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If one has been to China’s Guangzhou district and experienced the ‘Wholesale Cities’ there, one would have an idea what wholesale cities are all about. While many things in China are of mega proportions, in Malaysia, the trend is still slow to emerge. Things however may be changing. What is believed to be Malaysia and Southeast Asia’s biggest wholesale city is about to take shape in Klang. Called GM Klang Wholesale City, the RM2.0 billion project is located in Bandar Botanic, Klang. When fully completed, the development, which sits on 14.5 acres of land, will have 2,800 units of shops in a built-up area of 1.5 million sq ft.
4 Phases in 10 Years
Developed by GM Klang Sdn Bhd, a member of TSI Group, the whole development is split into 4 phases to be developed over 10 years.
Phase 1 is a non-permanent structure and was opened in October 2009. Today, it is fully-occupied by more than 330 tenants selling general merchandise such as spectacles, ladies’ accessories, fashion apparels, leather goods, various kinds of bags, and watches. Most of the tenants had sourced for these items from China, Vietnam and Thailand, Cambodia & Indonesia.
As it was envisioned to be something of a test-bed and was to be demolished in future to make way for the development of Phase 4, the units were all rented out. The plan was to cater to a different class of goods, namely IT, electrical and electronics, construction materials, and hardware (heavier items) for Phase 4.
Upon completion of Phase 2, consisting of 5-storey wholesale shops in an area covering more than 200,000 sq ft, the wholesalers from Phase 1 will be shifted to Phase 2. The second phase has over 700 shop lots, ranging from 150 – 600 sq ft. The average area is 200 – 300 sq ft.
Lease to Service Outlets
To date, 70% of the 550 freehold shoplots that are available for sale are sold out. The shop lots on the ground and 4th floor are not for sale as the developer has reserved these to rent out to service outlets such as F & B, insurance, and forwarding agents, banking facilities and other supporting industries.
Shoppers need not worry about parking as there is ample parking provided in the form of 5 levels of parking space comprising 850 car parks.
The whole idea of the wholesale plaza or city is to gather wholesalers in a complex to provide better environment for both buyers and retailer. It is conceived as a one-stop centre, with air-conditioned and the usual facilities similar to a retail shopping mall. GM Klang is the brainchild that stems from the success of Plaza GM, developed and owned by the same developer, TSI Group.
Most of the operators are locals, with a few hailing from overseas especially Indonesia. There are also some Middle-eastern and South African wholesalers but these are mainly here to shop and then re-sell back in their home countries.
Plaza GM – Overwhelming Sales
The developer’s earlier project, Plaza GM, now known as GM Kuala Lumpur (GM KL) is a huge success despite its location in Chow Kit area. Between 2008-09, it logged in RM1.0 billion of sales turnover per annum, which translated to an average of RM330,000 per month sales turnover for each wholesaler. As a result, prices of surrounding shop lots shot up with some shop owners turning their shop lots into wholesale shops.
Phase 2 of GM Klang will be launched officially soon and is presently open for sale. The units are indicatively priced at RM1,000 per sq ft.
Klang was chosen as it is near ports in Port Klang and the airport, thus allowing for a smoother travelling experience compared to being plonked right in the middle of KL with its attendant traffic jams. Bandar Botanic, where it is located, is easily accessible via a number of major thoroughfare and highways. It is 5 mins to Klang town centre, 8 mins to Port Klang, 25 mins to Subang & PJ; 35 mins to KL city and 55 mins to KLIA & LCCT
Pioneer in Wholesale Plazas
GM Klang Sdn Bhd is the land owner and developer for GM KLANG – Wholesale City and, is a member of TSI Group Malaysia. TSI Group has successfully rehabilitated a mundane, uninteresting and abandoned development into a highly popular and well patronised building as a one-stop wholesale plaza – PLAZA GM in Chow Kit, KL.
TSI Group Malaysia was established in 1987 and has since proven to be one of Malaysia's fastest-growing and well respected building products and services group of companies. Today, it is made up of over 40 subsidiaries, associates, joint venture companies under a holding company locally as well as overseas. It has operations and offices in Singapore, Manila, Jakarta, Bangkok, Dubai & Abu Dhabi.
TSI Group first ventured into the property development in 1999 with its maiden development in Kuantan, Pahang, consisting of medium-cost terrace houses and shops. Till now, TSI has undertaken numerous developments mainly in the Klang Valley and has accumulated a total development value of about RM0.70 billion with close to 1,800 units of various types of properties.