Friday, July 19, 2013

More investments in Gurney Paragon Mall by year-end

LANDMARK: Retailers expected to pump in RM231m capital

PENANG'S newest shopping attraction Gurney Paragon Mall is expected to receive capital investments of RM231 million from retailers between now and year-end.

Its developer Hunza Properties Bhd has promised that the mall, which is set to open on Tuesday, will serve as a new destination and landmark for Penang's retail and tourism sectors.

"We are bringing in many new names in retail not found at other malls here," the company's executive chairman Datuk Khor Teng Tong told Business Times.

The mall is one component of the Gurney Paragon development, which enjoys the dual frontage of Gurney Drive and Jalan Kelawai in Pulau Tikus.
The project comprises two blocks of upscale condominiums, a corporate office block and the mall that boasts some 700,000 sq ft of net lettable space.

The twin condominium towers currently frame the 95-year-old St Joseph's Novitiate, a heritage building that once belonged to the De La Salle Brothers, a Roman Catholic religious order that pioneered education for the masses in Malaysia and elsewhere worldwide.

The heritage masterpiece, which was restored by Hunza at RM10 million, currently houses upscale eateries and a spa, among others. 

Khor said for the soft opening next week, between 60 per cent and 70 per cent of the mall will be operational with 135 to 140 stores opening their doors.

They include an upscale supermarket "SAM's Groceria" by homegrown and retail gaunt Mydin Mohamed Holdings. Mydin is reportedly investing RM17 million in the store, which will serve as its first upmarket grocery store in Malaysia.

Other tenants include Southeast Asia's leading luxury goods and specialist retailer the Valiram Group, which is set to take up some 10,000 sq ft of space and open outlets like Vanali, La Martina, Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Tumi, Godiva chocolatier and the TWG Tea Salon and Boutique.

Also to open their doors for the first time in Penang and the northern region by September are Swedish high-street store Hennes and Mauritz and UK retail chain operator Debenhams.

Other faclities include a 100,000- sq-ft food court, along with dedicated space for Penang's small businesses, and 1,800 parking bays.

"We have leased out 85 per cent of our retail space, to date, and hope to hit 95 per cent by year-end," Khor said.

Asked on the Gurney Paragon Mall's close proximity to Gurney Plaza, a shopping mall owned by CapitaMalls Asia Ltd, he said: "We are here to compliment and not compete with each other. Collectively, our two malls are set to offer an exciting lifestyle and retail experience for both Penang residents and visitors."

Read more: More investments in Gurney Paragon Mall by year-end

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