Rentals at Marina Bay Sands to Exceed Orchard Road’s

It will cost more to rent a shop space at the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort than it currently does at Orchard Road, said a Sands senior executive yesterday.Prime rental along Singapore’s main shopping belt can fetch around $50 to 55 per sq ft a month, analysts said.

“Rents are going to be higher than Orchard Road,” Mr Stephen Weaver, senior vice president of Asian Developments for Las Vegas Sands, told Today at the sidelines of the two-day International Council of Shopping Centres conference yesterday.

Mr Weaver, who has overall responsibility for the property development projects of Las Vegas Sands in Macau and Marina Bay Sands, also revealed that the casino operator is already in talks with retail tenants for around 150,000 sq ft of the 800,000 sq ft — or around 19% — of retail space here.

“None of the retailers are currently in this market. We’re talking to these key retailers first, and once that defines how the product will look in the end, we’ll make an announcement for general leasing after that,” he said.

His team will be meeting with specialty department stores such as Barneys New York next month.

Said Mr Weaver: “When we started to lease the Great Canal Shoppes in Macau, we spent three to four months just talking to retailers to make sure we got it just right in terms of merchandising mix, where they thought they ought to be, what sort of tenants they wanted beside them, and revised the design as we went.

“By the time the leasing announcement was made, we had already leased 100 shops. We may very well do the same thing here.”

Its flagship property in Las Vegas currently ranks as the second highest earning shopping mall in the United States, earning over US$1,200 ($1,902) psf of retail space.

He added that the combined annual growth rate of retail doubled that of gaming in the past six years in Las Vegas — retail grew at 9.2% compared to gaming’s 4.8%.

But it won’t just be all high-end luxury for sale at the Marina Bay Sands.

“Most of the retail here will be aspirational to someone. We’ve covered a range of price points in fashion, jewellery, lifestyle, watches and accessories.

“What we won’t have is homewares, electronics and Toys ‘R’ Us!” quipped Mr Weaver.

Source: Channel NewsAsia, 13 July 2006 

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