Lifestyle quarter to front TRX

ACCORDING to a statement by 1MDB Real Estate Sdn Bhd’s (1MDB RE) chief executive officer Datuk Azmar Talib, the 70-acre Tun Razak Exchange Square will comprise four quarters, namely the urban, park, financial and lifestyle quarters.

The lifestyle quarter will be developed jointly with Australia-based retail and infrastructure company Lend Lease Group and 1MDB RE. At 17 acres, this will be the largest and will form the “front door” or entrance for residents, shoppers and visitors to TRX.

It will have two hotels and three high-rise residential blocks, with the residential portion sitting on top of the mall. These mixed use development will be located along Jalan Utara.

The lifestyle quarter will be seamlessly connected to a “multi-layer” 13-acre Central Park that will be open 24/7 with an MRT station at one end. According to previous press reports, the largest MRT station will be located at TRX.

Azmar says 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 CBD 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. The quarter and its amenities are accessible from Jalan Barat, Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Tun Razak.

According to Azmar, the MRT station at TRX is progressing well. When completed, it will be directly link TRX to KLIA via the MEX highway, and to the planned KL-Singapore high speed rail (HSR) in Bandar Malaysia via MRT Line 2.

Says Azmar: “One of TRX’s key selling points will be the ease of doing business. It aims to create a business ecosystem which enables companies to be more efficient because of the ease and convenience TRX offers. (The transport linkages will provide companies located here) access to a larger pool of talent, customers and suppliers and

According to Azmar, the financial quarter, essentially the central business district (CBD) of TRX, will be the most visible as it will be fronting both Jalan Tun Razak and Jalan Sultan Ismail, two of the city’s busiest streets.

This financial parcel will be anchored by the Signature Tower, which was recently purchased by Indonesia’s Mulia group in May for RM665mil. This effectively means the 3.4-acre Signature Tower was sold at RM4,490 per sq ft (psf).

The office tower will be the focal point of this financial quarter, says Azmar. The total parcel will have a gross floor area of about 2 million sq ft.

Azmar says because of its size, the Signature Tower will be developed as a mixed integrated development with an imposing office tower of about 70 storeys, hence its name. It is estimated that it will have about 2,100 parking bays, four basements and three podium floors. Because of its sizeable land area, it will also have supporting ancillary facilities including retail and other business facilities.

Azmar says design work on the Signature Tower is currently at an advanced stage. Work on the site started in June.

As an international standard Prime Grade A building, it will have large, efficient, column-free offices, generous floor-to-ceiling height, high-speed elevators and smart utilities, he says.

Mulia Group owner Eka Tjandranegara was quoted as saying that its purchase will help pave the way for the group’s growth and expansion in the region.

This same piece of land was also offered to Lembaga Tabung Haji but because all its businesses have to be syariah-compliant, the Pilgrims’ Fund eventually opted for a residential parcel instead and this 3.4 acres was subsequently sold to the Indonesians.

About a week before Mulia sealed its purchase, Lembaga Tabung Haji bought a 1.56-acre parcel for RM188.5 mil cash, or RM2,780 psf.

Its purchase of the TRX land created a public outcry. Shortly after, Tabung Haji spoke of a planned exit to appease detractors but there is a possibility that it may decide to keep the land because TRX is being planned to be the next city centre.

TRX’s proximity to the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) will also be an advantage.

1MDB RE had offered both the 1.56-acre and the Signature Tower parcels to Tabung Haji a few years ago.

It finally opted for the residential parcel because owning an office and retail development may pose certain challenges as all businesses on its premises will have to be syariah-compliant.

Being smack in the financial quarter, it can only lease its office space to Islamic banks and not conventional banks.

So it was felt that a residential block would be more fitting with its business criteria. Mulia will not be bound by syariah-compliant regulations.

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