The entire master plan for KLCC project development around freehold prime property (KLCC: 40. 5 hectares – Petronas Twin Towers & Retail: 5. 8 hectares with 18,000 m2 each tower – 994,000 m2 total Petronas complex) was focused into seven main sections. i. e. Office Buildings, Hotels, Retails, Convention Centre, Residential, Recreational facilities and Infrastructure.
The conceptual redevelopment project was to covert site of the former Selangor Turf Club, a 100-acre horse race track located in the center of Kuala Lumpur’s “Golden Triangle, into an integrated, self-contained modern city as well as creating a new landscape for the capital city of Malaysia. The work of first phase was probably began between in 1992/3, with the 1,483 feet, 88-story tall Twin Towers as the center stage of attraction (It surpassed the Sears Tower, Chicago- once held the “world’s tallest building” distinction since 1974- by 33 feet. . The various office buildings provides an estimate 11 million sq. /ft. space. The retail area, Suria KLCC is a six-levels modern shopping centre with a capacity of approx. 1. 5 million sq. ft was another highlight. The third, a 49-storey Menara Maxis was a little coincidental – because it was also the headquarters of the businessman, T Ananda Krishnan who has been given the task of undertook this mega-project.
Mr. Ananda, was relatively unknown to even many Malaysian during the early ’90 because his core business activities was centered around United Kingdom where he primarily engaged in oil ; gas, properties and others (he even owned an studio in Hollywood for Cartoon movies and other businesses in countries like Australia etc. ). Basically, the man was handpicked by Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad as his self-establshed international creditability was part of the element in ensuring the RM3 billion (US1. 00 to approx. RM3. 70/80) project will get international/local funding. As the projected completion may take 7-8 years, the trade off was a series of proprietary business licenses such as award of a lottery operating permit, creating a multimedia/telecommunication empire from scratch to ensure sustainability of business income to support during the duration.
That was how the current hugely successful Public Listed establishments of Tanjong PLC (gaming), Maxis (Cellular Phone Operator), Astro (Multimedia ; Satellite Communication), Powertek (Oil ; Gas – now de-listed, privatized ; grouped under Tanjong PLC) ; KLCC (Property, Retail and building Management) all took shape during that intensive development era. Despite with an unofficial wealth count, the listed entities of the entire business empire was close to USD 9 Billion and many people even quoted him easily as one of the wealthiest Malaysian today, Mr. Ananda still stays relatively very low profile. Frankly, until I did a search, I am not aware the 30-storey Menara Esso Esso (now called Esso-Mobile) building was part of the entire project. The Mandarin Oriental (Kuala Lumpur) Hotel, one of the handful of Asian hotel that has been voted as the best hotel in a succession of 5 years in Bangkok, was just annexed to the KLCC’ Suria Shopping Mall (with an approx. 1. 2 million traffic flow of visitors a WEEK ! ) serves as a logical supplement to this ultramodern project.