Saturday, July 24, 2010

Causeway Point to get $72m facelift

CAUSEWAY Point is embarking on a $72million facelift to better serve the 300,000 residents in Woodlands.

The 12-year-old mall at the Woodlands regional centre is part of the portfolio that makes up Frasers Centrepoint Trust (FCT), which yesterday reported record third-quarter earnings.

For the three months to June 30, FCT achieved a 34.6per cent rise in income available for distribution to $16.3million. This translates to a 6.7per cent rise in distribution per unit to 2.07 cents.

During this period, gross revenue rose by 44.7per cent to $30.7million, while net property income climbed by 46.3per cent to $21.5million.

The upgrading of Causeway Point - FCT's crown jewel - will boost income and 'provide further organic growth in years to come', said Dr Chew Tuan Chiong, chief executive of the manager of FCT.

Opened in 1998, the seven-storey mall has a net lettable area (NLA) of about 418,500 square feet. To unlock value, space occupied by 'big box' tenants, for example, Metro department store, will be reduced to 50per cent of NLA from 65per cent currently.

'As specialty tenants pay higher rentals in view of their smaller footprint, this will help to raise average rental at the mall,' the FCT manager said.

To improve visibility of shops and create new retail space in prime locations, escalators at the mall will be moved to more convenient areas. A new food and beverage cluster on level five will be created.

Overall, the 30-month upgrading is aimed at increasing net property income by 22 per cent to $51.5million.

A review of its third-quarter results showed that FCT was successful in raising rents. Rental from renewal and replacement leases commencing during the quarter at Causeway Point and Anchorpoint saw an average increase of 8.5 per cent over expiring leases. The occupancy rate of all its properties remains at 99.4 per cent.

FCT units yesterday fell one cent to $1.39.

Source: Straits Times, 24 Jul 2010

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