Suntec City hopes to lure shoppers back to Marina Bay area

The S$410 million remake of Suntec City is starting to take shape — Phase 1 of the makeover was completed in June.

Susan Sim, deputy CEO of ARA Trust Management (Suntec) Limited, said: “We are 100 per cent occupied on Phase 1, and most of the tenants have already started operations. Phase 2 as of June, we are 70 per cent pre-committed and we are on target for Phase 2, which is going to be ready by early next year.”

Some challenges faced by Suntec City remain. Analysts said its proximity to the Formula One track deters shoppers for several days a year. They also point out, its not as accessible to pedestrian and tourism traffic compared to the Orchard Road shopping belt.

Still, the mall operator said it aims to attract shoppers with its new lifestyle and shopping concept.

Analysts said that the complex will need to give customers plenty of reasons to go out of their way to visit the mall, and stay there.

Current regeneration works in the area as well as improved public transportation links may help.

Chua Yang Liang, head of research for South East Asia and Singapore at Jones Lang LaSalle, said: “You see the new train lines coming in, and the assets — the physical assets themselves — some of the owners are going through refurbishment.

“Suntec, Marina Square — I look at that neighbourhood quite positively, especially with new projects coming in like South Beach. All that will re-anchor the neighbourhood as potentially a new destination for shopping.”

Meanwhile. analysts said the Marina Bay area — and Suntec City in particular — has one key advantage.

The office buildings surrounding Suntec City mall are almost 100 per cent occupied, and house between 15,000 to 20,000 office workers. This captive market is currently one of the mall’s strongest assets.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 20 Aug 2013

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