KWC to open doors next month

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KUALA LUMPUR: Kenanga Wholesale City (KWC), touted as Malaysia's first fashion wholesale mall, will commence business come mid-October.

The 22-storey KWC is developed on a 3.2 acre (1.3ha) site along Jalan Kenanga in the Pudu area in Kuala Lumpur.

KWC has a net lettable area of 500,000 sq ft and a gross development value of RM1 billion. The project is developed by Kenanga Wholesale City Sdn Bhd, which is part of the Kha Seng Group.

According to KWC managing director Bernard Bong, the asking prices for the 800 lots ranging from 300 to 2,500 sq ft have increased 30% from their launch price of RM1,950 per sq ft (psf). Construction on the building began in late 2008 followed by a leasing launch of some units in July 2010. A vacant possession handover ceremony was held on Aug 29 this year.

Bong told The Edge Financial Daily that most of the units in the 11-level shopping centre have been sold. However, he added that 15% of the lots are still available for lease from RM13 psf. Of the 85% confirmed tenants, 60% are set to start their business by the mid-October opening.

With plans to compete with the region's retail malls such as Bangkok's Platinum Mall, Jakarta's Mangga Dua as well as Dongdaemun in South Korea, KWC is the only mall to be endorsed by the Tourism Ministry. In line with this, Bong said the management is working with the Tour Guides Association to promote the mall to tourists.

"Kenanga Wholesale City can be considered a 'five-star' wholesale fashion mall in comparison to other malls at Jakarta, Bangkok and China," said Bong.

Besides fashion wholesalers and retailers, KWC will also house food and beverage (F&B), banking and logistic services. "We have encouraged the evolution from pure wholesale to the combination of wholesale and retail business. That's because we believe this will provide more convenience and add value to customers," said Bong.

Most of the tenants are veteran wholesalers in Malaysia's fashion wholesale industry. They have provided business-to-business services in this industry for at least 30 years, he added.

Other F&B outlets and banks there are BigMart, FOS, Perpetual Quest, Wong Kok Char Chan Teng, Kazu Sushi, I Love Yoo!, Old Town White Coffee café, RHB Bank and AmBank.

Bong said the mall offers wider corridors, over 20 loading bays, ample parking lots (1,800 in total), eight cargo lifts, a fashion runway as well as a convention and exhibiton area. The mall is also fully equipped with a CCTV surveillance system. There will also be logistics and courier services providers as well as money changing service providers.

Kha Seng's retail projects include the award-winning Central Market and the redevelopment of Viva Home, a home, lifestyle and entertainment shopping centre in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.

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