Construction activity is set to ramp up at Kuala Lumpur’s RM5 billion Merdeka 118 complex on Jalan Hang Jebat in the upcoming year. PNB Merdeka Ventures Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB), is preparing to commence work on three new residential towers, with the tallest soaring to 65 storeys, according to Tengku Datuk Ab Aziz Tengku Mahmud, the company’s CEO.
However, concerns have emerged about potential traffic congestion in the densely populated area as a result of these developments, as noted by an industry insider. The Merdeka 118 complex, strategically situated between Jalan Maharajalela and Jalan Hang Jebat, offers access to key thoroughfares including Jalan Syed Putra, Jalan Hang Tuah, Jalan Pudu, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Jalan Loke Yew, and Jalan Tun Razak.
The insider emphasized the need for meticulous planning given the scale of this massive project. Anticipating that the project has taken into account various developmental aspects, including minimizing disruptions to road users, the insider remains optimistic about the iconic project’s influence on the surrounding properties. Proximity to such a distinguished landmark could potentially serve as a compelling selling point in the real estate market.
PNB Merdeka Ventures is gearing up to construct the Merdeka Residences East Tower and the Merdeka Residences West Tower, spanning 65 and 63 storeys respectively. Furthermore, the Oakwood Premier Kuala Lumpur serviced residences are also part of the company’s plans for 2024, known for their premium residential services.
By collaborating with Oakwood Premier through a management agreement, PNB Merdeka Ventures is enhancing the city’s real estate landscape. With 348 residences featuring one, two, and three bedrooms, the new structure is set to stand adjacent to the renowned Merdeka 118 tower. The estimated completion date for these three residential towers is 2027, as shared by Aziz.
During a recent media tour of the Merdeka 118 tower, Aziz revealed that the towering structure, reaching 678.9 metres, is already 70% occupied. Boasting a net lettable area of approximately 1.7 million square feet and over 8,000 parking spaces, the Merdeka 118 tower offers premium Grade A office spaces from Levels 8 to 96. The tower also features the Park Hyatt Kuala Lumpur from Levels 97 to 112.
As the construction progresses towards its conclusion, PNB is slated to occupy 17 floors of the tower by the year’s end. This move marks a significant shift from its longstanding location at Menara PNB, Jalan Tun Razak. Additional tenants, including the anchor tenant Maybank, will follow suit and relocate within the next 12 months. Maybank is set to occupy an impressive 33 storeys within the tower.
Among the tower’s highlights, Levels 115 and 166 will host the observation deck known as “The View at 118,” while Level 117 will serve as the conference center. Lastly, Level 118 will accommodate the multipurpose event area.
Designed by Australian firm Fender Katsalidis, the Merdeka 118 skyscraper received global recognition as the second-tallest structure and the tallest in Southeast Asia at the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) Conference 2022 in Chicago, USA. Although the Burj Khalifa in Dubai holds the title of the world’s tallest structure at 828 meters, the Merdeka 118 tower stands as a remarkable architectural achievement.
Commencing its construction journey in 2016, the Merdeka 118 complex is situated on a historic site overlooking the iconic Stadium Merdeka, which played a pivotal role in Malaysia’s declaration of independence in 1957. This development not only includes the prominent tower but also comprises Stadium Merdeka, Stadium Negara, 118 Mall, Little M (a PNB childcare centre), Masjid Merdeka, Merdeka Boulevard at 118 (a four-acre public linear park), and the Merdeka Textile Museum.