60% of Jaya Shopping Centre pre-leased

JAYA Section Fourteen Sdn Bhd, owner of the Jaya Shopping Centre redevelopment announced that it had pre-leased 60% of the new mall at a signing ceremony with 12 anchor and key tenants recently.

The ceremony, which took place at the Hilton Petaling Jaya, saw Jaya Section Fourteen’s director Ismail Ani Arope coming onstage to introduce representatives from the 12 main tenants, followed by a signature ceremony.

One of the anchor tenants revealed at the ceremony was TGV Cinemas, represented by its business development head Chung Shyh Kwong.

The key tenants were CIMB Bank, arcade entertainment provider Cobay, fashion distributor Original Classics, Chapter One bookstores, footwear retailer Bata, Caring Pharmacy and Mac Studio.

On the food and beverage side, the tenants unveiled were fastfood chain Wendy’s, Kenny Rogers, Papa John’s, Chilli’s Grill and Bar and Levain Boulangerie and Patisserie.

Ismail said the new Jaya Shopping Centre would be officially opened for business in the second half of this year, and that at least 30% of the original tenants, including Heng’s Watch and Guardian Pharmacy would be returning to the redevelopment.

Currently, Jaya Section Fourteen was in negotiations with another anchor tenant, a gourmet supermarket, which Ismail said would be announced later.

“The new Jaya Shopping Centre aims to be the community’s surrogate home, from busy parents spending time with their children, banking needs and grocery shopping,” said Ismail.

He explained the neighbourhood lifestyle mall was a viable alternative to long commutes to much larger shopping malls and much more convenient for the 500,000-strong Petaling Jaya community, where approximately 60% were between 20 and 40 years of age and mainly urbanised professionals and students.

Jaya Shopping Centre’s sole leasing agent, DTZ, was represented by its Regional Head of Retail in the South East Asia Ungku Suseelawati Ungku Omar, who explained that one differentiation point between Jaya Shopping Centre and nearby malls in Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur was its size and ease of navigation.

“We are divided into seven floors, comprising 270,000 square feet (25,083 square metres) of nett-lettable space. It is not big, compared to other malls with say, 1-2mil square feet. But this makes it more navigable for our mall-goers and a better shopping experience in all,” Ungku Suseelawati explained.

As a comparison, the old Jaya Shopping Centre comprised only 136,000 square feet (12,634 square metres) of retail space. The new layout is a “racecourse concept, with different floors of the mall catering to varying target groups of mallgoers, which Ungku Suseelawati termed as simpler and more effective for the new mall.

“Shopping malls are still a Malaysian’s favourite hangout area, and we all naturally gravitate to the mall in the end. So with Jaya Shopping Centre, we intended it to be really a lifestyle mall, with 75 percent of our tenants targetted at leisure activities, such as TGV cinemas as our anchor tenant,” she added.

The inclusion of TGV cinemas into Jaya Shopping Centre means that the latter will be the only mall with a cineplex in the immediate Section 14 area.

“When you were growing up in PJ like I did, Jaya Shopping Centre was THE place to be, and parking was horrendous. To ease mall-goers’ worries about potential parking problems, we are preparing 780 parking bays,” said Ismail.

It was announced back in November 2009 that the mall would have been completed in two years to reopen in the last quarter of 2011.

Ismail explained that the delay had been partially due to a spike in steel prices in 2009, which had caused a dilemma for many developers and owners whether to go ahead with their projects or hold on for the time being.

“We decided to wait out the spike, and it was a blessing in disguise, as it afforded us to refine and stabilise our plans for the new mall. It was also an opportunity for us to discover a whole new generation of retailers and entrepreneurs in the market,” said Ismail.

Currently, the gross development value (GDV) of Jaya Shopping Centre is approximately RM400mil.

Jaya Section Fourteen is owned by CMREF 1, a RM1.5bil closed-end real estate fund managed by CIMB-Mapletree Management Sdn Bhd, itself a 60:40 joint venture between the CIMB Group and Singapore’s Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd.

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