Saturday, March 13, 2010

Northpoint’s revamp drawing more shoppers

A FLASHY new wing that jazzed up Northpoint Shopping Centre has also helped attract an additional 800,000 visitors a month through the mall’s doors.

The $38.6 million revamp has also enlarged the mall by over 50 per cent and brought the total space available for rent to 235,000 sq ft. The number of shops has shot up from 90 to 168.

‘This has brought in a 10.7 per cent return on investment’, said Dr Chew Tuan Chiong, chief executive of mall manager Frasers Centrepoint Asset Management.

Rents at the mall on Yishun Avenue 2 have increased by 20 per cent to $13.20 per sq ft a month, said Frasers Centrepoint Trust, the owner.

‘But this is not necessarily (achieved) by increasing the rent of individual shops, but by being able to produce more… high quality space on the ground level, which (commands) higher rental yields,’ said Dr Chew, who was speaking at the mall’s launch yesterday.

He gave the example of how gross floor area from the fourth storey was transferred to a busier 24-hour walkway which links pedestrians from Yishun MRT station to the bus interchange.

The mall, which enjoys a nearly full occupancy rate, is well placed to serve about 410,000 residents in the Yishun area, said Frasers Centrepoint Trust.

The Trust’s $1.4 billion portfolio comprises four malls – Causeway Point, Northpoint, Anchorpoint at Alexandra Road and newly acquired YewTee Point.

Frasers Centrepoint Trust has already revamped Anchorpoint and now that Northpoint has been completed, its attention will turn to Causeway Point on Woodlands Square.

Other suburban malls have also had similar makeovers in recent years as owners spruce them up to stay competitive and fend off the lure of the glitzy Orchard Road retail palaces.

IMM at Jurong East, Lot One at Choa Chu Kang and Sembawang Shopping Centre – all owned by CapitaMall Trust – have made major revamps. CapitaMall Trust is now eyeing the upgrading of Jurong Entertainment Centre.

Dr Chew added yesterday that he is bullish on the retail sector. ‘Economic growth…is quite positive and consumer spending is linked to economic growth… We anticipate a rise in shopper traffic.’

Source: Straits Times, 13 Mar 2010

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