SUNGAI BULOH: Property developer KIP Group will see the number of shopping malls in its portfolio increase to 12, from eight currently, over the next three years.
Group CEO Valerie Ong said this included six properties that had already been injected into its listed entity, KIP Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), and four new shopping malls in the pipeline.
Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony of one of the four new malls, KIPMALL Desa Coalfields, Ong said the other malls would be located in Kuantan, Sungai Petani and Raub.
“At this point, we are concentrating more on the property development side, as opposed to the hospitality business,” she told reporters.
She said the group currently had two core businesses – the development arm and retail – which contributed equally to the group’s revenue.“For the retail sector, we are focused on investment property,” she said.
Moving forward, she said the group was looking to inject the mall in Kota Warisan, Sepang, into KIP REIT “when the time is right”.
“KIP REIT has its criteria to acquire the malls, such as occupancy and price. Once we have achieved the criteria, we will offer it to KIP REIT,” she said.
KIPMALL, which is set to open by the end of the year, is being built with a gross development cost of RM50mil.
The group is targeting 80% occupancy ahead of the opening, and has secured tenants including Econsave, MR DIY, KFC and Watsons.
Ong said rental at the new mall varied from RM3 to RM4 per sq ft up to RM20 per sq ft depending the on size of the outlet.
KIPMALL Desa Coalfields is a two and half storey shopping centre located Desa Coalfields, Sungai Buloh, sited on a 7.42 acre freehold land within the Desa Coalfields mixed residential and commercial township.
The development will feature 436 carparks and 240 motorcycles parking bays and a 4,088 sq ft KFC drive-thru restaurant to be built as an extension to the mall.
Once completed, the shopping mall will have a gross floor area of 244,155 sq ft with a net lettable area of 141,869 sq ft.
On challenges facing the retail industry, Ong said malls needed to adapt accordingly.
“We, as shopping mall operators, will take proactive leasing strategies, to continuously review and enhance our tenant mix to adapt to the changing market trends and the evolution of customers’ needs.
“To stay relevant, the ability to adapt will be the key to success,” she said.