New hotel with luxury shopping outlets to replace former Crown Prince Hotel

A new five-star hotel with luxury shopping outlets will soon replace the former Crown Prince Hotel along Orchard Road.

Set to open next year, the Grand Park Orchard Hotel and the Knightsbridge retail space linked to it will add to the buzz along the rejuvenated shopping district.

Its retail space will almost double to about 83,000 square feet.

It is part of Park Hotel Group’s plan – which was conceived in 2005 when it first bought the property – for a flagship property in its portfolio.

Allen Law, director, Park Hotel Group, said: “When we evaluate the concept of our mall, we look at our hotel portion as well. We are targeting this property to be our flagship property in our portfolio. We want to have some statement as of how our hotel group can transform an…old hotel into something totally new…So, first of all, that is our consideration.

“And, looking at the retail podium, we want to embark on a concept that is not so conventional in the Singapore context yet. But we do see this concept in places like Hong Kong, Japan, and even London. So, we have a concept that captures all the flagship brands and it is a collection of street front flagship stores…”

Knightsbridge tenants will have a double-storey facade facing Orchard Road.

About 50 per cent of space has been leased out, mainly to fashion brands.

Park Hotel Group said demand is strong despite the poor economic environment, but other challenges persist.

Mr Law said: “In terms of the economic outlook, it does affect the timeline in terms of the decision-making process. Our project has no difficulty in garnering interests from all these international branches.

“However due to their, maybe difficulties in other operations in different parts of the world, it may affect their decision-making in opening a store in Singapore. They are more careful in the sense that they look at their overall portfolio, and have to take a little bit more time…to make the commitment.”

The Knightsbridge stretch of retail outlets will link to the new Grand Park Orchard Hotel. Park Hotel Group is revamping the entire look of the building, noting that the original is almost 20 years old. It added that it sees a lack of rooms along Orchard Road, and expects strong demand when it opens for business.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 17 Jul 2009

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