KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 22): The opening of the RM3 billion gross development value MyTOWN Shopping Centre in Cheras is delayed from the initial target of November this year, amid headwinds faced by the shopping mall segment.
MyTOWN, developed by Boustead Ikano Sdn Bhd — a 50:50 joint venture between Boustead Holdings Bhd and Ikano Pte Ltd — will instead see its opening sometime in the first quarter of next year (1Q17), said MyTOWN general manager Joakim Hogsander.
“We are leveraging the back-to-the-city crowd after Lunar New Year celebrations. This also gives a longer lead time for our tenants to prepare for our opening celebrations,” he told The Edge Financial Daily.
MyTOWN — located right beside Malaysia’s second Ikea outlet in Cheras — is expected to emulate the success of The Curve in Mutiara Damansara, which was also developed by Boustead Ikano.
It was reported that the developer was targeting a 85% occupancy rate by November — the group’s initial targeted opening date — and had secured tenants including Village Grocer, GSC, Mango and Uniqlo.
The mall will be competing with Sunway Group Bhd’s recently opened Sunway Velocity Mall, located within the vicinity of MyTOWN.
The delay in the opening of the mall comes amid pressures faced by the shopping mall business, including the current oversupply situation, lower tourist arrivals, weak domestic retail spending, lacklustre consumer sentiment and intense competition for tenants.
MyTOWN is not the only mall seeing a delay in opening, as Mammoth Empire Holdings Sdn Bhd had also announced a delay in the opening of the massive Empire City Mall from end-2015 to this month.
Sime Darby Property Bhd and CapitaLand Mall Asia’s RM670 million Melati Mall had also postponed its opening from end-2016 to the 2Q17.
The Edge weekly last month reported that the number of shopping centres that have been put up for sale was visibly higher for the nine months up to the end of July, with an estimated combined value of RM3 billion.
Some of the malls being put up for sale included Jaks Resources Bhd’s Evolve Concept Mall, Aeon Co (M) Bhd’s Aeon Mahkota Cheras and Mammoth Empire’s Empire Shopping Gallery.
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on Sept 22, 2016. Subscribe to The Edge Financial Daily here.
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