Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Some 70% Of Space Let Out At City Square Mall

Source : The Business Times, September 2, 2008

It has also secured nine anchor tenants and will open in Q4 of next year

SINGAPORE'S first eco- friendly mall - City Developments' City Square Mall - is close to 70 per cent let and has secured nine anchor tenants.

The mall will open in the fourth quarter of 2009.

The developer yesterday disclosed the anchor tenants which together will occupy about half of the total lettable space in the 700,000 square foot mall.

City Square Mall: It will have more than 250 shops and is touted as the first eco-friendly mall in S'pore

They are Metro, NTUC FairPrice, Best Denki, Kopitiam, MindChamps PreSchool, Amore Fitness & Boutique Spa, home furnishings company V.Hive, Popular bookstore, and halal food court operator Banquet.

Another 20 per cent of space has also been let out. CityDev said it will unveil these non-anchor tenants later.

Rents at the mall are close to market rates, said CityDev's group general manager Chia Ngiang Hong. In general, suburban malls fetch about $8-$15 per square foot per month (psf pm) on average, although rents at some prime suburban malls can hit $40 psf pm.

Mr Chia said CityDev is optimistic that it will achieve its target of attracting at least 1.3 million visitors a month to the mall.

'We believe that the buying sentiment of the heartland population will always be there (even in an economic slowdown),' he said.

The mall is targeting both Singapore and middle-income tourist shoppers.

With over 250 shops, the $200 million City Square Mall will be one of the largest malls in Singapore. It is also touted as the Republic's first eco-friendly mall and will boast 'green' features such as eco-restrooms that save water and electricity and an eco-roof that will harness solar power and rainwater.

It is projected to reduce its energy usage by about 39 per cent compared with designs using standard industry codes.

In line with this, anchor tenants will also be encouraged to look at green features.

Metro, the largest anchor tenant with some 56,000 sq ft of space, will run a 'family-friendly store in the suburbs for suburban shoppers', said Wong Sioe Hong, managing director of Metro (Private) Limited.

NTUC FairPrice - the second-largest tenant with some 26,000 sq ft of space - will open its pilot eco-friendly supermarket with a host of green features. These include dedicated checkout lanes for shoppers with reusable bags and motion-sensor lighting in the store office and storeroom.

While most mall operators are moving away from signing up anchor tenants, City Square Mall is sticking to the format, said Corinne Yap, CityDev's deputy general manager for marketing and leasing.

'We feel very strongly that the mall needs to be anchored with strong tenants,' she said. This allows the developer to get better rentals from the rest of the tenants, she added.

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