Saturday, 11 August 2018

(The Star) Pedestrian-friendly KL Citywalk launched

Kuala Lumpur Citywalk (KLCW), a 416m urban street arcade located within Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Triangle, was officially launched after undergoing a revamp.

The pedestrian-friendly covered walk is sandwiched between Jalan P. Ramlee, Jalan Perak and Jalan Pinang.

It is also accessible via the skybridge linking Pavilion Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, forming an “arterial link” between these two hotspots.

Officiating at the launch of KLCW were Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry Federal Territories director Ahmad Alsraf Ahmad Mokhtar and Desa Sejati Sdn Bhd managing director Datuk Judy Ng.

KLCW features about 80% food and beverage (F&B) shops, while the remaining 20% are service outlets – money changer, travel agency, convenience store, Malaysian gift store and florist.

It is about 85% occupied, with the remaining space allocated for a hair salon, pharmacy and manicure-pedicure salon.

KLCW is divided into three different sections. Its front section, called The Boardwalk, comprises cafes with terraced seating and art installations scattered throughout the stretch.

The middle area features Jenerator, a 743sq m modern events space that can accommodate between 200 and 300 people.

Ahmad Alsraf (in suit) and Ng (left) performing the ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the official launch of Kuala Lumpur Citywalk.

The other end is Eat Street, an urban food court fashioned out of repurposed cargo containers dedicated to local cuisines and food-to-go.

KLCW’s tagline “Connecting KL” reflects its aim to provide a safe passage for pedestrians while also serving as a hospitality space for locals and tourists.

Ahmad Alsraf said KLCW was strategically located within Kuala Lumpur city centre and would serve as another tourist attraction ahead of Visit Malaysia Year 2020.

“We hope to make KLCW a top 10 most visited destination in Kuala Lumpur within the next three years,” said Ng.

“It is a street ‘made by Malaysians, for Malaysians’. Tenants were carefully curated to cater to the needs and tastes of the community, mainly the office crowd and tourists.”

Ng said KLCW was deliberately structured to be an ulterior link of day-to-day commute.

Shops at KLCW include non-F&B outlets such as souvenir shops.

“It is the convenience and ease KLCW comes with that makes it one of a kind.

“The ambience of the entire place aims to make one feel relaxed, despite being surrounded by a concrete jungle.

“It is all in the details. From our F&B mix to our choice of art installations, they are a perfect blend of Malaysian flavours with an international feel,” she said, adding that the project done in partnership with Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) housed a total of 43 curated outlets to meet the needs of city dwellers.

Ng said KLCW was a nearly two-decade project in the making that was initiated by her late husband Ronnie Choong, the man who helped shape Kuala Lumpur’s entertainment scene.

“The street arcade was first introduced in 2000, but without a covered roof and event hall. The concept then just wasn’t ideal due to the hot and rainy climate,” she said, adding that KLCW was built on a drain reserve.

“The structure was partially demolished, revamped and rebuilt in 2014, with a ‘garden in the city’ concept.

Container doors turned into art pieces at KLCW.

“The new version has a covered roof and space for local performers and pop-up stores, with the vision of making it a sustainable, community-driven enterprise.”

On possible expansion plans, Ng said her company is looking into promoting KLCW to tour companies by hosting tourists to cultural shows and meals, as well as working with DBKL for local events.

In conjunction with KLCW’s launch, a two-day grand launch carnival is being held until today.

It will feature activities such as Malaysia Book of Records attempt for longest non-stop outdoor online radio broadcast, live bands and street performances by buskers, magicians, mimes and caricature artists, as well as health and lifestyle workshops.

There is also a KLCW Dollar charity initiative, with proceeds to benefit Pusat Penjagaan Kanak-Kanak Cacat Taman Megah.

The Boardwalk comprises cafes with terraced seating and art installations scattered throughout the stretch.

KLCW is open from 7.30am to midnight daily.

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