Former Tunku Abdul Rahman Park site could host mixed property projects

PETALING JAYA: As Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB), the country’s biggest fund management company, plans to develop the former Tunku Abdul Rahman Park next year, the question now arises: What kind of developments are suitable on such prime land?

Paul Khong, executive director of Regroup Associates Sdn Bhd, tells that the site is suitable for a mix of serviced apartments, mid to upper-end condominiums and a retail mall.

“The theme of development and its concept should also be carefully planned, especially as it is located within a strong and established tourist area with various historical elements around. We have the tourist attractions of Petaling Street and Central Market down the road with the Stadium Negara and Stadium Merdeka adjacent,” he said.

Recently, PNB president and group chief executive Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah Che Othman was reported as saying that the company would undertake mixed property projects on the 7.2 ha land surrounding Merdeka Stadium and Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur to add value to the surrounding areas.

The former Tunku Abdul Rahman Park was demolished more than 10 years ago. The park, together with Merdeka Stadium and Stadium Negara, were slated for demolition to make way for inner-city development in the 1990s, but the plan did not proceed due to the developer (the then United Engineers Malaysia Bhd -- UEM) facing financial difficulties during the Asian financial crisis.

The three plots were then taken over by PNB through Pengurusan Danaharta Nasional Bhd, a national asset management company. In 2003, Merdeka Stadium and Stadium Negara were classed as national heritage buildings.

PNB had earlier said it planned to have posh residential developments and business plazas in the area at a gross development value of RM3 billion.

Regroup’s Khong expected to see greater values to the properties nearby and more redevelopment projects within the vicinity upon the completion of the project.

“This major development could further spark off a host of new redevelopments in this vicinity which will rejuvenate and bring back commercial activity to this quiet part of the old town. Across the entire area, the road and infrastructure will have to be improved substantially, upgraded and widened to cater to the traffic which will be attracted to this area. Currently, the old structures are still around and redevelopment is still nominal,” he said.

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