South-East Asias tallest building, housed in KL, gets tenants

Published on 24 Oct 2019. | Source: thestar.com.my

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KUALA LUMPUR: South-East Asia’s tallest building, Exchange 106, will see its first batch of tenants moving in by the end of this year, confirming occupancy of about 500,000 square feet of office space, Mulia Property Development Sdn Bhd says.

The occupancy marks a couple of milestones, both for Indonesia’s Mulia Group, which bought the land in 2015, and for the overall development of the Tun Razak Exchange, a 70-acre development very much embroiled in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd or 1MDB corruption saga.

While all that is history, stakeholders are relieved that tenants and potential tenants are viewing the building for what it is today -- the city’s most efficient office space with superior office management services. There have been nail-biting moments for master developer TRX City Sdn Bhd and for Mulia itself.

It is the second building to open its doors in TRX, after Menara Prudential.

The HSBC building is expected to be the third building to open for business. Central Business District Loop, an integral connection into TRX, is expected to open by the first half of 2020 and is expected to rev up activities with its opening.

Mulia Property Development Sdn Bhd project director Roland A. Suckling briefing the media on the construction of Exchange 106. The team completed a floor every three days, working 22 hours a day. The entire building took 20,000,000 total manhours to complete.

Said Mulia property development project director Roland A Suckling: “There were times when cashflow was a bit tight and we had to finance things ourselves, when the country had a change of government. That was a surprise and it was a bit bumpy for us.

“New people came in and they did not understand and needed time to get things up to speed. The new government came on board, and things were moving again, ” said Suckling, who has been involved with Exchange 106 from the very start.

It was also with a sigh of relief that finally, its head of marketing Christine Yeap is able to introduce the building in all its grandeur to the media after so many challenging episodes during its construction and development.

General manager for property management Patrick Honan said its first tenants are expected to come in by December 2019, with the rest starting to move in sometime in the first and second quarters of 2020.

They are confident that half of Exchange 106’s total office space of 2.6 million sq ft will be occupied by the end of 2020.

Honan said global and local companies have been heading for Exchange 106 in “a steady stream”, making plans to relocate to the iconic building over the next year and a half. “This includes a top-five Fortune 500 global consulting firm, a Hong Kong-based multinational personal care brand, some of the world’s most recognised e-commerce platforms, and one of the most globally renowned serviced offices and co-working brands with the largest network with over 3,000 locations in 120 countries.

Mulia Property Development Sdn Bhd project director Roland A. Suckling in front of The Sphere at the entrance to Exchange 106

“All of these leading brands plan on using Exchange 106 as a hub for their growing regional presence, innovation and growth in the decades to come, ” Honan said.

But the battle is not over as Greater Kuala Lumpur has more than 133 million sq ft of office space, well ahead of regional peers, as reported by the National Property Information Centre in its latest half-year report.

Said Honan: “We are working within the market space. There is a good strong supply facing the market and we respond within that level when it comes to clients, and which remains competitive with other buildings in Kuala Lumpur.”Exchange 106, at 1,614 ft – or 492.06 metres above sea level – is the tallest building in the country for now, until Permodalan Nasional Bhd’s completion of its skyscraper Merdeka 118.

The Finance Ministry owns 51% of the building through its unit MKD Signature Sdn Bhd, while Indonesia’s Mulia Group holds the remainder.

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