Lendlease speeds up TRX project

Af­ter se­cur­ing 3 an­chors in Life­style Quar­ter, firm to open more space for leas­ing soon

The Star Malaysia - StarBiz - - News -

KUALA LUMPUR: Aus­tralian prop­erty and in­fra­struc­ture group Lendlease is mov­ing into high gear now that the coast has been cleared for fi­nan­cial and bank­ing district Tun Razak Ex­change (TRX) to move ahead.

It has se­cured up to three an­chor ten­ants to take up 347,000 sq ft of its to­tal 1.33 mil­lion sq ft of net let­table area (NLA), or 26% of the re­tail por­tion at The Life­style Quar­ter.

“We will be launch­ing leas­ing of the re­main­ing space in a month of two,” Lendlease Asia chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Tony Lom­bardo told StarBiz.

TRX has gen­er­ated a lot of in­ter­est af­ter Pakatan Hara­pan’s May 9, 2018 vic­tory. Af­ter weeks of un­cer­tainty pend­ing a re­view of all ma­jor projects as a re­sult of Malaysia’s tril­lion debt sit­u­a­tion, Fi­nance Min­istry (MoF) in June an­nounced that it would pump RM2.8bil into the 70-acre TRX. The money will be given in stages un­til the 70-acre project is com­pleted in 2024.

The Life­style Quar­ter is a 60:40 joint ven­ture be­tween Lendlease and TRX City Sdn Bhd.

TRX City Sdn Bhd is the mas­ter de­vel­oper for TRX and is a wholly owned sub­sidiary of the MoF, which means the govern­ment owns the re­main­ing 40% of The Life­style Quar­ter.

The 17-acre mixed de­vel­op­ment com­prises a four-level mall, a 400room ho­tel and about 2,400 res­i­den- tial units.

The re­tail mall will be com­pleted first and will have a 10-acre pub­lic park as its roof-top.

One of 18 re­gen­er­a­tion projects around the world that Lendlease is in­volved in, Lom­bardo said the group is ex­cited with its work here.

“We do not get to do a city-defin- ing project (all that of­ten),” he said.

Lom­bardo said Ja­panese de­part­men­tal store Seibu, Golden Screen Cine­mas (GSC) and Hong Kong­based Dairy Farm would an­chor up to 26% of the 1.33 mil­lion NLA mall space.

For com­par­i­son, Pav­il­ion KL has a NLA of 1.37 mil­lion sq ft and Suria KLCC, 1.17 mil­lion sq ft.

The res­i­den­tial units launched in 2019.

To be com­pleted in 2020-2021, The Life­style Quar­ter is, ac­cord­ing to Lom­bardo, seek­ing to put “a new di­men­sion and per­spec­tive” to the re­tail ex­pe­ri­ence. He is work­ing to­wards un­veil­ing the country’s best re­tail mall.

This en­com­passes the whole gamut of re­tail ex­pe­ri­ence from din­ing, en­ter­tain­ment, shop­ping and leisure.

“We will be able to of­fer a new re­tail en­vi­ron­ment which will give peo­ple a great des­ti­na­tion to visit, (by of­fer­ing) a new per­spec­tive.

“We are con­sid­er­ing dif­fer­ent ac­tiv­i­ties and how we can cu­rate the space dif­fer­ently from other malls,” he said.

Lom­bardo said the en­ter­tain­ment and leisure to be of­fered at The Life­style Quar­ter would in­volve will be the park where red car­pet pre­miere events and star per­for­mances would be held in­volv­ing cinema op­er­a­tor GSC.

“The cinema will have a broader pur­pose,” he said.

He said F&B would be dom­i­nant in the cen­tre, next to the pub­lic square and the 10-acre park.

Re­tail will be over four lev­els, one of them in the be­low ground, or con­course area, which is con­nected to the MRT level.

On its re­tail rental rate, Lom­bardo is non-com­mit­tal. “Look at KLCC and Pav­il­ion KL or it could be less. There will be a lot of value cre­ation at The Life­style Quar­ter.”

Lendlease Malaysia manag­ing di­rec­tor and country head Stu­art Men­del said the pedes­trian con­nec­tiv­ity from Bukit Bin­tang shop­ping district, ve­hic­u­lar and rail would make TRX a ma­jor des­ti­na­tion.

“This site of­fers the lat­est gen­er­a­tion of space that peo­ple will be mov­ing to be­cause of the con­ve­nience it pro­vides.

“Once the re­tail, res­i­den­tial, in­fra­struc­ture and park are de­liv­ered as part of phase one, the nat­u­ral mo­men­tum will be there. The rest – of­fices and res­i­den­tial – will nat­u­rally fol­low,” Men­del said.

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