STRATA COMMERCIAL CATEGORY — SILVER
LOCATED in Bayan Lepas, Queensbay Mall opened its doors to the public on Dec 1, 2006. Strategically located, the mall is a 15-minute drive from the Penang International Airport, Penang Bridge and the Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge (Penang second bridge).
Sitting on 13.96 acres of freehold land, the strata commercial development has a gross built-up of 2.5 million sq ft and about 1 million sq ft in net lettable area making it the largest shopping destination in the southern region of Penang Island.
Developed by CP Mall Sdn Bhd, the mall was acquired by CapitaMalls Asia (CMA), a unit of Singaporean property developer CapitaLand Ltd, in 2010. About 92% of the mall’s strata area is owned by CMA while the rest is owned by 116 individual parcel owners.
The mall is currently 98% occupied, anchored by AEON along with 10 junior anchors including Chi Fitness, Harvey Norman, Golden Screen Cinemas, Neway Karaoke Box, Uniqlo, Forever 21 and Padini Concept Store. There are over five levels of retail outlets carrying 400 local and international retail merchants, some of which are exclusively available at the mall in the entire northern region of Peninsular Malaysia.
In 2016, the annual shopper traffic was recorded at about 15 million while the annual vehicular traffic was about 3.5 million, says Queensbay Mall Management Corporation (MC) senior operations manager David Raj S Kolandesamy.
“Despite the challenging operating environment, [I believe] the mall will continue to do well as it is well-located, has a good retail mix and caters to the needs and aspirations of its target market.
“Our management team regularly refreshes the tenant mix and brings in new brands to improve our offerings. We also ensure that the asset is well maintained through continuous asset enhancement initiatives,” David says.
And it looks like all the MC’s hard work has paid off as Queensbay Mall took home the Silver in the strata commercial category of TheEdgeProperty.com Malaysia’s Best Managed Property Awards 2017 on April 3.
Major upgrades in 2016
The MC was officially formed on January 2015 and a year later, it embarked on some major upgrading works on the mall.
Among the improvements to the 10-year-old mall that David and his team had taken on in 2016 include toilet upgrading works, refurbishment of the baby-changing and nursing rooms, new ceiling installation for the centre and north atrium of the mall, and other upgrading of amenities. It also added a hand phone charging service station.
On the aspect of security, the MC has implemented the biometric guard patrol system to have a better control of the mall patrolling besides having 440 units of CCTVs across the entire development.
“As a 10-year-old mall, therein lies another challenge and that is to extend the lifespan of its major equipment. Nonetheless, with a good maintenance plan in place, Queensbay Mall became the first operating mall in Malaysia to receive the Building & Construction Authority of Singapore Green Mark Gold Plus award in 2016,” reveals David.
Prior to that, it was the first mall in Penang to receive the Penang Green Office award in 2015; and Rainwater Harvesting incentives and Aqua Save certificate in 2015.
“Apart from the maintenance of the building and facilities, the mall carries out exciting and experiential events and activities to enhance shoppers’ satisfaction through good retail offerings and high quality customer service. The effort was also recognised by TripAdvisor, which awarded Queensbay Mall with a 4-star Certificate of Excellence for two consecutive years (2015 and 2016),” shares David.
The mall also boasts sustainability or green features. Chairperson of the MC Tan See Bin says the three main elements that drive sustainability in Queensbay Mall are energy efficiency, sustainable water usage and recycling.
“While a well-designed building is a good foundation for sustainability, the market and the mall need to evolve according to changes in tenants’ requirements and increasing expectations from shoppers,” she notes.
“Hence, it is critical that strategic plans are in place to improve the overall facilities to ensure the mall can deliver good services currently while, at the same time, meet future expectations,” she adds.
On a micro-level, the MC will replace one of the chillers in the mall which will improve efficiency and reduce energy consumption as part of its sustainability management. Also in the works is the replacement of the mall lighting with LED lights. This will further reduce electricity consumption in the mall.
Its success at TheEdgeProperty.com Malaysia’s Best Managed Property Awards, Tan says, will motivate the MC further to bring the mall to greater heights.
“The win has greatly motivated our team as we have put in a lot of effort to ensure that Queensbay Mall runs smoothly and efficiently. All this would not have been possible without the support from the team, the parcel owners, tenants and shoppers,” she says.
Moving forward, David shares that the marketing team of the MC is working closely with the Penang state tourism board and relevant bodies to promote the mall and to further tap on rising tourist arrivals.
At the same time, Queensbay Mall will continue to strive to be the market leader in carrying out fresh and exciting events and activities as well as serving the community through various corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, notes David.
For the past two years, the mall has successfully orchestrated various thematic festive décor for Hari Raya, Christmas, Chinese New Year, Malaysia’s National Day as well as Halloween to attract shoppers to the mall.
“It is our goal to have our shoppers proudly claim Queensbay Mall as their preferred mall which they frequent and a place they feel comfortable each time they visit the mall.
“It is always a challenge to emerge as victors in a competitive industry but the Queensbay Mall team will strive harder to create new and unique experiences to cater to the needs of our shoppers,” says David.
This story first appeared in TheEdgeProperty.com pullout on April 7, 2017. Download TheEdgeProperty.com pullout here for free.