KUALA LUMPUR: Finally, about a decade after the government first unveiled its plans to develop Kuala Lumpur’s financial district, Tun Razak Exchange officially received its first tenant.
Previously known as the Kuala Lumpur International Financial District, now TRX for short, the development received British-based insurance company Prudential yesterday.
Prudential Assurance Malaysia Bhd chief executive officer Gan Leong Hin said at the official opening yesterday: “We are extremely proud to be the first company to move into world-class financial district TRX. More importantly, all of Prudential’s businesses in Malaysia are now operating under one roof.”
TRX has a gross development value of RM40bil, and is designed to cater for world-class financial institutions, said finance minister Lim Guan Eng who officiated the event.
When the Pakatan Harapan government came into power last year, there were concerns that the 70-acre mega project would be moth-balled.
Prudential will be occupy 65% of Menara Prudential, an internationally recognised green building.
From master developer TRX City Sdn Bhd to each of the land owners -- HSBC, Affin Bank, Indonesia’s Mulia Group, IJM Corp Bhd and Australia’s Lendlease group, to name some -- the unveiling of Prudential’s new 27-storey corporate head office represents a milestone for all.
Each have individual stories to tell. But perhaps master developer TRX City Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Azmar Talib carried the heaviest load.
“People asked how I did it, how I convinced the top guys, some of world’s global companies to come here.”
TRX City Sdn Bhd was previously known as 1MDB Real Estate Sdn Bhd, the property arm of 1MDB.
“I tell them, my job is to protect value and to create value, ” Azmar said.
TRX City Sdn Bhd, currently located in Sg Besi, will be occupying about 20,000 sq ft on level 23 of Menara Prudential, he said.
TRX offices offer some of the largest floor area in the city with the Exchange 106 offering average sizes of 34,000 sq ft. It will have 2.8 million sq ft of net lettable area. An industry source said Mulia is in leasing negotiations.
Exchange 106, the second building to be ready for tenants, is jointly developed by MoF’s unit MKD Signature Sdn Bhd and the Mulia. MoF owns a 51% stake. The remaining 49% is owned by the Mulia Group.
Azmar said Affin and HSBC buildings are expected to be completed in 2020 and Exchange 106 is awaiting certification of completion and compliance.
IJM Corp Bhd, which built and owns Menara Prudential, will also be building the Affin and HSBC buildings.
Yesterday’s event skirted the issue of office rental in TRX but according to an online property website, rental for a single floor – or 21,000 sq ft in Menara Prudential – was quoted as RM189,000, or RM9 per sq ft.
The city’s oversupply of office space is putting pressure on rental. Last week, Knight Frank Malaysia executive director of corporate services Teh Young Khean said office rental rates in KL city remained “under pressure”, with owners competing to attract new occupiers and to retain tenants. Office rental rates fell 0.2% in the second quarter due to over supply, Teh said.