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Central i-City, poised to be the largest shopping mall in the capital city of Selangor, is scheduled to open on 12 January 2019. The RM850 million mall has a net lettable area of 940,000 sq ft and will include 350 retail shops with three levels of basement car park and six levels of retail.

CPN Ventures Sdn Bhd (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Central Pattana PCL, Thailand, or CPN) assistant vice-president of marketing Siegfried Shaun Dela Pena Tan said the mall has achieved 73 per cent tenancy and he is targeting it to be fully taken up by early next year.

“The mall is expected to transform retail experience for Malaysians. It is catered to a more affluent target segment attracting shoppers who will spend more, appreciate better and be driven by quality. We expect that the mall will serve more than 900,000 residents in Klang and a further 700,000 in Shah Alam. It is a new destination in i-City, poised to become the centre of life for the community,” Shaun told NST Property.

Central i-City is a joint-venture project between CPN, which has 60 per cent stake, and I-City Properties Sdn Bhd (ICP), an affiliate of Malaysian property developer I-Berhad that holds 40 per cent.

CPN is Thailand’s largest retail property developer. It currently manages 33 shopping centres under the brands Central World, Central Plaza and Central Festival with over 70 million sq ft of gross floor area (GFA) space.

It is the leader in the retail development and management sector with the largest share of Bangkok’s retail market, at 22 per cent. The company also manages seven office buildings, two hotels, four residential and six condominium projects.

Central i-City Shopping Centre is CPN’s flagship project in Malaysia and its first internationally.

“This is CPN’s maiden international regional shopping centre, signifying the company’s advancement into the Asean shopping centre landscape. CPN was looking to partner a leading local developer in Malaysia, while I-Berhad was looking for an internationally recognised mall operator. The marriage between the two parties is just perfect and now we are scheduled to open in January,” said Shaun.

Shaun said the mall will house a first-of-its kind “vertical transportation system”, which comprises four dedicated stacks of escalators that will allow customers to traverse the shopping centre from Basement 3 directly to the highest level, the 4th floor, and vice versa.

The mall will also provide customers the “ultimate shopping experience” in a day by creating a synergised design between shopping and the natural light in a day, he added.

“We are introducing Malaysia’s first natural light-in-a-day-concept thematic ambience in the different levels of the shopping centre. We believe that this form of art will perfectly complement our concept of synergistic clustering to further stimulate shopper spending,” he said.

I-Berhad executive chairman Tan Sri Lim Kim Hong said there will be increased activities in i-City following the mall opening.

“We are happy that the mall project ini-City is almost completed and it will be opening next year with a grand launch. We are bullish about the retail market. People are unfazed by the economy. They are still shopping and dining out. Themall has a good tenant mix and 25 per cent of the total number of retail shops comprises food and beverage outlets,” Lim said.

ANCHOR TENANTS

Anchor tenants in Central i-City are Sogo Department Store, TGV Cinemas and Village Grocer. Sogo Department Store is a joint venture with Central Department Store Thailand and it will be the first outlet operating in Shah Alam/Klang.

It will occupy 200,000 sq ft of space in the mall and offer new brands, contemporary fashion apparel and lifestyle brands, children’s department and an extensive range of home-improvement products spread over four floors.

“Sogo has this view of changing people’s mindset of what is a departmental store. Its first store is located in Kuala Lumpur and after many years it is branching out with new brands and has chosen i-City to reach out to customers,” Lim said.

Village Grocer has a footprint of about 40,000 sq ft in Central i-City and it will be the first and largest branch in Klang and Shah Alam, said Ivan Tan, the group executive director of The Food Purveyor Sdn Bhd — Village Grocer.

“We contemplated on Central i-City for two reasons, the first being that CPN is a well-known mall operator in Thailand. In the last 30 years it has opened 33 shopping malls. It is building and managing the mall in i-City so we are quite confident.

“The second reason is the location. We are selective about locations. We select a location where we can serve the premium grocery market segment and we believe i-City makes the cut for it. i-City has grown very fast in the last 13 to 14 years and it provides the catchment for our business,” Tan told NST Property.

According to Tan, there will be more Thai offerings as well as influence in Village Grocer @ i-City.

“Grocery shopping is not big -ticket, so we think it will continue to do well. Household income has increased and lifestyle has changed, so people don’t mind paying more for quality goods and fresh produce. About 40 per cent of our products are imported and we always have a good supply of fresh produce,” said Tan.

TGV Cinemas general manager (marketing and operations) Kabir Ariff Sultan said it will offer the first IMAX screen that is equipped with the latest audio and visual technology in the Klang and Shah Alam region.

“The overall design and concept includes eight digital screens plus 1 IMAXhall to cater to 1,800 audiences. This will be the biggest IMAX screen in Southeast Asia and the second biggest in the world after China. We have taken a different methadology for TGV @ Central i-City, from the seats to the experience coming into the foyer. As a company, we have relooked at how we want to do our cinemas. Deluxe is the new standards for TGV,” he said.

According to Kabir, TGV invested more than RM25 million to set up 40,000 sq ft of cinema space in the mall.

“There are many firsts for TGV @ Central i-City,from being the largest LED omix TV (14 metres high), having thefirst integrated cafe and a fully dedicated family-friendly hall, featuring the first IMAX screen in Shah Alam/Klang, to where deluxe is the new standard with gliding seats for everyone to enjoy.

“The market is becoming tougher for cinema operators as people can watch movies in many ways. As an operator, we have to be innovative and come up with ways to attract moviegoers. We believe we will do well in i-City as Shah Alam is underserved. With the location, coupled with the many firsts that TGV Cinemas will have in Central i-City, we are bullish on the performance,” he added.

News Source: New Straits Times, 29 November 2018

 

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