Shopping Centers Today

NOV 2018

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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Page 49 of 63

50 S C T / N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8 S I T E S & C I T I E S stands out. In May the Shoppes at Four Seasons Place opened beside the Petro- nas Twin Towers, in the Kuala Lum- pur City Centre commercial district. Behind the Benoy-designed, avant- garde facade are nearly 28,000 square meters: retail, restaurants, a high-end grocery and entertainment options, all spread across six levels. ƒe food court, called Malaysia Boleh (derived from the popular patriotic slogan translated as "Malaysia can do it"), is typically packed during lunch hours with many of the 125,000 white-collar workers from nearby o‹ce buildings. Around the city, other neighbor- hood-size developments include Horizon Village Outlets, in the Sepang District; Kiara 163, in the Mont' Kiara town- ship; and Paci™c Star PJ, in Petaling Jaya. Some rundown buildings in downtown Kuala Lumpur are undergoing trans- formations as boutique retail spaces, and these will bring in not just new tenants but also new entrants to this market. Japan's Seibu Department Stores will be among the newcomers, as will an upscale supermarket from Hong Kong's Dairy Farm Group, and both will lease space in the Exchange Mall development, set to open in the ™rst half of 2019. Mall occupancy in Kuala Lumpur has remained at a relatively constant 87 per- cent for about two years. As downtown areas see high-end shopping centers sprout up, other malls have found homes in Kuala Lumpur's suburbs. Last year ™ve malls opened in these burgeon- ing areas: Amerin Mall, KL Gateway Mall, CapitaLand's Melawati Mall, Ikano's MyTown Shopping Centre and the second phase of Mitsui Outlet Park KLIA. Altogether, these ™ve added some 211,000 square meters of retail supply to Kuala Lumpur. ƒat momentum carried over into the early part of this year, when the launches of the M Square mall and Evo Bangi together provided an additional 58,000 square meters. Look- ing ahead, the redevelopment of Bukit Bintang Plaza is under way. In Kuala Lumpur's upmarket locations, the rents range from $287 to $574 per square meter, while in the suburbs the cost falls to about half that, from $130 to $209. With still more potential for growth in the retail sector, overseas brands are eyeing Kuala Lumpur as a target for expansion. U.S. fashion retailer Fred Segal is to open a 300-square-meter store in the 1 Utama Shopping Centre, the world's sixth-largest mall. U.K. cosmetics brand Lush also plans to open a branch in Kuala Lumpur. In June Italy's Bulgari opened a ¦agship in the Bukit Bintang district. Malaysian developers say that Prime Minister Mahathir's ™rst term of o‹ce — from 1981 to 2003 — was something of a golden age. Now, with that same leader in o‹ce again, overall optimism about future growth is high. Q K uala Lumpur might be hot, humid and tra‹c-choked year- round, but none of that appears to be putting any restraints on the shoppers. Given the healthy mix of old and new malls in the Malaysian capital and the expectations that the country's economy will keep growing, neither locals nor visitors are about to slow their shopping anytime soon. Though Malaysian retail sales in the first quarter of this year registered only a modest year-on-year increase of 2.6 percent — about half of the pro- jected 5.4 percent — the conventional outlook is far from grim. In fact, ana- lysts at both Edmund Tie & Co. and property consulting firm Nawawi Tie Leung have said that Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's new government is likely to help boost confidence in the Malaysian economy and to spur increased retail spending. Under Mahathir, Malaysia's goods-and-ser- vices tax was lowered from 6 percent to zero between June and August. Kuala Lumpur, host to last month's RECon Asia-Paci™c Conference, is the center of retail in Malaysia. As of the second quarter, the city boasted some 2.89 million square meters (about 30 million square feet) of retail space, slightly more than the aggregate 2.88 million square meters across the rest of the country. Within Kuala Lumpur, the Bukit Bintang area has the highest density of shopping outlets — the district is Malaysia's answer to Singa- pore's Orchard Road, Tokyo's Ginza, Hong Kong's Causeway Bay and New York City's Fi¬h Avenue. One of Kuala Lumpur's newest malls Kuala Lumpur flaunts its modern retail destinations By Brady Ng Malls of Malaysia

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