PNB offers glimpse into new Merdeka skyscraper set to overshadow Twin Towers

PNB chairman Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid (left) with PNB President Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah Che Othman (right) at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur March 15, 2016. He said that PNB will be the anchor tenant for the 118-storey tower named ‘Merdeka PNB118’. — Bernama pic
PNB chairman Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid (left) with PNB President Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah Che Othman (right) at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur March 15, 2016. He said that PNB will be the anchor tenant for the 118-storey tower named ‘Merdeka PNB118’. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, March 16 — Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) today unveiled details of the planned 118-storey tower that will outstrip the 88-floor Petronas Twin Towers as the country’s tallest building.

PNB chairman Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid said work had started in 2014 on the building dubbed the “Merdeka PNB118”, which was designed by Australian firm Fender Katsalidis Architects.

“Standing at 630 metres, the iconic tower is anticipated to be the 5th tallest building in the world, and will be enlisted in the ‘Mega Tall’ category together with the Burj Khalifa Dubai, Shanghai Tower and Makkah Royal Clock Tower, to name a few,” he said at the launching ceremony for the project.

The tower is expected to be given the MSC Malaysia Cyber Centre status, besides being the first building in the country to fulfill three green building certification standards, he said.

According to Ahmad Sarji, the joint development cost of the tower and a seven-storey shopping mall will be RM5 billion to be funded by PNB.

Slated for completion by 2020, 82 out of the 118 that offers 1.7 million square feet will be rented out as offices, with companies under the PNB Group to take up 60 floors.

The remaining 22 floors of the office space in the tower will be rented out to local and international firms, he said.

An observation deck and a sky lobby will be part of 18 floors that will also accommodate mechanical and electrical facilities, he said.

Another 18 floors covering 435,000 square feet will be occupied by a six-star luxury hotel with 236 rooms.

When met by reporters later, Ahmad Sarji said the name of the hotel operator, which has already been identified, will be disclosed at a later date, adding that PNB will be the anchor tenant of the tower.

The anchor builder will be a joint partnership by South Korea’s Samsung C&T Corp and local firm UEM Group Bhd, he said, adding: “For a project that is so sophisticated technically, UEM’s ability to partner is a pride of Malaysia’s corporate sector.”

Both the Merdeka PNB118 tower and the shopping mall which will cover 900,000 square feet accounts for the first phase of the Warisan Merdeka project.

The mixed development on 19 acres of land will see its two remaining phases completed by 2024.

Following the announcement of the project several years ago, civil society had objected to its construction in the historical area where Stadium Merdeka and Stadium Negara is located, citing among other things existing traffic congestion in the neighbourhood.

But Tun Ahmad Sarji said today that any traffic woes will be mitigated by Warisan Merdeka’s proximity to three types of railway in the area — including the upcoming MRT line which will pass through the MRT Merdeka station adjacent to the project.

“The existing LRT and monorail lines will also be connected to the MRT Merdeka station.

“Therefore, the problem of traffic congestion can be handled well with the preparation of adequate access networks for exit and entry of the Warisan Merdeka area,” he said in his speech earlier when saying that government projects in the same area will ensure Warisan Merdeka’s viability. 

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