COMING SOON: The famous landmark in Bukit Bintang will be turned into a station named BB Central
THE 33-year old BB Plaza in Bukit Bintang will be up for demolition to make way for the building of a MY Rapid Transit (MRT) station there.
According to UDA Holdings Bhd group managing director Ahmad Abu Bakar, the company, which owns and manages the building, had to give up the building as they were told by the Ministry of Finance that works on the track would commence in February next year.
He said this at a press conference in UDA headquarters at BB Plaza after holding a dialogue session with a group representing the 167 traders in the shopping centre.
He said the traders had to vacate the building by end of the year. This will also include UDA Holdings Bhd's headquarters.
"We have not received this order in black and white as we were verbally informed of the decision in the last meeting with officers from the Ministry," he said.
However, the traders in the shopping centre have not been issued a notice to vacate yet.
A few sidewalk cafe operators were first informed a few weeks ago to vacate their premises by end of this month.
He said as far as compensation was concerned, the matter was under the prerogative of the Ministry while the pay out would likely come from MRT Corp.
UDA property management senior vice-president Syed Ahmad Nazri Syed Kamaruzaman said it was conveyed to them during their last meeting between MOF and MRT Corp that plans to barricade the building's entrance was expected to take place by September.
"By July 1, hoarding would be put up around the entrance where the sidewalk cafes were operating," said Syed Ahmad Nazri.
He said demolition works did not include the adjoining Sungei Wang Plaza.
Meanwhile, those who came to the dialogue session were upset.
They are asking that they be allowed to run their business until Hari Raya as they fear they would be told to vacate earlier.
Hassan Saad said the traders had incurred major losses in 2000 when the entrance had to be closed during the building of the sidewalk cafes.
Sources said that there will be some redevelopment here after the building has been torn down which would be part of the MRT project.
MRT Corp was earlier reported to have said that it had no intention to buy BB Plaza.
Instead it said then, it would work with the government to build an underground station integrated with BB Plaza.