The 100-storey Warisan Merdeka could become the new attraction to advance the growth of Kuala Lumpur, now that the area around the landmark Petronas Twin Towers has become congested, said real estate consultants at a conference on Greater KL.

“KL as a city took on a new dynamic after the KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Centre) came into being. But it has been 13 years already and the city needs another impetus to take it forward,” said Previn Singhe, CEO of Zerin Properties.

“I think KLCC is getting choked as well,” said Mr. Singhe.

Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB), which is promoting the Warisan Merdeka project, had planned to start the development this year. However, it has been put off due to a public outcry over the 100-storey building, which is part of the overall RM5 billion development. Some are worried that it will flood KL with surplus office space when completed, since other developments are emerging in the vicinity.

PNB will likely persevere, considering that the project is envisioned as a “high impact strategic development”. The site has also been assigned for one of the 35 planned stations on the maiden KL Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line.

The development needed to be commercially funded, said Mr. Singhe, stressing that a landmark building “does not need to be about height but make a difference to the skyline and the people”.

The Petronas Towers also met strong opposition but it has since become a premier address in the city, said real estate consultant Ho Chin Soon.

Market forces will cope with supply and demand and many tenants will be keen to pay a premium for landmark buildings, he said. However, he also indicated the need for open tenders.