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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

UK plans Ampang land sale

Kuala Lumpur: The British government plans to sell the land where its High Commission in Malaysia sits, sources said.

The land located on Jalan Ampang measures some 1.22ha and could fetch as high as RM1,500 per sq ft or RM196 million, real estate agents estimated.

It is understood that the High Commission is looking at relocating to a prestigious office building and has been making enquires within the Golden Triangle in Kuala Lumpur for its new base.

A source said that the decision to move comes as it has more space than it requires. With the advancement in information technology, it now has fewer back office or administration staff.

It is keen to take advantage of modern offices that function effectively.

An official at the High Commission when contacted by Business Times to confirm this said: "The High Commission had in principle decided to relocate the High Commission but no firm decision has been taken on the location".

It is understood that the High Commission will not go ahead with the sale until it finds an alternative location.

The current building includes office, residences, a swimming pool and tennis courts.

The British High Commission Kuala Lumpur's website states that the piece of land was given to the British government in return for giving up Carcosa in 1987.

The British government had until then used Carcosa as its diplomatic residence.

The website noted: "So in 1987, in return for giving up Carcosa, the British government was given a plot of land near the corner of Jalan Tun Razak and Jalan Ampang, then a fair distance from the city centre (but now very convenient to the Twin Towers!), on which it decided to build a new High Commission building".

It would be interesting to see if the neighbours of the British High Commission will buy the land.

They include Boustead Properties, IOI Group, HSC Healthcare and Sri Mersing Hotels Sdn Bhd.

Sri Mersing owns the vacant land at the corner of Jalan Ampang and Jalan Tun Razak.

The land measures 1.22ha and it is understood that Sri Mersing is linked to Malaysia's richest man, Robert Kuok.

HSC, meanwhile, runs the recently-opened HSC Medical Centre, while Boustead Properties has a project named 183 Ampang located behind the High Commission.

The IOI Group too has land in the embassy enclave in Kuala Lumpur.

By Business Times

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