Pudu Prison partly demolished, redevelopment next year

KUALA LUMPUR: Parts of the century-old Pudu Prison is being demolished sparking fresh speculations that the redevelopment plans for the former prison site will begin soon.

Developer UDA Holdings Bhd however said the redevelopment of the landmark 20-acre site located near the Bukit Bintang/Jln Imbi shopping and entertainment hub might only take place sometime next year depending on the economic environment then.

Pudu Prison was built in 1895 by the British and is perhaps one of the oldest iconic landmarks in the city.

According to the company official familiar with the project, the developer has handed over the portion currently being demolished to Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) for a road widening and tunnel project to ease traffic congestion in the area.

The road expansion works costing some RM83 million and slated for completion by September 2011 apparently began late last week.

Earlier in June this year, UDA’s managing director Datuk Jaafar Abu Hassan told The Edge’s City & Country section that the former prison site will consist of a mixed development, and construction  are expected to commence in 2Q2010 or 3Q2010, subject to market conditions. He was unable to reveal detailed information of the proposed development plans then. The project was referred to earlier as the Bukit Bintang Commercial Centre.

However, he said then that soil investigations and site studies have been carried out and plans submitted to DBKL. Jaafar also mentioned that he has been approached numerous times for joint-ventures to develop the site,

Among projects currently being developed by UDA are condominiums including Sinaran TTDI in Taman Tun Dr Ismail and Gaya Bangsar in Bangsar as well as upgrading works on the Puduraya bus terminal in Kuala Lumpur.

Ongoing demolition of a section of Pudu Prison - picture taken Oct 14, 2009 by Kenny Yap/
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