The Exchange TRX: generating buzz in Malaysia’s new financial district

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Joining the likes of the Petronas Twin Towers and Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur’s newest retail destination, The Exchange TRX, is a significant infrastructural achievement and now one of the Malaysian capital’s major landmarks. As the jewel in the crown of the seven-hectare (17-acre) Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) financial district, the new retail and lifestyle landmark opened its doors in November 2023, marking the precinct as one of the city’s most vibrant places to live and work.

Spanning 1.3 million sq ft of net lettable area with 400 retail outlets, The Exchange TRX is the result of a vision shared by globally integrated real estate group Lendlease and developer TRX City. The development aims to bring world-class design and sustainability standards to Malaysia, elevating the precinct as Kuala Lumpur’s answer to other global financial centres such as London’s Canary Wharf or Marina Bay in Singapore.

Celebrating a new chapter for Kuala Lumpur: the opening ceremony for The Exchange TRX is attended by executives from TRX and Lendlease. Photo: Lendlease

A passion for placemaking

Lendlease is guided by the principle of placemaking for each of its projects: a passion for integrating commerce, lifestyle and innovation channelled into vibrant, meaningful destinations shaped by the local communities that use the space. In a laudable example of public-private partnership, Lendlease had a hand in every step of designing and curating The Exchange TRX, overseeing the project from planning and design to funding and construction.

“As a globally integrated real estate group, we are anchored on our mission to create places where communities thrive,” says Yong Su-Lin, managing director, Lendlease Malaysia. Lendlease has been operating in Malaysia for 40 years, helping to deliver more than 100 projects including landmarks such as the Petronas Twin Towers, Suria KLCC and Platinum Park.

Using its integrated delivery model, Lendlease aims to provide added value for clients that puts sustainability at the core of its projects. “Through our partnership with TRX City, we hope to contribute towards helping TRX become a progressive landmark development that will help improve the city’s liveability and sustainability, and strengthen Kuala Lumpur’s competitiveness,” Yong says.

The Exchange TRX seeks to go forward into the next generation through a retail model that includes immersive entertainment, cultural and leisure experiences. They will service not only the mall’s tenants and visitors but also the precinct’s six premier residential towers, Malaysia’s first Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and a campus-style integrated office building.

Select retailers will also offer e-commerce services such as click-and-collect, same-day delivery and in-store digital experiences. Tenants can also take advantage of the state-of-the-art sales and operations performance tracking model through The Exchange TRX’s partnership with retail data insights platform Podium Property Insights (PPI), which will provide actionable information on how visitors interact with the spaces and each other.

The development is guided by the principle of placemaking, which puts the well-being of individuals at the centre of the design. Photo: Lendlease

Leading sustainability with world firsts

The Exchange TRX has achieved a number of world and national firsts as a leader in sustainability; for example, it is the first retail concept in Malaysia to achieve LEED Gold certification.

At the top of the shopping destination is the first new major green space the city has seen in more than 20 years – the four-hectare (10-acre) TRX City Park, a venue designed for relaxation and recreation that is open to the public and free of charge. It is expected to be a prime location to host festivals, concerts, films, exhibitions and more. Some 95 per cent of the plant species there are native or naturalised, with more than 150,000 plantings making a significant contribution to the environment.

(Left to right): Mitch Wilson, project director, Lendlease; Dato’ Haji Azmar Talib, CEO, TRX City; Justin Gabbani, CEO Asia, Lendlease; and Dinesh Nambiar, chairman, Lendlease Malaysia, at the development in Kuala Lumpur. Photo: Lendlease

The Exchange TRX, strategically positioned at the heart of the city, makes the most of the connectivity afforded by Tun Razak Exchange’s road connections to a network of highways and the city’s Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel. This dual-purpose structure eases congestion and allows floodwater from heavy rain to escape.

Direct access via public transport is through the city’s largest MRT station, Tun Razak Exchange, allowing for interchange between the Kajang Line and the future Putrajaya Line. Through a pedestrianised network of walkways, the development is also connected to Bukit Bintang and KLCC, creating an extended retail belt through the centre of Kuala Lumpur.

Leveraging Lendlease’s placemaking expertise, The Exchange TRX caters to the needs of the community in terms of sustainability, public enjoyment and social connectivity, as well as creating a safe, walkable and secure environment. According to the developers, it is a major milestone in elevating Malaysia’s liveability, opening opportunities for investors to tap into the real estate sector and supporting the nation’s 2040 vision for inclusive and sustainable growth.

Learn more about the way Lendlease’s placemaking expertise has reshaped urban living at The Exchange TRX here.

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