THE long-time Petaling Jaya icon once known as Jaya Supermarket made its official comeback yesterday as Jaya Shopping Centre.
Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) mayor Datin Paduka Alinah Ahmad, who officially launched it on Monday congratulated the mall’s developer, Jaya Section Fourteen Sdn Bhd, for bringing back fond memories.
“Jaya Shopping Mall’s launch also marks a revitalisation of PJ Section 14, and is important in bridging the memories between those who remember going to the old market, and the new second and third generation of Petaling Jaya residents,” said Alinah.
Much larger than its predecessor, Jaya Shopping Centre encompasses 25,083 sq m, with seven differentiated retail zones for different needs.
The launch was hosted by reigning Miss Malaysia-World 2013 Melinder Bhullar, who also recalled her time hanging around the old Jaya Supermarket while waiting for her mother to finish grocery shopping.
Currently, the mall is about 80% occupied, with more tenants moving in within the next four to six weeks.
Jaya Section Fourteen director Ismail Ani Arope said despite the new facade and new interior, Jaya Shopping Centre was remarkable in its resemblance to the old supermarket, with several original tenants returning.
These include Chapter One Bookstore, Hings Watch, Poya and Serai, with global chains such as Toys R Us, Best Denki and Chilis also joining the mall.
Anchor tenants for the new mall are Cold Storage, one of the original tenants, and TGV Cinema, which is due to set up shop soon.
“We are also dedicating Level Four for noveau (new) entrepreneurs,” said Ismail.
Jaya Section Fourteen is owned by CIMB-Mapletree Real Estate Fund 1, a RM1.5bil closed-end real estate fund managed by CIMB-Mapletree Management Sdn Bhd.
Ismail said the target group for Jaya Shopping Centre would be students, local residents of PJ Section 14, and office workers from the surrounding areas.
“It is too soon to tell how the mall will perform and what our expectations are, but we are still in investment mode, and looking to acquire local neighbourhood malls,” said Ismail, adding that several other investment giants were having the same strategy.
Representatives from Singapore-based Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd also attended the launch, having worked with Jaya Section Fourteen in providing expertise in the mall’s positioning, design and layout prior to its opening.
“Well, as Ismail says, the baby is born and we hope to see Jaya Shopping Mall establish itself once again,” said Wendy Low, head of retail management in South-east Asia for Mapletree Investment.
During the run-up to the mall’s construction and launch, both Low and her colleague Phu Kok Kim said they were in constant communication with Jaya Section Fourteen, often coming up to Petaling Jaya to view the mall’s progress.