IOI City Mall operator confident of recouping investment within three years


PETALING JAYA: IOI City Mall, which will be opening its doors by year-end, will recoup its investment within three years of operations, according to operator IOI City Mall Sdn Bhd marketing and leasing head Chris Chong.

“We’re here for the long term but are convinced of breaking even within three years or so,” he told StarBiz.

About RM1.5bil has been invested to build the mall, which will be located just a stone’s throw away from IOI Resort in Putrajaya.

Construction of the mall, which has a net lettable area of 1.4 million sq ft (roughly the size of Pavilion in Kuala Lumpur) across four levels, is targeted for completion by the middle of this year.

“The occupancy rate is currently at around 80%. We expect it to be almost 100% by the time we open at the end of the year,” said Chong.

The mall will be anchored by department store Parkson, a British hypermarket, Golden Screen Cinemas and Thailand-based home centre HomePro.

Its main retail offering will be fashion and accessories, complemented by children, home, information technology, sundry and services, as well as more than 90 food and beverage outlets. The mall will also have more than 350 shops.

“We’re targeting the middle and middle-upper segments from neighbouring locations, namely, Kajang, Seri Kembangan, Bangi, Puchong, Bukit Jalil, Putrajaya, Cyberjaya and Sri Petaling,” said Chong.

He pointed out that there were many malls in the northern and central regions of the Klang Valley, but hardly any in the southern areas.

“The closest malls to us are Alamanda (Putrajaya) and Mines (Seri Kembangan). People from Seremban also go to these malls due to limited retail options there.

“Our mall, once completed, would be just half-an-hour away from Seremban.”

Two 30-storey office towers and a 23-storey, five-star hotel is also being built adjacent to the mall. Construction of the towers and the hotel is scheduled for completion in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

Chong said one of the biggest challenges faced with the conceptualisation of the mall was to be able to attract retailers.

“When we first started, the challenge was to convince retailers to invest. But the southern part of the Klang Valley is largely untapped (in terms of mall presence) and we told them (the retailers) that there was a lot of potential here.”

Around RM200mil had been invested to develop the surrounding infrastructure of the mall, Chong said, adding: “These include roads, a flyover and tunnels into the mall.”

He said talks were also ongoing with bus operators to expand their routes around the mall area.

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