Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Chinatown Point to reopen with new look, tenant mix

Straits Times: Mon, Sep 03

ONE of Chinatown's most recognisable buildings, Chinatown Point, is set to reopen with a snazzy new look in the coming months.

Retail mall veteran Pua Seck Guan, executive chairman of Perennial Real Estate Holdings, put together a consortium that includes German fund manager SEB, NTUC FairPrice and Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) for this venture.

SPH also has stakes in The Clementi Mall, among others.

Located at the junction of New Bridge Road and Upper Cross Street, Chinatown Point was bought for $250 million from City Developments in July 2010.

The 311,725 sq ft mall was closed to the public last year for renovation, which cost more than $90 million. Its committed occupancy now exceeds 50 per cent.

As part of other works carried out, the former basement carparks were scrapped and relocated to the third to sixth floors.

The oriental-themed mall, aimed at middle-class customers, has been carpeted to give it a lush feel, and redesigned to allow in more natural light.

A direct link to the upcoming Downtown Line MRT station in the area will be built at Basement 1. The building will also be linked with the existing Chinatown station on the North-East Line.

In addition, the mall's exterior has been spruced up with LED screens and advertising panels.

Perennial (Singapore) Retail Management will manage the revitalised Chinatown Point, which will have a soft opening in the fourth quarter of this year, with three levels of shops ready to welcome customers.

The official opening is expected in the first quarter of next year.

Tenants, 220 in all, include returning ones previously based there such as fast-food chain McDonald's. First-timers include Daiso, Cortina Watch and NTUC FairPrice.

A library, fashion retailers, travel agencies, traditional Chinese retail outlets and eateries are part of the mix.

An office tower consisting of strata-titled units will also form part of the development.

A Perennial spokesman told The Straits Times: "The new Chinatown Point will be the only professionally managed single-owner large-scale retail mall in the Chinatown precinct. It will stand out with its distinctive architecture adorned with oriental design elements, strong layout and lush carpeted interiors.

"We are confident that the revitalised Chinatown Point is set to become a vibrant new landmark in the Chinatown precinct for both locals and tourists."

McDonald's development director James Koh said the revamp is promising, drawing comparisons with the former Katong Mall.

The sleepy mall was transformed into the bustling 112 Katong after another Perennial-led consortium bought it in 2009. Mr Pua is also behind projects such as Chijmes and the new Capitol development.

"We've been at Chinatown Point for about 20 years... The place was quite lacklustre. The revitalisation brings hope, and we're excited about it," Mr Koh said.

Martin Koh | 86666 944 | R020968Z
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