Sri Lanka`s biggest ever commercial and shopping complex, the Kandy City Centre, at Dalada Vidiya Kandy would be opened in August. The total cost for the project is Rs. 4.7 Billion.
The ten-storied complex designed by K.M.C. Architects of Singapore has two floors underground and is the first building in Sri Lanka constructed in this manner. This is the only BOI approved project in Sri Lanka, which has been granted the `Flagship Status.`
The Kandy City Centre will provide direct employment for 3800 and over 10,000 would have indirect employment opportunities. According to an official of the complex in Kandy, the management would be giving preference to people in the Kandy district between the ages of 20 to 26.
Sri Lanka has only 17 elevators in commercial buildings and in this complex it has 14 elevators. Six of the 10 levels will have direct road access due to the innovative design of the Complex. In addition 2000 telephone lines, four lifts, 3MW full time backup power, an ultra modern security system will also add up to the uniqueness of the Complex. The Complex has been designed with ultra modern features yet preserving the historic Kandyan architecture.
Sri Lanka`s largest multi-storey car park is being constructed at an adjacent site and once completed it will be connected to the Complex via an overhead bridge increasing the total car parking facility to around 1200 vehicles. The Asian Development Bank is sponsoring this.
Several leading Banks, a fully equipped supermarket, a variety of restaurants, an entertainment zone, a well designed food court will also feature in the Complex. Since all facilities are available under one roof, the Complex is destined to become the Commercial Hub of the Central Province.
When the complex is fully operational it is estimated that over 100,000 customers including tourists would visit the complex daily. In order to provide tourists more facilities, the top level would have top quality handicraft manufacturers, gem and jewellery makers and tea producers exhibiting their products. An engineer of the K.M. C. Architects Singapore said that this is one of the most challenging jobs they had undertaken overseas.
`We had to respect the cultural traditions and also maintain a commercial aspect in our building,` he said. He said that he was also surprised as to why the investor, Thusitha Wijayasena took such a risk in investing in a project of this nature especially out of Colombo. `Many investors are only concerned in investing in projects in the City,` he said.
The management has identified that evening public transport in Kandy is a major concern and would be launching a special bus service. They will bring specially built 12 double-decker and 14 low bed buses for this purpose.
Some double-decker buses would be minus the roof to provide a view of the city for travellers. This system is being used for sight seeing tours in many European countries. In addition an exclusive taxi service of 65 cars too would be introduced. The drivers would have special uniforms and identity cards.