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Monday, February 20, 2012

UK envoy: Property sale should be sealed by year-end

KUALA LUMPUR: The British High Commission property along Jalan Ampang is yet to be put on the market. However, a deal should be concluded by the end of the year, says the British High Commissioner.

Simon Featherstone said they are still on the lookout for a new office building to move in to.

"Naturally, we would need a contract with a new place before we can put our property (British High Commission) on the market," he said.

Savills, Rahim & Co is representing the high commission on the relocation and sale of the property.

"We are positive we will find a place this year. There are a few purpose-built properties which have recently come into the market," Featherstone said without elaborating.

The sale of the property and the high commission's relocation to a purpose-built facility would help with managing costs as well as security issues.

In 2011, it was estimated that the chancery, which measures some 1.22ha, could fetch as high as RM1,500 per sq ft or RM196 million.

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

The current British High Commission sits on land given to the British government in return for it giving up the Carcosa mansion in 1987.

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

Two parcels of land were given to the British government then. The first, the land which currently houses the chancery, while the second is now the residence of the British High Commissioner.

Featherstone was quick to point out that his residence off Jalan Tun Razak is not up for sale.

According to sources, the high commission's neighbours which include Boustead Properties, IOI Group, HSC Healthcare and Sri Mersing Hotels Sdn Bhd, have expressed interest in the property.

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.

Boustead Properties has a project named 183 Ampang located behind the high commission.

By Business Times

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