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LENDLEASE Group, the developer of the retail-led mixed development part of The Exchange TRX (Tun Razak Exchange) project, is eyeing to have the retail portion 90% leased by end of 2021.

Lendlease Asia CEO Tony Lombardo said to date, the retail portion of TRX is about 50% leased and committed, consisting of several international tenants including from Japan and South Korea.

“For the retail mall space, we have completed about 40% of the building structure to date. We are making good progress on the development. It is flagged to open at the end of 2021 and we have also made good progress on the leasing (process).

“We are 24 months away from opening and we are already leased and in final negotiations of commitment for about 50% of our retail space. We feel the market will very much be able to see what we are trying to deliver through the project here,” he told Bernama.

He said among the factors attracting tenants to the retail space is the 4.05ha of parkland on the top of the shopping mall, which represents great community space and massive investment into green space for the Kuala Lumpur city.

“Normally, leasing will take all the way up until the completion (of the project). Our recently developed mall in Singapore, which has been open since August, is currently around 90% leased, which is very good as the retail environment across the world has been a bit tougher recently, as retail is adjusting to the online (platform), among other things.

“We expect to be close to 90% (leased) when we open the mall by end of next year. Being at 50% leased and committed at this point (of development) is pretty good,” he added.

Lombardo said the food and beverages (F&B) segment under the retail portion is not yet open for leasing as the segment is continuously changing and the group has not decided on the best F&B concept for the mall.

The area being developed by Lendlease, formerly known as the Lifestyle Quarter of the TRX project, consists of 2.2 million sq ft (0.2 sq m) of retail space, which can accommodate about 500 new stalls, as well as 2,400 apartments across six towers, a hotel and small office space building.

Lombardo noted that the Australia-headquartered group has secured around A$100 billion (RM279 billion) worth of developments globally.

He said the focus of Lendlease Group is on large-scale urban projects such as TRX and the company has 21 such projects being developed around the world at present.

“We are the No 1 residential construction company in New York city for high-rise residential projects. We do have the capability when it comes to high-rise development. What we do is we bring our capability into Malaysia (for the TRX project).

“We are going to bring what we do best in the international market while making sure that we also meet the local needs. The residential portion will be open to local and international buyers,” he said.

Lombardo said the residential portion will be built in six phases, with the first phase consisting of two towers.

News Source: The Malaysian Reserve, 20th January 2020.

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