Publika occupancy growing

KUALA LUMPUR: Sunrise Bhd's Publika shopping gallery has reached an occupancy rate of 70%, about half of which will be operational by end of September.

The developer held back one floor for art-related activity studios such as music and dance studios, which it hopes to be up and running by middle of next year, said Kow Shih Li, Publika complex manager, during the launch of E.A.T Food Village at Publika on Tuesday, August 16.

"Our tenancy mix is pretty evenly spilt between fashion, F&B, conveniences and the arts at about 25% each," added Kow.

The anchor tenant is BIG (Ben's Independent Grocer) supermarket, taking about about 50,000 sq ft, while mini anchors include MPH Group and BritishIndia (Asia) Sdn Bhd. According to Kow, the rental rates are between RM8 to RM15 psf.

"We do not want create a mall like the rest of the malls you have been to. In trying to differentiate ourselves, we want to create a creative retail space," commented Sunrise chairman Datuk Tong Kooi Ong.

Citing BIG as an example, Tong said it is the first of its kind in Malaysia and is modeled after the famed Farmers' Mart in the UK. BIG is expected to start operations by September.

"The concept of BIG is much more entertaining and activity-driven, the layout and experience will be very different from the other supermarkets. Hopefully this will translate to the entire mall," said Tong.

Starting operations ahead of Publika's soft opening in September, E.A.T Food Village offers a diverse range of local street style food in a thematic Chinese decor. Spread out over 33,000 sq ft with a seating capacity of 700, E.A.T houses 11 stalls and seven mini restaurants.

With more than 250 shops, Publika, which is located within Solaris Dutamas, has a daytime catchment of 21,000 comprising residents and office tenants, and a residential catchment of 330,000 within a 10-minute drive. The offices in Solaris Dutamas has an occupancy rate of 75%.

Publika is Sunrise's third commercial development after Plaza Mont'Kiara and Solaris Mont'Kiara, amounting to a retail development portfolio of more than 620,000 sq ft in size.

(from left): Solaris Dutamas Assets assistant general manager Chung Chee Khuen, Tong, Sunrise general manager for branding and community development Anne Tong and Kow at the launch. Photo: Mohd Izwan Mohd Nazam of The Edge Malaysia

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