Sunday, 1 April 2012

RIX visits Kuala Lumpur

Your reporter in front of the towers
Hello, my name is RIX and I am a real estate tortoise with many, many years experience in international property, principally in appraisal and valuation. Over my lifetime I have worked for most of the major surveying companies but now that I am very advanced in years, I find myself wanting to pass some of my knowledge onto younger folk in the profession. To that end, I also work for the Department of Real Estate and Construction at Oxford Brookes as an Associate Tortoise. I travel the world very slowly and report on interesting real estate for this blog. This role is made easier since I carry my own real estate with me.

This report comes from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where I visited the tallest 'twin towers' in the world, also known as Petronas Towers and KLCC. Petronas is the Malaysian government-owned gas and oil company.

Here I am crossing the road in front of the building - it took quite a long time as I am not a fast mover, despite being a property professional.

Petronas Towers - the tallest twin towers in the world
The twin towers are located in the Kuala Lumpur Golden Triangle of business development, with a direct link to the light rail transit (LRT) network and with a shopping mail beneath the towers. The towers are owned by Kuala Lumpur City Centre Holdings (KLCC) and are constructed largely of reinforced concrete, with a steel and glass facade. The cross section of each tower is based on an Islamic symbol of two overlapping squares adapted with circular sections to facilitate space requirements for offices.

Tower One (which is the one of the right in the photograph) is fully occupied by Petronas itself with the office space in Tower Two being leased to other companies. These include blue chips:  Huawei Technologies, Accenture, AVEVA, Al Jazeera English,  Bloomberg, Boeing, IBM, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, McKinsey & Co, HCL Technologies, Krawler, Microsoft and Reuters.

The towers have 88 floors, are 1483 feet high (482 m) and were actually the tallest buildings in the world between 1998, when they were completed, and 2004, when Tapei 101 took over. Currently they are the 4th and 5th tallest buildings in the world. Accommodation area is 4,252, 000 sq ft (or 395,000 sq m) with floor plates of up to 1970 sq m net (21,200 sq ft) and floor to ceiling heights of 8 ft 8 in (or 2.65m). Rents are about 13 MYR per sq ft (equates to about £2.80 or between 70-86 MYR (about £16) per sq m)), although this is not based on very recent deals. Leases were originally for a fixed 15 year term back in 1998, so there should be some current renegotiation taking place now.

You may remember this property from a film called Entrapment, starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta Jones, where the Skybridge between the towers featured heavily. I didn't make it to view the development from the Skybridge - I couldn't reach the button for the lifts.

I am now on my way to Singapore slowly.

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