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Monday, July 20, 2009

SP Setia scales down mall space in Setia Alam

PETALING JAYA: SP Setia Bhd’s maiden retail venture, Setia City Mall in Setia Alam, Shah Alam, will have a potential net lettable area of more than 1.5 million sq ft upon completion of the project.

Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin … ‘Phase 1 will have a net lettable area of about 700,000 sq ft. We believe this is the optimal size for the phase.’

Explaining the rationale for the decision to scale down Phase 1 of the project from 1.23 million sq ft of gross lettable area to one million sq ft, president and chief executive officer Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin said this was to accommodate a more efficient design and to best meet the needs of retailers.

“Phase 1 will have a net lettable area of about 700,000 sq ft. Based on the detailed studies undertaken by our joint-venture partner Lend Lease Asian Retail Investment Fund 2 Ltd’s retail experts in Singapore and Australia, we believe this is the optimal size for the phase,” Liew told StarBiz.

He said Setia City Mall was designed by a team from Lend Lease, comprising international experts in retail mall design, construction and management. Apart from a world-class design, it will also set the benchmark in sustainable retail development, being the first and only mall to be included in the Green Building Index’s pilot accreditation scheme.

The Phase 1, expected to be completed at end-2011, will comprise a department store, 250 local and international specialty stores, major anchor retailers and an entertainment precinct. Its gross development cost is RM450mil.

The mall design includes access to more than 2,000 parking lots and easy connectivity to nearby roads, towns and major highways. Liew said while it was still too preliminary to reveal plans for Phase 2, it would likely constitute a more upmarket component to complement Phase 1 and would appeal to a wide spectrum of the consumer market.

On analysts’ reports that the revised plans would now see the mall being developed in two phases, he said Setia City Mall had always been planned to be undertaken in two phases.

“Our initial announcement did not provide specifics on the phasing plan because at the time, we only had a conceptual master plan and it was too preliminary to disclose how things were going to be done.

“After an in-depth analysis of the primary, secondary and tertiary market catchments for the mall project, we are able to share more firm plans on how we intend to develop the mall.

“With Setia Alam’s demographics changing over the years as more people move in, building the mall in two stages will allow it to strongly establish itself in the market, and then to grow in sync with the needs of the customer base,” he said.

Liew said Setia City Mall would provide long-term, sustainable growth for retailers, the company, and the community at large.

“Our studies have indicated that Setia City Mall is a necessity to satisfy the local population’s desire for quality shopping and leisure facilities. SP Setia’s local knowledge and Lend Lease’s international retail design excellence will ensure that the mall is well above the curve in terms of design, functionality, offer and experience.

“The mall is responding to a market opportunity with the already large customer base set for rapid expansion. This ensures that demand for retail space will be high. We are currently in negotiations with key anchor retailers,” he said.

By The Star (by Angie Ng)

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