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Monday, June 8, 2009

Pavilion Group plans to expand to other places

The Pavilion Group is considering opportunities to replicate its success with the Pavilion Kuala Lumpur in other parts of the country and overseas.

Although the current soft market conditions may not make its expansion plans viable, owner Tan Sri Zainol Mahmood said the company was not ruling out having Pavilion developments elsewhere in the future.

“Having created a successful retail-focused integrated development model, we can confidently move into other new markets if the opportunity arises,” Zainol told StarBiz.

Pavilion KL is a privatised project by KL City Hall under its urban redevelopment programme to inject more life and wholesome activities into the city.

Developed by Kuala Lumpur Pavilion Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Urusharta Cemerlang Sdn Bhd, the four-part development is located on 12.6 acres at the intersection of Jalan Bukit Bintang and Jalan Raja Chulan.

It comprises the seven-storey Pavilion KL shopping centre, two luxury residential towers above the retail podium, a 19-storey corporate office block, and a proposed boutique hotel.

On the development concept, Zainol said the aim was to optimise on the project’s location on the last piece of prime real estate in the Bukit Bintang commercial district by adding more value to the project.

The project is located on the former Bukit Bintang Girls’ School premises. The school has since moved to Cheras.

“Pavilion KL has established itself as an iconic landmark and lifestyle destination for inner city living and shopping. It has certainly lived up to its status as the defining authority in city living, fashion, dining, and urban leisure,” adds Zainol, who is Urusharta Cemerlang chairman.

In its first year since opening for business in October 2007, the shopping centre recorded an estimated retail sales of RM1.56bil. With an average customer traffic of 83,000 a day, the shopping centre has to-date registered 48 million visitors.

With 1.37 million sq ft of net lettable space and 460 shops, Pavilion KL shopping centre was completed in September 2007. It is 100% tenanted and offers a mix of fashion, dining and urban leisure catering to the mid to upper-market segments.

Launched in 2004, the two blocks of Pavilion Residences were purchased by Kuwait Finance House at RM750 per sq ft.

Zainol said demand for high-end residences in the Golden Triangle was still good as more people were embracing inner city living.

The 19-storey office tower has also been completed and handed over to its owner, the KL City Hall.

Coming up next will be a six-star boutique hotel, Raffles Kuala Lumpur, targeted for opening in 2011. To be built at a cost of RM300mil, the hotel will offer between 180 and 200 suites.

On his market outlook, Zainol says: “Pavilion KL has established itself as an anchor of the community through its ‘totality approach’ to create a pedestrian-friendly shopping centre that in turn will transform KL into a ‘walk-able city’.

“We are happy with how the project has turned out and is upbeat of its potential.”

He added that plans were afoot to host more national and international events and promote Bukit Bintang as a must-see destination for tourists and locals.

By The Star (by Angie Ng)

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