KIP Mart enters Senawang's Lavender Heights

SENAWANG (Mar 2): KIP Mart, which is part of the KIP Group of Companies, will open its first outlet outside of Johor at Bolton Bhd's 353-acre (142.8ha) freehold Lavender Heights township in Senawang, Negri Sembilan.

"We are happy to be part of the community in this township. In addition to serving the daily shopping needs of the local community, KIP Mart also presents a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to start their business as well as create employment opportunities for the local community," said KIP Group CEO Yap Boon Teck during a welcome ceremony for KIP Mart on Thursday.

The 173,000 sq ft community market will be spread over two levels with 230 retail lots and 500 car park bays.

According to Azman Shah Mohd Yusof, Bolton's head of marketing and corporate services, the opening of KIP Mart will support Bolton's vision for Lavender Heights, which already has a population of 5,000 that is expected to double to over 11,000 by the time the township is fully completed in 2016.

"Over the last two years, Lavender Heights has experienced exponential growth in terms of infrastructure and amenities, starting with the Kajang-Seremban Highway (Lekas) which has added tremendous value to the township," said Azman.

Calling it a hybrid between a large traditional wet market and a modern mega mall, Yap said KIP Mart's specialty will be the wet market.

"On the dry side, the anchor tenant will be a supermarket. Then we have the household products, fashion and F&B. I'm sure by the opening, we will get a good mix of tenants," added Yap.

KIP Mart itself is not a trader as Yap asserted; it has no interest to compete with its operators. Instead, the company focuses on building, leasing and managing the marts, and adding value with marketing and advertising and promotion initiatives.

KIP Mart opened its first outlet in Masai, Johor with a space of 120,000 sq ft and 160 retail lots. Since then it opened another three outlets in Tampoi, Kota Tinggi and Segamat. With the addition of Senawang's outlet, it will have over one million sq ft of retail space. KIP Mart is looking to open more outlets in the next five years with a target of at least two outlets each year.

Lavender Heights was launched in 1999 and has a gross development value of RM370 million. Bolton has sold and delivered more than 1,400 properties there with a combined sale value of RM325 million.

Properties at Lavender Heights have enjoyed healthy capital appreciation, said Azman.

Bungalows sold for RM370,000 in 2006 is currently valued at RM650,000, representing an annual capital gain of 15%. The two-storey shopoffices sold for RM250,000 in 2005 is estimated to be worth RM600,000 today, equivalent to a value appreciation of 140% or 23% annually.

Currently, Bolton is selling shopoffices at Lavender Heights Business Square, located at the main entrance of the township. Featuring a total of 142 blocks of two-storey shopoffices, units have built-ups ranging from 2,490 to 5,543 sq ft. The price of intermediate units starts from RM485,000, while the corner lots are going for more than RM1 million.

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