String of new malls to fire up shopping scene


SHOPPERS can expect more places to splash their cash at with a string of new malls scheduled to open by the end of the year.

An estimated 1.9 million sq ft of additional shop space will be ready by December, comprising about half the 4.1 million sq ft expected to come onstream in the next four years.

Just last year, a total of 1.57 million sq ft of net lettable area opened at major retail malls, said property consultancy Knight Frank.

"Much of the new space will be concentrated in the central area and its fringes," said Mr Alan Cheong, research head at Savills Singapore.

But shops in mixed developments and smaller suburban malls will also come on the scene, with a diverse tenant mix and positioning,said Ms Heidi Yong, head of retail at Knight Frank.

"This would provide a retail landscape with higher diversity for varying target markets," she added.

About 204,514 sq ft of retail space was opened in the first quarter, with most coming from the Orchard Gateway mall, which recently obtained its temporary occupation permit, said Mr Cheong.

The mall - comprising two separate buildings connected by a glass link bridge above Orchard Road - has a net lettable area of 166,800 sq ft.

Earlier reports said about 90 shops will open by the end of this month, while the official launch is slated for the fourth quarter.

Its anchor tenants include home furnishings store Crate & Barrel, which will occupy about 20,500 sq ft, and multi-label fashion boutique i.t. with 9,856 sq ft.

The progress of other retail spaces - most are part of integrated projects - is also gathering pace in the city.

The Capitol Piazza, for instance, is part of the 542,000 sq ft Capitol Singapore project in North Bridge Road being built by a consortium backed by Pontiac Land Group and Perennial Real Estate Holdings.

The project will have a four-storey retail mall with a net lettable area of about 140,000 sq ft, of which about 40 per cent has been pre-committed.

While other malls in the vicinity mostly house mid-tier labels, Capitol Piazza will have international brands targeted at the mid- to high-end market, as well as new-to-market labels.

The Singapore Sports Hub's retail mall is expected to add 441,319 sq ft of shop space when it is completed later this year.

A mixed development, South Beach by City Developments (CDL) and Malaysian group IOI, is expected to be completed next year, but details of the net lettable area of the 527,450 sq ft building's shops were not available.

In the suburbs, TT International's Big Box mall in Jurong Gateway will have 400,000 sq ft of retail space, while Singapore Press Holdings' The Seletar Mall will add 188,000 sq ft. Both are expected to open by December.

Though more space is on the way, rents in prime areas are projected to grow by 3 per cent to 5 per cent by the end of the year, noted Knight Frank.

"Prime retail space located in regional centres and established shopping enclaves are likely to continue to be supported by healthy take-up," said Ms Yong.

Source: Straits Times, 9 May 2014