Frasers Centrepoint Trust is optimistic about the outlook for suburban malls in Singapore. It’s just completed a major revamp of the Northpoint shopping centre in Yishun.
Costing almost S$40 million, the renovations are part of Frasers Centrepoint Trust’s plans to rejuvenate all its malls.
More shops targeting youths and family attractions are part of the new tenant mix at Northpoint.
This includes 20 per cent more new F&B outlets, a library as a new anchor tenant and a new rooftop water playground.
The newly-renovated mall is able to accommodate more than double the number of tenants than previously, thanks to refurbishment and enhancement works.
The mall also boasts a new wing which Frasers Centrepoint said is helping to raise rental yields.
The total net lettable area has increased from 149,200 square feet to 235,000 square feet. Occupancy stands close to 100 per cent.
Rents have increased from on average of S$11 per square foot before the asset enhancement initiatives to S$13.20 per square foot now.
Wendy Low, GM, Frasers Centrepoint Malls, said: “Average rental has gone up by close to about 20 per cent increase. In terms of foot falls, we are now hitting 2.4 million traffic per month.
“That works out to something between 50 to 70 per cent increase. We’ve reconfigured the mall to make it even more conducive for our shoppers. When shoppers come to Northpoint, they’ll find that we have a better mix of tenants, wider corridors and in terms of circulation it’s more seamless.”
Northpoint is the second mall under Frasers Centrepoint Trust to under a major revamp.
The move is part of wider plans to rejuvenate all malls under its portfolio.
Next on the upgrading schedule is Causeway Point which it said has a good chance of starting this year.
Frasers Centrepoint Trust believes that the suburban malls segment shows promising growth potential.
Chew Tuan Chiong, CEO, Frasers Centrepoint Trust, said: “During the economic downturn, the suburban malls held up very well. This is convenient shopping, some non-discretionary.
“That kind of illustrated the strength of this concept. Going forward, again going with the rising affluence and rising population, we think that this sector of shopping is also to become even more attractive.
“If you look at Singapore, any area that is near the MRT station will be a good place to have a good shopping mall. And the suburbs are places where people spend a lot of time now, on the way home, other than work. These MRT stations and population centres have great potential for more quality shopping.”
Frasers Centrepoint Trust said it remains open to expanding its portfolio in Singapore and Malaysia, with Vietnam among the key markets in the region it is eyeing.
Source : Channel NewsAsia – 12 Mar 2010