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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Malaysian malls in regeneration phase

The key theme for Malaysian shopping malls over the next decade is regeneration.

It is a transformation that includes both an extension of an existing mall or an extensive makeover of a mall, Malaysian Association for Shopping Complexes and Highrise Complex Management (PPK) president HC Chan said.

"After a 35-year history of malls, we are now entering the regeneration phase. Some of the shopping centres will undergo a change," Chan said.

"There will be more regeneration (activities) rather than building of new malls," he said, adding that malls will transform to become more niche.

This, Chan said, largely because the current 100 million sq ft of net lettable area of retail space within shopping complexes is sufficient to cater to the existing market.

Regeneration via expansion included Mid Valley Mega Mall, which added the Gardens, Suria KLCC with a retail podium in Lot C, and Sunway Pyramid, which added a second phase and is now working on a third and a fourth retail phase.

One mall that recently underwent a major makeover is The Mines following the takeover by CapitaLand's CapitaMalls Asia Ltd.

Another example is KL Plaza that will be relaunched as Farenheit 88 after it undergoes a massive RM100 million renovation.

Similarly, UE3 (now Viva Home), Phoenix Plaza and Kenanga Wholesale Centre are also being rejuvenated.

"Until the greater Kuala Lumpur plan takes shape, there will be no mega shopping structures. Until then, there will be only medium-sized malls," Chan said, adding that most other mall openings will continue to be within the Klang Valley.

"The next wave of substantial shopping malls development will be in the next three to five years when huge parcels of prime Kuala Lumpur land are opened for development," Chan said.

Today, the Malaysian shopping mall industry comprising 300 malls is worth some RM100 billion in real estate value and provides direct employment for 500,000 people.

By Business Times

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