KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 5 — The 118-storey tower in Kuala Lumpur, which is also the world’s second tallest tower at 678.9 metres, is expected to be completed in the middle of next year, its owner PNB Merdeka Ventures Sdn Bhd said yesterday.

Datuk Tengku Ab Aziz Tengku Mahmud, CEO of PNB Merdeka Ventures, confirmed that the whole tower — which includes 17 floors of Malaysia’s first Park Hyatt hotel — is expected to be completed by the middle of next year.

“Physically, it will be ready, that means the offices can move in,” he told reporters after a tour of the Merdeka 118 precinct development.

With 1.66 million square feet of premium Grade A office space spread out over 83 floors available to be leased, Ab Aziz confirmed that the planned tenancy mix is expected to be 70 per cent local tenants and 30 per cent multinational tenants to give the Merdeka 118 development an international flavour.

Fund management company Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) and its subsidiaries are reportedly taking up about half of the office floors in the 118-storey tower, with Ab Aziz confirming that PNB will be the first to move in when the tower is ready.

As for the tenants and take up of other office space in the tower, Ab Aziz said: “We are working on it, so as and when we will announce it.”

Park Hyatt, which will be the tallest hotel in Kuala Lumpur and the first-ever hotel in Malaysia under this luxury brand, will have 252 guestrooms and also the highest dining point in the tower.

Ab Aziz said the hotel — occupying levels 98 to 112 — is expected to be ready to operate by the third quarter of next year, which will be after tenants start moving into the office floors below (which are from level eight to level 96).

Directly below the office floors is a seven-storey retail mall named the “118 Mall” and five-storeys of basement parking for 8,100 vehicles. This shopping mall is expected to officially open in 2024.

Above the mall, the office floors, and the Park Hyatt hotel will be the observation deck right at the top named “The View at 118”. This will be the highest observation deck in South-east Asia.

Ab Aziz said this observation deck — occupying level 115, 116 and a mezzanine floor within level 116 — is expected to open to the public by the end of next year.

Accessible through a lift that will bring you to the 115th floor in just slightly over one minute, the observation deck offers a 360-degree view of the cityscape of Kuala Lumpur.

PNB Merdeka Ventures Sdn Bhd CEO Datuk Tengku Ab Aziz Tengku Mahmud speaks to reporters about Merdeka 118. — Picture courtesy of PNB Merdeka Ventures Sdn Bhd
PNB Merdeka Ventures Sdn Bhd CEO Datuk Tengku Ab Aziz Tengku Mahmud speaks to reporters about Merdeka 118. — Picture courtesy of PNB Merdeka Ventures Sdn Bhd

How it started and what is the progress

Groundbreaking work for the Merdeka 118 project worth RM5 billion officially started in February 2016 when it was launched by then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

In early June 2021, the Merdeka 118 tower officially became Malaysia’s tallest building when the final roof slab was completed and the peak of Level 118 was safely reached.

On November 30, 2021, a 40-storey tall spire on top of the Merdeka 118 tower was completed, boosting the entire tower’s height to 678.9 metres, which made it the highest tower in South-east Asia and second tallest in the world. At that time, the tower had reached 85 per cent completion, with tower floor installation reaching Level 118 and glass panels installed up to Level 114.

Visitors will in the future be able to climb up the spiral staircase inside the spire, up to the 16th level inside the spire. Level 16 inside the spire would be equivalent to 566 metres.

“It is still the highest platform in the world, for the record,” he said, noting that the spire will also have perforation to allow for ventilation and will offer better views at that height.

As of July 2022, work on the tower has now reached 92 per cent completion, Ab Aziz said.

Also as of July 2022, the installation of glass panels for the tower’s facade has been completed up to the 115th floor while the concrete core structure has been completed at the 118th floor.