A bigger, snazzier Tanglin Mall soon

The venerable Tanglin Mall is next in line for a facelift. Come October, the shopping centre, which is more than a decade old, will get 20,000 square feet added to its four-storey complex.

The mall is getting 20 lifestyle and F&B shops, which will be spread over two storeys. Gone will be the pedestrian walkway between the mall and Traders Hotel, the mall’s taxi stand and a section between Regent Hotel and Tudor Court to make way for the extension.

Parties that TODAY spoke to hope the extension will bring a new lease of life to the mall — the latest in a string of shopping centres in the Orchard Road belt to be upgraded. Retail director of Birkenstock in
Singapore, Mrs Carmen Lee, said: “Our shop has been in Tanglin Mall for over 10 years and we’re keeping it for sentimental reasons … we hope that this upgrading will bring more people.”

Shoppers already have a wish list for what they would like to see.

“Over the years, I’ve seen positive changes to the shops here, and I hope to see more casual clothing stores,” said Ms Leanne Buijze, 16, a student at the Overseas Family School.

Weekly regular Julie Miller, 43, hopes the “uniqueness of the shops here” would be retained and the result would not be just another “branded store that we can find in Orchard Road”.

According to retail marketing director Irene Yeo-Tan of Cuscaden Properties, which owns Tanglin Mall, the new extension will as far as possible “follow the existing look”, with expatriates and professionals still the target group.

Over the last eight months, five shops have left, including home furnishing store Barang Barang. It had been one of the anchor tenants since the mall’s opening in 1995.

Since renovation works began two months ago, several others have closed their shutters for their own renovations while seven shops have been relocated within the mall.

“Sales have dropped about 20 per cent. We still get some regular customers but those who are just browsing walk out when they hear the drilling so close to our shop. Foreigners generally like peace and quiet,” said Heel & Toe sales assistant Zatul Jalil.

The shoe boutique had to find space for stacks of shoeboxes within their shop, as their storeroom had been affected by the works.

Store supervisor Gloria Azarcon of Italian restaurant Spageddies said “business dropped by almost half”, while a delivery man from Wing Ngai Gallery said it had conducted a clearance sale in order to fit into a temporary store almost half its original size.

Responding to their concerns, Mrs Yeo-Tan told TODAY that although no rental rebates had been offered, “we’ve been able to manage the concerns of our tenants so far, and they are welcome to come to talk to us”.

As for rental fees after October, she said that the developer would be “following the market” and that “prices in every sector of the property market are increasing”.

Source: Today, 21 May 2007 

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