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Lend Lease to build 1,800 apartment units in TRX Lifestyle Quarter

Tun Razak Exchange by 1MDB. Tun Razak Exchange by 1MDB.

Australia-headquartered Lend Lease will soon be commencing construction works at Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) Lifestyle Quarter. According to a source, the company is now calling for pre-qualification of contractors for substructure works.

TRX Lifestyle Quarter will be built over a 16.8-acre freehold site (6.8ha) within the heart of TRX. It has a potential revised gross development value (GDV) of US$2.8 billion upon completion. In ringgit terms, the GDV would have increased from RM8 billion to more than RM11.5 billion at today's exchange rate.

The mixed development will be jointly developed by Lend Lease with a 60% stake and 1 Malaysia Development Bhd's (1MDB) wholly-owned subsidiary 1MDB Real Estate Sdn Bhd (1MDB-RE) owning the remaining 40%. The formalisation of the joint development agreement took place in March this year.

Essentially, Lend Lease had become the lead developer for the Lifestyle Quarter. The company states that it does not rule out any possibility of tieing up with an experienced local property developer if the need arises.

Lend Lease will develop, design, construct, lease and operate TRX Lifestyle Quarter's shopping mall which will have a gross floor area (GFA) of 2.118 million square feet and a net lettable area (NLA) of approximately 1.35 million square feet.

The Lifestyle Quarter is being designed by London firm Grimshaw Architects, an agency that has worked on New York's Fulton Center, the city's newest transit hub.

The integrated precinct forms the social heart of the TRX, by offering a series of modern lifestyle experiences and will set new benchmarks not only in terms of design, but for the types of retailers, dining establishments, outdoor spaces, leisure activities and entertainment options.

The retail development will be a premium branded shopping centre and is envisioned to be one of the most trendy shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur in the coming future.

The concourse level (Lower Ground Floor) will consist of supermarket and food grocer, food and beverage outlets and VIP valet parking. Levels 1 and 2 will be premium shopping floors anchored by a branded international-class departmental store.

Level 3 will consist of a rooftop parkland which made up of a multi-layer Central Park that will be open 24/7, a plaza area with landscape, a cineplex, nightlife and al-fresco food and beverage outlets. There will be an approximately 2,800 car parking bays at the two basement levels of the mall.

It was speculated that retail tenants in the the Lifestyle Quarter may include American upscale fashion retailer Nordstrom, a Jamie Oliver restaurant and Japanese retail giant Takashimaya. The parent company of Takashimaya was said to have conducted a market survey vigorously in Kuala Lumpur several years ago.

Construction of the mall will commence in March 2016 and is planned for opening in the middle of 2019. The construction period is 35 months from the winning bidder's site possession date.

The retail mall will be seamlessly connected to the TRX MRT Station, which will be the largest mass rapid transit (MRT) station in Kuala Lumpur with an underground depth equivalent to 5 levels hosting double-stacked cross platforms and four rail tunnels.

It will be earmarked as an interchange station serving both MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line (or MRT Line 1) and MRT Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya Line (or MRT Line 2).

For the hotel component, a 5-star international hotel will be built on the podium structure of the retail mall adjacent to the Central Park. The hotel will have 425 rooms and will be 40 storeys in height.

Interested parties for the hotel had been narrowed down to a few luxury brands, including Chimera, Rosewood Hotels and Resorts, and Hilton-owned Waldorf Astoria.

The northern site fronting Jalan Utara will consist of the residential component for the Lifestyle Quarter. There will be 6 iconic residence towers with approximately 1,800 apartment units built on three individual podium complex.

The towers will be connected by a common podium consisting of community space located at Level 8. The residential towers will be approximately 70 storeys each and will be marketed as mid-to-high end within the market. The apartments will have a full view of the Central Park on one side.

The first phase apartments will be launched in 2017 onwards with an expected price of RM1,500 per square foot. PTLM Research noted that the planned total residential apartments for the entire TRX is 3,800 units.

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Entirely, the 70-acre TRX project is positioned as Kuala Lumpur's purpose-built international business and financial district. It is located near to Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur's shopping belt and the iconic Petronas Twin Towers in KLCC.

Designed by US-based Machado Silvetti and Akitek Jururancang Malaysia Sdn Bhd, the TRX masterplan entails four precincts, which are: (a) Financial Quarter; (b) Lifestyle Quarter; (c) Park Quarter; and (d) Urban Quarter.

There are 25 plots of land altogether with a total of 25 buildings built offering a GFA of over 21 million square feet and a total GDV of RM29.4 billion based on early estimates.

The Park Quarter, sited on the western edge of TRX, will have offices and residences. Unlike the financial quarter, this parcel, on completion, will be relatively more serene than the hustle and bustle of the core area which will be located in the Financial Quarter.

A large public plaza anchors the Park Quarter and links the ground level streetscape along Jalan Barat with the Central Park. This precinct and its amenities are accessible from Jalan Barat, Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Tun Razak.

The Financial Quarter will be anchored by the 3.4-acre TRX Signature Tower, which was purchased by Indonesia’s Mulia Group in May this year for RM665 million (or RM4,490 psf with a Plot Ratio: 15 times).

Mulia Group, which has a leading market share for premium commercial properties in Jakarta, intends to commence work next year on its proposed 90-storey 'Grade A+' office building, which will also have supporting ancillary facilities including retail, trading hub and business facilities.

1MDB is investing close to RM3.8 billion for its infrastructure. Recently, it awarded a major infrastructure and roadway works package to WCT Bhd, with a contract valued at RM754.8 million.

The two-year contract will cover underground road structures, installation of direct buried utilities, at-grade and elevated roadways, as well as associated earthworks, and mechanical and electrical works. This follows an earlier award of an earthworks and substructure contract package in April 2013 that WCT won worth RM169 million.

TRX is envisioned to host 100 to 250 of the world's leading corporations and create more than 40,000 jobs for knowledge workers specialising in various high-value sectors such as financial services and Islamic banking.

In order to attract global multi-national and financial services corporations to set up base in TRX, the government of Malaysia is offering several tax incentives for owners and tenants that fall under TRX's marquee incentives such as accelerated capital allowances (100% over 2 years), stamp duty retention and 50% additional tax deduction on renovation expenses.

TRX has been awarded Platinum Provisional GBI Certification by Green Building Index Accreditation Panel, the first ever platinum level township certification in Malaysia, and a LEED for Neighborhood Development Plan Gold Level Conditional Approval from US-based Green Building Council, for its sustainability plan.

TRX will also be equipped with Smart City Infrastructure comprising TRX Security, Urban Operating System, Digital Homes, Mobile and Wireless Cloud and Smart Waste System among others.

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