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Time to get new developer to complete the Plaza Rakyat project

KUALA LUMPUR: The time is now ripe to get a new developer to complete the Plaza Rakyat project, said DTZ Malaysia executive director Brian Koh.

Koh said the abandoned project has been an eyesore in the heart of Kuala Lumpur for more than a decade.

“It is time to get someone to complete it. There have been promises made by the existing developer but nothing has happened,” he told theedgeproperty.com in a phone interview on Oct 5.

The Plaza Rakyat project in Kuala Lumpur was launched in 1996 but work has been put on hold since the 1997 Asian financial crisis.

According to a news report quoting the Federal Territories Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin, the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) is in final negotiations with the developer, Global Upline Sdn Bhd, to straighten out the details of the project.

“Two recession cycles have already passed. It should be completed by now,” said Koh.

Meanwhile, VPC Alliance (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd’s managing director James Wong said the government should step in and appoint a new party to complete the development.

“The privatisation agreement between Wembley Industries Holdings Bhd and the Kuala Lumpur City Hall [DBKL] appears to favour the latter,” said Wong.

Global Upline was awarded the job to complete the first phase of Plaza Rakyat by Wembley Industries.

“So, in order to revive the development of Plaza Rakyat, any new agreement between DBKL and a new developer should be a win-win situation, so that the project can be commercially viable,” Wong added.

Wong said some form of compensation should be given to the original developer of Plaza Rakyat for the millions of ringgit it has sunk in for the development.

He said the new bidder has to conduct a market study and financial feasibility based on what have been completed and look for the best way to revive the development.

“After you have done the studies, the risk of failure will be minimised,” Wong said.

The RM1.2 billion Plaza Rakyat project comprises three buildings of 79, 49 and 21 storeys for office lots, condominium and hotel respectively.

A Global Upline company official declined to comment on the matter when contacted.
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