The government has endorsed the project and expects it to become a major tourist attraction after it opens next year to domestic and international consumers and tourists.
"The fashion wholesale industry is quite new to Malaysia," said Bernard Bong, managing director of KWC. "However, the success of regional wholesale complexes such as Platinum Fashion Mall in Bangkok, Dongdaemun Market in Seoul and Mangga Dua in Jakarta has proved that wholesale trading can bring growth to our economy."
The 22-storey mall with more than 800 shops is being developed on a 3.2-acre plot in Jalan Kenanga. The area was a former wholesale centre with 400 shops.
All of the units were sold out before KWC broke ground in December 2008. Construction is scheduled to finish in the first quarter of next year and it is due to open by mid-2011.
The development budget for KWC is one billion ringgit (about 10 billion baht). The project is expected to generate more than 2.5 billion ringgit in revenue each year.
"The KWC project is very much in line with the government policy to boost our tourism industry," said Tourism Minister Yang Berhormat Dato Sri Dr Ng Yen Yen.
Malaysia by 2020 aims to increase tourist spending from one billion ringgit a week currently to 3 billion, and attract more than 36 million tourists, from 23-24 million now, she said.
The country is focusing on three main elements: developing a duty-free shopping centre, building connectivity between the city's shopping areas, and organising more events.
The KWC project belongs to the Kha Seng Group, a Malaysian retail property developer. It also runs Central Market, a local handicraft market and Viva Mall, Malaysia's first home furnishing mall which will open by the year-end.