tan family which controls IGB Corp Bhd.

He suggested that a forum or discussion be held before the developers went ahead with such large-scale projects.

By Business Times (by Vasantha Ganesan and Presenna Nambiar)

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