Orchard Central on track to open in June

Property developer Far East Organization has said its S$700 million Orchard Central mall is on track to open in June.

The 12-storey mall has just obtained the temporary occupation permit.

It expects to raise tenancy take-up rate to 75 per cent in the coming months, from the current 65 per cent.

Far East Organization said Orchard Central will stand out from other malls when it opens in about two months.

Shoppers can expect more than five levels of retail therapy, over four floors of food outlets, and S$9 million worth of art works. Seventy per cent of the tenants are local.

Its operator said there was a recent spike in tenancy interest when the mall’s structure was ready after a lull between November and January.

But it declined to give exact figures.

Susan Leng, director, Retail Management, Far East Organization, said: “In the last few months, we have actually got several deals. Many offers have been issued and in the last few weeks, we have been chasing the lawyers (to) please get the documents ready now.”

Far East Organization has set aside an advertising budget of up to S$5 million to promote the mall from June till the end of 2009.

It is also giving rental assistance to some existing tenants to tide over their difficulties and ensure they can open on time.

Ms Leng said: “Those who signed a higher rental rate during good times, we will review it….not across the board, but on a very selected basis, maybe one or two cases only.”

Construction is currently underway to connect Orchard Central to neighbouring malls like Centrepoint and the upcoming 313 Somerset.

Due to the uncertain economic climate, Far East Organization is not able to set a target on when Orchard Central will be fully occupied. But it said that during good times, 100 per cent occupancy can be achieved three to six months after mall completion.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 8 Apr 2009

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