I'm a pro-development guy, and I'm very excited about the development of Merdeka 118.
If you're going to Kuala Lumpur in the past 3 years, surely you can easily see that there are 2 new skyscrapers dominating the skyline.
One is The Exchange 106 at TRX which is already completed, and another one is Merdeka 118 which is still under construction.
Merdeka 118, developed by PNB (Permodalan Nasional Berhad), will be the tallest building in Malaysia and the second tallest in the world at 644m behind the ridiculous Burj Khalifa in Dubai at 829.8m.
It will drop to the third tallest in the world after the Jeddah Tower at 1,000m in Saudi Arabia is completed.
The 95-floor Exchange 106 stands at 445.5m which is almost at the same height as 88-floor Petronas Twin Towers in KLCC (451m).
Merdeka 118 is located at former Merdeka Park which was a hilly terrain adjacent to the historic Stadium Merdeka & Stadium Negara.
Its construction started in 2014 and was initially slated for completion in year 2021. However, the date has been recently postponed to Q2 of 2022 after Covid-19 pandemic.
There are 3 phases of Merdeka 118 development.
Phase 1 involved the Merdeka 118 tower and the surrounding infrastructures while Phase 2 comprises a retail mall "Merdeka@118" and a 4-acre public linear park "Merdeka Boulevard@118".
In Oct20, the core concrete structure of the tower has reached level 118 and the construction of the mall and linear park was in early stage.
Both Phase 1 & 2 are expected to be completed together in Q2 of 2022.
Phase 3 consists of 3 residential towers "Merdeka Residences" and its launch has been deferred to the end of 2021, with completion expected in 2024/2025.
It is reported that PNB & its subsidiaries will take up 42 floors of the Merdeka 118 tower, 41 floors are for office rental, 14 floors for amenities, 17 floors for Park Hyatt Hotel and 4 floors for observation deck.
The 5-star Park Hyatt will have 232 guest rooms, 28 suites and 30 serviced apartments.
The site of Merdeka 118 is an old area in KL and people hardly go to this place.
While I was studying in KL around year 2000, Puduraya, Kota Raya, Petaling Street & Bukit Bintang were the places I was very familiar with, but I only went to the stadium area once to attend A-Mei's concert in Stadium Merdeka.
The development of Merdeka 118 will definitely inject a new life into this area. Can it replace KLCC as a tourist hotspot?
When tourists visit KL, KLCC or Petronas Twin Towers is surely a must visit place, just like when we go to Taipei, surely we will be brought to Taipei 101.
After Merdeka 118 is successfully completed, it is 40% taller than the Petronas Twin Towers. Yes, it's 40%! I even read that the final height might be more than the reported 644m.
For Penangites, the height of KOMTAR is 232m, can you imagine three KOMTARs stacking up in front of you?
Merdeka@118 retail mall has 1 million sq ft of retail space with the largest shopping mall glass dome in Malaysia. You can shop under natural sunlight and moonlight.
It also has a 2,000-capacity ballroom, 1,000-seat theater, the highest observation deck in SEA and a 4-acre park with water features and event space.
If you are a tourist and you can only choose one place to go between KLCC & Merdeka 118, which one would you choose?
Merdeka 118 is conveniently connected by MRT (Merdeka station) directly beneath the mall, and Monorail (Maharajalela station) which is located at the end of Merdeka Boulevard@118 in the south.
Visitors can also take a walk from Plaza Rakyat Station (LRT Sentul/Ampang/Sri Petaling Star Line) and Pasar Seni Station (LRT Kelana Jaya Putra Line).
Will Merdeka 118 be a success like KLCC? Only time will tell and I believe that it will.