THE Kenanga Wholesale City, which is earmarked for completion by early 2010, is poised to be a landmark hub for Kuala Lumpur's wholesale fashion and apparel business.
The complex, located on a 3.2-acre site in Jalan Kenanga off Jalan Loke Yew, will be the wholesale centre for fashion, costume jewellery and leather products.
“Besides raising the profile of Kuala Lumpur's wholesale business, the complex offers a destination for international buyers to buy the country's fashion products in bulk from local wholesalers,” Kenanga Wholesale City Sdn Bhd group chief executive Yee Ia Howe said.
Malaysia's total annual trade in garment and textile totalled some RM2bil. The country also exports over RM4bil worth of designer apparels.
Yee said his management would be working with the Malaysia Garments Wholesale Exports and Import Merchants Association to explore business opportunities in Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan and the Philippines.
Kenanga Wholesale City is developed by Central Market Venture Sdn Bhd, which is also managing the Kuala Lumpur Central Market.
The wholesale complex, with total gross floor area of 1.8 million sq ft, will have 790 retail lots of between 300 and 1,000 sq ft.
He said only 49% of the space would be available for sale at RM1,950 to RM3,300 per sq ft, while the remaining 51% would be leased at rental rates between RM10 and RM25 per sq ft.
The project will have an expected gross development value of RM1bil. Construction work will start in March and completion is targeted within two years.
“The complex will meet the dire need for additional retail space in the Kenanga area, which has grown into a wholesale fashion hub in the past 20 years.
Currently, there are 350 business operators in the surrounding three-storey shop lots on about 35 acres.
“We are capitalizing on this demand and we hope to offer a modern and comfortable alternative to the traditional shop lots in the area,” Yee said.
Buyers of the retail space will be offered an attractive leaseback option. Those who lease their lots to the company will be guaranteed an 8% annual rate of return for the first three years with option to extend by another two years.
“We are confident the complex will be fully tenanted as we have a growing list of potential tenants registered with us,” Yee said.
According to him, the company has given up saleable space to ensure there will be enough escalators, service lifts and comfortable walkways.
“We will also bring in necessary service providers such as courier companies, forwarding agents and ATM outlets to make it convenient for business owners.”
The top level of the complex will house convention facilities for events such as trade and fashion shows.
By locating the wholesale complex in the Kenanga area, Yee said the surrounding infrastructure would also benefit, including in better landscaping and widening of adjacent roads.
“We are optimistic that the local council will follow suit by upgrading neighbouring facilities as we will be replacing some rundown buildings with Kenanga Wholesale City.”
With more than 1,800 car parks and loading docks for lorries in the complex, the project would also ease the parking problem in Jalan Kenanga, Yee said, adding that traffic flow in the area should also improve.