What’s in store? New malls galore

Apr 08, 2017 11.00AM |

by Suhaile Md

VACANT retail spaces hit an all time high last September with a vacancy rate of 8.4 per cent according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). Still, that has not got in the way of new malls popping up. Just last week (Mar 29), it was announced that SingPost Centre, which has five levels of retail space, will open in the second half of this year. And there are at least four other – more expensive – such projects that are expected to open by end of 2019.

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Here’s a rundown of the five malls:

1. SingPost Centre

The centre, next to Paya Lebar MRT station, has about 176,500 sq ft of net lettable area for retail. That’s the amount of space available for rent. Speaking of which, the usual suspects have signed up as tenants: NTUC FairPrice supermarket, food court operator Kopitiam, and cinema chain Golden Village, which makes for a pretty healthy bunch of anchor tenants (tenants that bring in significant human traffic). Besides the mall, the new 3,200 sq ft General Post Office will also be sited at the centre. It will cost about $150 million to construct it.

Hopefully, some new names or independent retailers will show up to add some variety. Failing which, at least there’s something else to look forward to: The centre “completes the omni-channel eCommerce experience by bringing together retailers, customers and eCommerce last-mile fulfilment”, said SingPost in its announcement last week. It’s not exactly clear what that means, but it sure sounds fancy.

2. Paya Lebar Quarter

At $3.2 billion, this is quite the project. It occupies 3.9ha of land and it will consist of three office blocks and three condo blocks. Then there’s the 340,000 sq ft seven floor retail mall. It will open in 2018… just around the corner from SingPost Centre.

Guess which retailers have already signed up? That’s right, NTUC FairPrice Finest and Kopitiam. They will take up 22,000 sq ft and 15,000 sq ft of space respectively. Otherwise, about 200 stores and a cinema are expected to open. About 30 per cent of the tenants are expected to be food and beverage operators.

The Paya Lebar area is actually slated by the URA to be a commercial hub, as part of a plan to move offices away from the city centre to spaces nearer to residential areas to cut down on congestion. That’s probably why so much development is taking place there.  Australian company Lendlease is the developer for this project.

3. Marina One 

The mixed development primarily focused on office space – 1.88 million sq ft of it. Bigwigs like Facebook, Swiss private bank Julius Baer and consultancy firm PwC Singapore are tipped to move in. The Temporary Occupation Permit is expected to be issued sometime this year. Tenants can move in once it’s issued.

There’s 140,000 sq ft of space dedicated to retailers. Supermarket chain Cold Storage and food court operator Koufu are confirmed as anchor tenants. Sounds just like NTUC FairPrice and Kopitiam, just more atas.

The supermarket is expected to be the largest in Marina Bay. Smaller tenants like Japanese restaurant Teppei Syokudo and 4 Fingers Crispy Chicken are also confirmed.

Gym chain Virgin Active will occupy 26,000 sq ft over two floors. There’ll be an indoor swimming pool and climbing wall among other things. 

At $7 billion, this project is more than twice as expensive as Paya Lebar Quarter. It’s a 60-40 joint venture between Khazanah Nasional Berhad and Temasek holdings, the sovereign wealth funds of Malaysia and Singapore respectively.

4. Northpoint City

It’s a mixed development as well, including the air-conditioned Yishun bus interchange, 12 residential blocks, and of course, a mall. But at least it’s something that’s more than just office space and supermarkets. Northpoint city will have a shopping centre which will house Singapore’s first community club in a mall, rooftop community garden, and a town plaza. The plaza is basically an open space to hold events. It spans 4,400 sq m (47, 361 sq ft) which is about the size of 10 basketball courts.

Frasers Centrepoint, the owners of the mall, bid $1.43 billion for the plot of land in Yishun in September 2013. This was 47.4 per cent higher than the second highest bid, reported TODAY. Wow, somebody really wanted the plot.

The mall is expected to open sometime next year. It will expand upon the existing Northpoint Shopping centre, doubling the number of retail and dining outlets to over 500. This will make Northpoint City the largest mall in northern Singapore. Yishun pride ok.

5. Jewel Changi Airport

Of all the malls on this list, Jewel Changi Airport is by far the most unique: There’s a five-storey garden and an indoor waterfall, 40 metres high. The garden will have about 2,500 trees and 100,000 shrubs from countries including Brazil, Australia, Thailand and the United States, reported the Straits Times. We just have to prove to tourists how much of a garden city Singapore really is.

The design won the 2016 International Architecture Award. The Jewel Changi Airport will have five storeys above ground and five basement levels with a gross floor area of 134,000 sq m (1,442,364 sq ft). There will be about 300 shops and food outlets and it’s expected to open in early 2019. It costs about $1.7 billion.


Featured image Marine One Project by Flickr user Nicolas LannuzelCC BY-SA 2.0

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