KUALA LUMPUR: THE 33-year-old Bukit Bintang Plaza, better known as BB Plaza, will remain as the construction of the My Rapid Transit (MRT) station in Jalan Bukit Bintang takes place.
Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob -- who chaired a meeting with BB Plaza traders, the pro-tem action committee against BB Plaza demolition, MRT Corp and Uda Holdings representatives yesterday -- said only five tenants, who occupied the sidewalk cafes, would have to move out to accommodate the works.
"After a discussion, they agreed to move out and have until this Sunday to do so, with details of the compensation to be discussed with MRT Corp.
"I was told that hoarding will be put up where the cafe outlets are located.
"To address the issue of accessibility raised by tenants in the plaza, MRT Corp and building owner Uda Holdings Bhd had agreed that the hoarding will be constructed as such that it does not hinder accessibility among customers."
He said Uda Holdings had agreed to reduce rental of the lots during the construction period after further discussions with the traders and should the building be acquired for redevelopment in the future, the new owner will have to include a specific clause in the agreement with Uda to give priority to the existing operators.
Pro-tem action committee president Hassan Saad said they were relieved to know that the building would not be demolished and that some of the 167 business operators could continue as usual.
"We do understand that there will be temporary inconvenience and will cooperate with Uda and MRT during throughout this period. We will inform the tenants of the outcome of this meeting," said Hassan.
MRT Corp stakeholders/land director Haris Fadzilah Hassan said the minor works for the construction would start with the moving of utility cables.
"Minor works to remove the cables are expected to start tonight (last night) before construction of the station and tunneling works can begin.
"Upon completion, what used to be the sidewalk cafes in front of BB Plaza will be the entrance for the MRT station located beneath Jalan Bukit Bintang.
"Businesses here can operate as usual as we had found the building to be safe for use during construction which is scheduled until 2016."
There will be temporary traffic management plan carried out in Jalan Bukit Bintang from today for one month to facilitate pre-construction works for the MRT project.
It was reported that Jalan Bukit Bintang would be closed at night between 11pm and 5am daily, except weekends and public holiday, and that a traffic management plan would be implemented to ensure minimum inconvenience to road users.
For details, call the MRT hotline at 1800 82 6868 or visit www.mymrt.com.my.