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July 18, 2016

Boustead Ikano Confident of 85% Occupancy Rate at MyTOWN

KUALA LUMPUR: Boustead Ikano Sdn Bhd is confident that the MyTOWN Shopping Centre in Cheras will achieve a targeted occupancy rate of 85% by the time the mall opens on Nov 15.

General manager Jo Hogsander said most shopping centres usually opened with around 75% occupancy.

He is not worried that there would be stiff competition in the neighbourhood with the upcoming Sunway Velocity – another mall launching this year just 800m away.

“Our occupancy rate is already 70% plus, so we are quite confident of meeting our target,” he told StarBiz, adding that MyTOWN had secured tenants such as Village Grocer, GSC, Mango and Uniqlo, among others.

An added boost would be the linkage to Ikea Cheras, the largest outlet mall in the country. MyTown would have a net lettable area (NLA) of 1.1 million sq ft.

According to reports, about 40 malls would be entering the market in Greater Kuala Lumpur by 2020, of which a dozen would have an NLA of one million sq ft.

“There is still a need for convenient, safe shopping malls,” Hogsander said, despite the slowdown in the current property market and overwhelming statistics of an oversupply of retail space in Malaysia.

Boustead Ikano, a joint venture between the Boustead group and Ikano Retail Asia, built the Mutiara Damansara township in Petaling Jaya and developed the Curve, a hugely popular integrated retail development where the country’s first Ikea outlet is located.

Hogsander said the company wants to replicate its success at the Curve with MyTOWN. “We’ve definitely gotten a lot of knowledge from running the Curve,” he said.

MyTOWN will have 460 retail units on five levels, over 6,500 parking bays and serve more than five million shoppers within a 30-minute drive-time radius.

Hogsander also said the surrounding infrastructure, especially with an MRT station coming up, would make accessibility to MyTOWN better.

He pointed out that demand for brick-and-mortar shopping malls was still there, despite the rise in popularity for online shopping.

“It is still a huge satisfaction to be able to touch, try and spend the whole day out. Today, shopping is different. Gone are the days when you just run into a store, buy something and go home.

“Today, shopping can be considered a day out with the family.”