KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The biggest lifestyle and entertainment hub in Malaysia is currently being developed in the heart of Kuala Lumpur and it is expected to open its doors in about six months.
Located on 2.8ha of land, the TREC, which stands for "Taste, Relish, Experience and Celebrate", will cover an area approximately equal to six football fields.
Founders Datuk Douglas Cheng and Cher Ng, together with Berjaya Assets Bhd, are the brains behind this mammoth development. They came up with the idea after years of involvement in the development, entertainment and food industry.
"Our vision is that TREC will pioneer the one-stop integrated entertainment district that has made the likes of Hong Kong's Lan Kwai Fong, Shanghai's Xin Tian Di and Singapore's Clarke Quay must-visit location in their respective countries," Ng said, adding that he had been working with Cheng to enhance what Malaysia has to offer to both locals and tourists.
With an investment of RM323.6 million (S$126 million) , TREC will definitely be making heads turn, especially for those driving along Jalan Tun Razak, as it is prominently situated opposite the upcoming Tun Razak Exchange Centre, fronting the Royal Selangor Golf Club.
According to Ng, TREC is divided into five themed zones, allowing it to appeal to a wider audience.
The first phase of the project will see one of the most popular clubs in the country, Zouk KL, making its presence felt.
Zouk KL will be moving out of its current location in Jalan Ampang this December when its lease expires. Ng said the new Zouk KL in TREC would be about 30 per cent larger and would have nine zones.
The new venue will also make the club, ranked 52nd in the world, the most expensive club built in the country at a cost of about RM38 million (S$15 million).
Ng said the new 60,000 sq ft premises would contain five rooms as well as a VIP lounge, a member's lounge, a cafe and a rooftop deck.
"Staying prominent all these years is not easy and change is needed to keep up with the times. We can promise this new Zouk will embrace a new concept," said Ng, who is also the founder of Zouk KL and a prominent figure in the entertainment scene both here and in Singapore.
The two-storey Electric Boulevard is also set for completion early next year. Ng plans to turn this into a bustling complex filled not only with gastro bars, but also boxes for comedians to perform.
The second phase of TREC will consist of the Hive, Alcove, Terraces and Rhapsody Square & Quad themed zones.
Ng said the Alcove zone, which would house 12 single-storey units was dedicated to the younger audience.
"We plan to have cafés, dessert bars and trendy shops for young entrepreneurs here," he said.
"We cannot say who our tenants are yet, but we promise they will be interesting and not your usual everyday outlets," Cheng said, adding that he and Ng were looking at established Malaysian brands and those from Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore.
TREC will also boast 260,000 sq ft of space with 77 lease-only units with a variety of sizes ranging from 400 to 5,000 sq ft.
"We are not only looking at food and beverage outlets but also luxury car showrooms, banks, health spas and also art galleries," said Cheng.
Ng said that when it came to the design, they wanted a modern building to fit the city's metropolitan landscape.
"We are not trying to do what others have done in other countries. We are constructing a purpose-built complex from scratch and it is not easy," said Ng, adding that there would be a good play of geometric lines and that TREC would have a character to call its own.
"Our top priority will always be keeping our customers safe at all times when they visit TREC," said Ng, adding that it would use sophisticated security systems that were widely used overseas.
Finding a place to park at TREC will also not be a problem as the multi-million ringgit hub offers more than a thousand parking bays spread out through a four-storey complex and a sub-basement.
Besides providing entertainment, TREC will create more than 1,800 jobs and contribute an estimated RM140m annually to the local economy.