Plaza Rakyat

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People's Plaza
Plaza Rakyat
Plaza Rakyat contruction site, Kuala Lumpur (February 2007).jpg
The construction site of Plaza Rakyat (pictured in February 2007) has seen little activity since the project was stalled in 1997.
General information
Status On hold
Type Office, residential, leisure
Location Pudu Road, central Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Coordinates 3°8′41″N 101°42′10″E / 3.14472°N 101.70278°E / 3.14472; 101.70278Coordinates: 3°8′41″N 101°42′10″E / 3.14472°N 101.70278°E / 3.14472; 101.70278
Construction started 1990 (Restart in June 2017)
Estimated completion 2021-22
Opening Postponed
Height
Roof 382 m (1,253 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 79
Design and construction
Architect Skidmore, Owings and Merrill

The People's Plaza (Malay: Plaza Rakyat) is a mixed-use skyscraper complex in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia initiated during the 1990s. However the project, which had already commenced construction, stalled due to the 1997 Asian financial crisis and remains abandoned as of 2017.

The project, originally designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, was to comprise a 79-storey office tower, a 46-storey condominium, a 24-storey hotel and a 7-storey shopping centre. The original Puduraya bus depot was also intended to be replaced.

History[edit]

The project, which occupies a large triangular tract of land facing Pudu Road and Robertson Road, Kuala Lumpur, was previously a swampland before occupancy in 1929 by the Selangor Chinese Club, a social club consisting of a clubhouse mimicking the Selangor Club at Merdeka Square in layout and architectural style (in Mock Tudor architecture), and a vast field. The club was completely cleared away during the 1990s for the project.

The site remains connected (but closed) to the Ampang Line's Plaza Rakyat station, which was opened in 1996 in preparation for the completion of Plaza Rakyat.

Abandonment and potential revivals[edit]

The Plaza Rakyat development was put on hold in 1998 due to financial difficulties faced by the developer and the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Abandonments have similarly plagued several other building projects in Kuala Lumpur as a result of the 1997 financial crisis, such as the Duta Grand Hyatt at the intersection of Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Ampang, and the Vision City, Kuala Lumpur at Jalan Sultan Ismail. As of December 2016, only the base of the Plaza Rakyat complex has been completed.

Efforts to revitalise the project, announced in 2005 and 2006, proved unsuccessful and the project continued to be stalled. On 26 October 2007, it was once again announced that the project would be revived after contract negotiations and amendments with the Government of Malaysia regarding the sale of the premises following the completion of the project. The project was then expected to be completed by 2012.[1] However, little was said subsequently and the project continued to be abandoned.

After a public walkabout of the site by the newly installed Prime Minister Dato' Seri Najib Tun Razak in early 2009, the problem of the stalled construction project was looked at yet again. The government gave an ultimatum to the developer, Global Upline, three months from April 2009 to come up with a development plan or have its contract terminated.[2] In July 2009, it was reported that the new contractor would be announced by the following month.[3] However, in August 2009, Federal Territories Minister, Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin said that the government had yet to accept any proposals from interested developers pending a response from Global Upline.[4]

In December 2009, the government announced that it would terminate the deal with the current developer. [5] The Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Ministry terminated the original contract with Plaza Rakyat Sendirian Berhad in 2010, 12 years after the company abandoned the mixed-development project. As of December 2012, according to Kuala Lumpur mayor Ahmad Phesal Talib, Kuala Lumpur City Hall was going through an arbitration process with the original contractor, with RHB Bank acting as the arbitrator. [6]

Following completion of the arbitration process, Ahmad Phesal promised to appoint a new contractor for the site. [6]

In November 2014, the city government of Kuala Lumpur (Kuala Lumpur City Hall) took possession of the site after completing the arbitration process. In doing so, the city government agreed to settle outstanding bank loans after negotiating over several months to reduce this amount. [7]

In April 2016, the Deputy Minister of Federal Territories announced that work on the site would recommence in June 2017, twenty years after the site was abandoned. [8]

References[edit]

Estimated costs for Plaza Rakyat 1996 - Retail Block MR 511.894.541 - Hotel Blook MR 152.441.452 - Service Apartment Block MR 155.984.496 - Office Block MR 332.740.253 (it should be the world highest reinforced concrete skyscraper) Total: MR 1.153.060.742 SOM received for the complete preliminary design, incl. construction documents MR 88.000.000

External links[edit]