Earmarked to give way to an MRT station, the Ampang Park Shopping Centre may survive after all. MRT Corp has released a statement detailing a reviewed design for the Ampang Park MRT station that will see the old mall stay put, while ensuring that commuters can conveniently transfer between MRT and LRT stations.

This follows meetings between MRT Corp and the mall’s strata unit owners and management corporation held last month. On Tuesday, MRT Corp presented a reviewed design option to the stakeholders. Among the features are:

  • The future Ampang Park MRT Station will be shifted slightly away from the Ampang Park Shopping Centre location
  • An underground pedestrian linkway between the future Ampang Park MRT Station and the existing Ampang Park LRT Station, and MRT tunnel for the MRT trains, need to be built beneath Ampang Park Shopping Centre
  • Work also has to be carried out to modify the foundations of the Ampang Park Shopping Centre, called “underpinning”, to strengthen the foundation of Ampang Park Shopping Centre and to enable the safe construction of the underground walkway
  • Certain areas of the basement carpark and ground floor of the Ampang Park Shopping Centre will be required temporarily to accommodate construction work. Those areas of the basement carparks will be required up to 36 months, while the affected areas of the ground floor will be required up to 18 months
  • Businesses operating at areas required for construction will have to be closed for the duration of the construction and the appropriate compensation will be paid. For the other shoplots which are unaffected by the construction, business can operate as usual
  • With the new design option, commuters will have to walk farther compared to the original design when transferring between the Ampang Park MRT Station and Ampang Park LRT Station. The “paid area to paid area” connection is maintained

A comparison between the original design and reviewed design is summarised in the table below.

Ampang-Park-MRT-Proposal

As seen on the last point in the table, MRT Corp says that even with the new design option, a mutual agreement (MA) will still need to be drawn up between MRT Corp and the strata unit owners. This is to fulfil the legal requirements for the underground linkway and MRT railway tunnel to co-exist with the mall.

There will be a need for 100% agreement from all strata unit owners for the MA to be implemented. This is to enable the underground land, which is common property belonging to all strata unit owners, to be surrendered to the government so that the underground walkway and MRT tunnels can be built. MRT Corp says that the MA should be signed by January 31, 2016 for this option to take effect. Otherwise, it’s plan A.

MRT Line 2 SSP Map

Click to enlarge map

To recap, plan A was for the mall to be torn down as the planned Ampang Park station with five storeys fully underground will be built directly under two-thirds of the mall. Besides safety reasons, MRT Corp explained that it would not be feasible to allow one-third of the mall to remain standing during MRT construction work as the support system for the building is centralised.

The Ampang Park MRT Station is a very important station for the MRT Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya Line, being the only point where commuters can transfer from to the Kelana Jaya LRT line. The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) gave its approval for the second MRT line (after Sungai Buloh-Kajang) late last month, and construction is expected to start in June 2016.