SINGAPOREAN nightclub operator Cher Ng is set to open Kuala Lumpur's biggest lifestyle and entertainment hub by the end of the year.
The RM152 million (S$54 million) development, known as Trec, sits on 2.83ha of land overlooking the Royal Selangor Golf Club.
Mr Ng told The Straits Times that about 75 per cent of the shop space has already been taken up.
The co-founder and executive director of nightclub Zouk KL, will relocate the 11-year-old superclub from Jalan Ampang to a 60,000 sq ft space in Trec next month.
Zouk KL's new facilities will cost RM38 million to develop, making it the most expensive nightclub to be built in Malaysia, said Mr Ng.
The idea for Trec - it stands for taste, relish, experience and celebrate - arose when Mr Ng was searching for a new location for Zouk KL three years ago.
"The spot that I was looking at was simply too massive for just one club, albeit a very big one. It dawned on me that a dedicated lifestyle and entertainment precinct could be developed here."
Trec, which is developed and managed by Trec Holdings, a firm Mr Ng co-founded, comprises five zones - Zouk KL, Electric Boulevard, The Hive, Alcove and The Terraces.
Each zone will have its own special characteristics and food and beverage themes, from cafes to fine dining, clubs, bars and casual eateries.
Trec aims to attract 1.7 million visitors annually and could create 1,500 jobs. It is expected to break even in five to six years' time and the expected annual revenue will be least RM20 million, said Mr Ng.
Mr Ng said he felt it was about time Malaysia had "its own dedicated lifestyle and entertainment enclave, much like Singapore's Clarke Quay".
He and his partners - KL developer Douglas Cheng and Berjaya Assets, a subsidiary of the Malaysian conglomerate Berjaya Group - plan to expand the company's portfolio to include other lifestyle and boutique-size developments.
It was an uphill task getting the Malaysian government to understand what Trec was all about and then to get approval for the actual plans, said Mr Ng.
Malaysia's Ministry of Tourism and Culture eventually endorsed Trec under the National Key Economic Areas scheme.
The scheme comprises selected sectors of economic opportunity for the private sector that are seen as driving Malaysia towards high-income status and global competitiveness.
As a designated entertainment zone, Trec will receive support for its development under the latest KL Tourism Master Plan, said Mr Ng.