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Monday, June 2, 2008

Mainstay counts on Sumo concept

Raja Mohd Azmi Raja Razali (centre) showing a model of Space U8 to Bank Kerjasama Rakyat Malaysia managing director Datuk Kamaruzaman Che Mat (left) and Shah Alam Mayor, Mazalan Md Noor at the project launch recently.

DEVELOPERS love to coin new words, especially for concepts that are new, exciting and marketable. The word condotel (a mix of condominium and hotel) was the craze in the early 1990s. Then the term vanished as sudden as it appeared. Soho (small office, home office) is still in vogue today while we are hearing less of the city-within-a-city concept.

Last week, Mainstay Development Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Mainstay Holdings Sdn Bhd, has called its maiden flagship commercial development, Space U8 in Shah Alam, a Sumo or shop unit, mall office.

Some reporters attending the official launch of Space U8 at the project site (1.5km from Giant Shah Alam and near TTDI Jaya) on May 26 were baffled by the term.

Mainstay Development executive chairman Raja Mohd Azmi Raja Razali explained that Sumo is built on a hybrid concept of dual frontage, featuring shop offices on the outer frontage with an inner facade of a retail outlet.

Like a mall, it will be a place for people to meet. Space U8, with a gross development value of RM220mil, will have a 70,000 sq ft central courtyard where events such as the screening of movies on a giant screen, weekend markets and celebrations could be held.

“We believe it's the first concept of its kind in Selangor, but people may call it differently. We have received about 50% bookings for the shop office units,” he said. He is confident that the units would be quickly taken up.

The concept sounds familiar.

Some new shop office developments in the Klang Valley like Glomac's Plaza Glomac in Kelana Jaya (which also has a dual frontage and a big centre court), and I-Bhd's CityPark shop offices (hi-tech and linked to the City Walk pedestrian mall) also have a kind of mall concept.

A potential problem of this kind of open mall is that it might attract the wrong crowd –youths might lepak (hang around) and become a nuisance. It is thus important that the property must have proper management and security. In this respect, Space U8 will have 24-hour security with CCTV facilities as well as ample parking space with 1,500 bays.

Scheduled to open first quarter of 2010, Space U8 (named after its location in Section U8, Bukit Jelutong) will comprise 58 units of freehold, stratified four-storey shop offices on an almost triangular-shaped 8.39-acre site. Intermediate units measure 25ft x 90ft with total built-up area of 9,000 sq ft while end and corner units vary from 10,000 to 12,000 sq ft. The average price is RM330 per sq ft.

There will be 46 intermediate, eight end and four corner units. Shop units on the ground level will have a five-metre high ceiling with other units at 3.2m. There will be a four-storey building with 84,000 sq ft for an anchor tenant.

The project is scheduled for completion in December 2009.

Raja Azmi (previously chief executive officer of Fly Asian Xpress Sdn Bhd, now renamed Air Asia X) said the company's vision was to make Space U8 the shopping haven and corporate address in Shah Alam.

“We also hope to attract people from the surrounding areas such as Ara Damansara, Subang Jaya and Klang,” he said. “We have received a great deal of interest from potential investors keen to become part of this commercial hub. We are confident it will be a huge success.”

He added that businesses and investors would find much appeal in Space U8's location, as there was a population of more than 580,000 spanning Bukit Jelutong, TTDI Jaya, TUDM Subang and Shah Alam.

The company is targeting new start-ups and medium-sized companies as potential tenants, offering them a suburban address with easy accessibility and less traffic congestion. The project is linked to highways like Guthrie Corridor Expressway and the New Klang Valley Expressway.

A hypermarket, private college, and food and beverage operators have enquired about leasing in the project.

By providing the funding, Bank Kerjasama Rakyat Malaysia Bhd is also lending confidence and credibility to the development.

By The Star (by S.C.Cheah)

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