Around 400 Chinese companies signed this month a 15-year lease agreement with Inter Mall Group, owner and operator of Cascada Village in Taanayel, Bekaa to rent the 60,000 square-meter (m2) mall.
“The Chinese are entering the markets of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq through our premises,” said Maurice Torbey, Inter Mall Chairman.
Cascada Village stretches over a space of 220,000 m2. It houses Cascada Mall, as well as events venues, healthcare facilities, and outdoor activities.
China City, which will be the official name of the hub, will be a one-stop shop for bargain-hunters, packed with Chinese products that include garments, jewelry, furniture, electronic goods, and interior offerings.
It is expected to start operations as of the end of April.
“The main purpose of renting the mall is for retailers and wholesalers to secure orders from China, but there will also be spaces to buy immediately,” Torbey said.
Torbey declined to divulge the actual terms of the lease, but real estate experts have estimated its yearly value to be $12 million to $15 million.
“The Chinese have asked us to secure an additional 60,000 m2 of space in Cascada Village,” he said. This would double the investment.
China City will create at least 5,000 job opportunities.
Shops that are in the mall will remain for now, Torbey said.
China City will resemble the one-kilometer long Dragon Mart in Dubai, the largest Chinese trading hub outside China.