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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Deal Set for 'Longest' Building

KUALA LUMPUR -- The Malaysian government and a private company signed an agreement Tuesday to erect a horizontal tube-like building on stilts over a 2.4-kilometer section of a river in the heart of Malaysia's capital.

Construction of the $2-billion Giga World building, claimed to be the world's longest building, is to begin in November. The row of offices, hotels, malls, theaters, gardens, walkways, restaurants and apartments is expected to be ready in 1999.

Under the agreement, the government is leasing 86 hectares of the Klang River and surrounding land in Kuala Lumpur for 99 years to K.L. LinearCity Private Ltd., the main contractor for the project. The deal will cost $244 million.

Giga World is to be part of a $4-billion LinearCity project running for 12 kilometers and due to be completed over the next 25 years.

The rest of the project is to be multistory buildings on land along the river -- not over it.

The stilts supporting Giga World over the river will be on the banks.

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who has backed the construction of many giant edifices in Malaysia, including the world's tallest building, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, was present at the agreement-signing ceremony.

The two sides also agreed to build a $240-million, 16-kilometer-long monorail running through Giga World.

LinearCity will have a 63 percent stake in the monorail, called People Mover Rapid Transit, envisaged as carrying 18,000 people every hour in more than 14 monorail trains.

LinearCity will be responsible for keeping the Klang River clean, and is to build parks along the new city.