Three sites in the city have been identified for the development of iconic structures to spur growth in the economy.
Sources say they are Dataran Perdana in Jalan Davis, the area surrounding Stadium Merdeka and the vicinity of the Matrade Centre in Jalan Duta.
All the plots of land are privately owned.Two belong to governmentlinked companies — Pelaburan Hartanah Bumiputera Bhd and Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) — while the Naza group owns 25ha in the vicinity of the Matrade Centre.
Economists were recently briefed by the Economic Planning Unit in the Prime Minister’s Department on the implementation of the iconic projects, as part of efforts to boost the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Even though the actual designs of the three structures have not been finalised, two appeared to have a 100-storey building each.
This could rival the highest structure in the country — the 88-storey Petronas Twin Towers, completed in 1997 at a cost of US$1.2 billion (RM4.05 billion).
While it is understood that the design for such a skyscraper is included in the original development master plan for the 25ha site around the Matrade centre, another source claimed that a 100-storey building is to be built near Stadium Merdeka, owned by PNB.
Bank Islam Malaysia chief economist Azrul Azwa said: “The key thing is the huge cost of the development and what the government’s role will be in this.
“There needs to be a costbenefit analysis of the projects to ensure they not only give short-term benefits to GDP but also help the economy in the long run.” RSP Architect’s Hud Bakar said a 100-storey building, on average, would cost 50 per cent more per square foot than a normal high-rise building, depending on the actual design.
Real estate agent Previndran Singhe of Zerin Properties said: “It is good to have iconic developments. But we should do away with the perception that iconic developments mean tall buildings.”
2009/12/07 By Vasantha Ganesan and Presenna Nambiar