THESE days, even real estate landmarks such as shopping complexes need to reinvent themselves and flaunt their unique selling propositions and to attract customers.
Visitors look forward to new features such as sidewalk food and beverage outlets, creative window presentations at retail outlets and the many activities and events organised at the podiums of these complexes.
Facelifts of commercial buildings, including shopping centres, to give these places a fresh look and ambience have become common these days.
The recovery in the commercial property sector in the past year has given new impetus for owners of these buildings to “revitalise” their properties.
Quite a few shopping centres in the Klang Valley are currently under expansion to add new space to the existing complexes.
An artist's impression of The Gardens facade
One of the more prominent expansions underway is at Mid Valley City, which involves the addition of 800,000 sq ft in upmarket retail net lettable area. The five-star development of The Gardens will give a new spark and lift the popular retail and business hub to a higher dimension.
A joint venture between IGB Corp Bhd and the Kuala Lumpur City Hall, Mid Valley City has become a favourite hub for shoppers, diners, businesses and tourists.
Located on 50 acres at the centre of the affluent Klang Valley, the planned one-stop city for living, business and leisure has the potential to offer up to 18 million sq ft of built-up space for retail, leisure, dining, entertainment and hospitality.
Planning for the mega project started in 1989, and construction commenced in 1995. The development is already half way through and is earmarked for completion in 2010.
When Mid Valley Megamall, which has a net lettable area of 1.7 million sq ft, opened its doors in November 1999, it earned the reputation as Asia’s biggest mall. The other components that followed suit were Cititel Hotel, Boulevard Offices, Menara IGB and the Boulevard Hotel.
The development is undertaken in four parcels with the 24-acre Parcel One comprising Mid Valley Megamall, the 646-room Cititel Mid Valley City, 390-room The Boulevard Hotel, Menara IGB and Boulevard offices. Two office towers are under construction and slated for completion early next year.
Parcel One, being the biggest, offers a total gross floor area of 7.7 million sq ft and will incur a total gross development cost of RM1.5bil.
New precincts are being added to turn the place into a more vibrant and attractive destination for Klang Valley folks.
Mid Valley City Developments Sdn Bhd executive director Antony P. Barragry said: “Klang Valley is still growing and with rising disposable income, the outlook for good shopping centres is bright.
“Besides the strategic location, the integration of the various components and the wide appeal to a broad section of the market will further enhance Mid Valley City’s position as the favourite destination.”
Traffic jams in Mid Valley City will be a thing of the past with the proposed RM150mil
new road works to improve the infrastructure network in the area.
Besides the commercial components, those who are looking to stay closer to the city centre can consider the only residential development available at Mid Valley City – Northpoint.
Developed under Parcel Four, Northpoint, which is sited at the north entrance of the city, comprises two-tower blocks of 204 office suites and 228 residences.
Since the project’s soft launch in October 2004, some 65% of the condominiums have been sold, with only 78 units left. All the offices, with built-up of 1,410 to 10,000 sq ft and priced from RM529,000 to RM4.65mil, have been sold.
Northpoint residences, with built-up of 1,350 to 1,900 sq ft for the standard units and between 2,600 and 3,400 sq ft for the penthouse suites, have price tags from RM546,000 to RM1.28mil.
Northpoint will be completed months ahead of schedule and vacant possession is due at the end of this month.
Barragry said The Gardens was expected to boost the potential investment value of the Mid Valley real estate, including Northpoint and Boulevard offices.
“The success of Mid Valley City's Boulevard offices during its launch in 1997 showed that there is growing demand for a thriving place to do business outside of Kuala Lumpur city centre,” he said.
Ranging from 1,712 to 2,024 sq ft, Boulevard offices, which were priced from RM547,840 to RM647,680 or RM320 per sq ft, have since appreciated by up to 47% on the secondary market.
Rental of the offices at RM3.20 per sq ft show an annual yield of 12% a year.
Copied at 11 April 2006