THE Atria Shopping Centre in Petaling Jaya used to be a favourite haunt for many in the 1980s.
It was then associated with international names like Kimisawa and Printemps, and when both brands left and were replaced by Parkson Grand, Popular Bookstore and Giant in the 90s, it remained a favourite among those living in the area.
With the growing number of malls in the Klang Valley then, Atria was slowly losing its customers.
In 2007, OSK Properties bought over the property to redevelop the ageing mall into an upmarket retail and commercial area.
“When we purchased it, we wanted to build a shopping mall for the community but soon realised we had to work with a restricted structure and it was difficult,” said OSK Properties executive director Ong Ju Xing after a soft launch of the mall last week.
The company, he said, then decided to demolish the structure and rebuild it from scratch.
The outcome is what Atria Shopping Gallery is today, bearing a new name to go with the modern look.
Before renovation works began, Ong said he visited many malls and conducted survey beforehand as he felt being a neighbourhood mall, his team would need to create a lot of engagement with the people that mattered most.
“We needed to create a concept which will be ahead of what people expect from us,” said Ong, adding that their 392 SoFo units would be ready by the year-end.
Designed to mimic the Malaysian tropical rainforest, the mall, he said, had large pillars and water features inspired by trees and rivers, giving it a look different from other malls of its standard.
The mall was awarded the Best Retail Interior in the Asia Pacific Property Awards 2015. It had comprehensive retailers to cater to the needs and lifestyle of its shoppers.
Fashion brand Mango opened its largest outlet in the country spanning over 16,000 sq ft joining other names such as Village Grocer, Hamleys, Next, and CHI Fitness.
OSK Ventures Investment also collaborated with HELP Education Berhad to open the first holistic and enriching learning centre, The Little Tree House, on the second floor of the mall.
“We are not comparing ourselves with regional malls but we do want to be the best in the neighbourhood,” said Ong, who admitted that his team had its ups and downs throughout the construction period.
The team, he said, had to hold regular meetings with residents and made sure all approvals were obtained from the council before work began on the 2.22ha site.
During the soft launch, close to 70% of the outlets had opened for business while the others, Ong said, were scheduled to move in by August.
The mall has 1,700 parking bays, wide roads and five drop-off and pick-up points for shoppers.