ION Orchard mall to open in July 2009

ION Orchard, one of Singapore’s largest shopping malls, is set to open this July amid the dismal economic outlook and falling consumer confidence.

In a filing to the Singapore Exchange, CapitaLand said tenants have already committed to lease 80 per cent of space in the mall. 60 per cent of the retail space will be devoted to flagship stores and new-to-market brands including Boucheron, Dsquared and Diane von Furstenberg.

The property developer said advance negotiations are underway for the leasing of the remaining space. ION Orchard is expected to have over 300 stores spread over the 640,000-square-foot mall.

The development, which will also boost luxury residential units, is a joint venture between Singapore developer CapitaLand and Hong Kong’s Sun Hung Kai Properties.

Despite tough market conditions, CapitaLand said it is optimistic that the mall will add a bright spark to Singapore’s retail landscape.

To encourage tenants to meet its opening plans, CapitaLand will offer financial incentives of up to 30 per cent of their contracted base rent.

Rentals at ION Orchard range from S$20 per square foot to S$80 per square foot for prime shop units.

CapitaLand will also provide recruitment and training programmes to facilitate staffing needs among its tenants there.

All these measures are on top of the savings from the 40 per cent property tax rebate introduced by the government in the 2009 Budget.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 23 Mar 2009

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