The retail planners of the giant Pavilion Bukit Jalil shopping centre under construction in suburban Kuala Lumpur have revealed the anchors for the project and confirmed that tenants have committed to leases for more than half the retail space.
Pavilion Bukit Jalil shopping centre is a 1.8 million sqft development in a suburb best known as the heart of 1998 Commonwealth Games. Once complete in May 2021, it will have a catchment of 1.9 million people, 85 per cent of them locals, the balance tourists.
Dato’ Joyce Yap, CEO retail at Kuala Lumpur Pavilion, said today that the centre will be anchored by a 300,000sqft multi-storey Parkson department store. Smaller anchors will be Dadi Cinema, China’s second-largest cinema group, Harvey Norman, Food Republic and a grocery concept called The Food Merchant.
Pavilion is designing and managing the retail space of Pavilion Bukit Jalil shopping centre,12 years after it successfully completed the Pavilion Kuala Lumpur in the city’s heart of Bukit Bintang. While the company has a management contract for nearby Fahrenheit88 shopping centre, the new centre will be its second retail development created from scratch. Pavilion Bukit Jalil is being developed by a partnership led by Regal Path, a joint-venture company of Khuan Choo Realty, (a Malton’s subsidiary), Q PBJ and Jelang Tegas.
A new hub
While greater Kuala Lumpur has a higher ratio of mall space to population than any other Asian market, the location of Pavilion Bukit Jalil shopping centre is strategic – and a long way from the shopping-centre-crowded Klang Valley region. It will be the largest mall within a 10km radius.
The Malaysian government is in the process of transforming the suburb into a sports hub, in a nod to its Commonwealth Games heritage and the location of the giant stadium built for the event and still used for sporting events, and the proximity of nearby recreational parks and facilities. The area is also becoming popular with prestige schools and religious organisations and is home to the headquarters of Asian Satellite Television and Radio Operator, (best known as Astro).
Yap is confident both the location and the building will prove a success, a view backed by the high level of commitment from retailers 18 months out from opening day.
“We are close to securing another 300,000sqft in retail space. For the remaining area, we are actively seeking new-to-market brands locally and from abroad. We are in different stages of discussions with retailers at present,” she said.
“Despite current market conditions, there are still many regional brands interested to enter Malaysia because of our strong fundamentals and low business costs. However, they are selective of their mall of choice. We affirm that Pavilion Bukit Jalil’s strategic location and opening is timely for their brand entry into Malaysia and this has elevated their confidence in us”.
Yap says her team undertook extensive research within the Bukit Jalil community to make sure the development would appeal to the broad catchment.
While the Parkson store will be substantial in size, Yap said the selection of minor anchors for the Pavilion Bukit Jalil shopping centre is not being made based on the amount of space they will lease. The leasing team is focused on category killers which can attract people to the mall in their own right, to the benefit of the centre as a whole. By the time the centre is fully leased she expects about 500 tenants in all.
“We do not so much focus on the size. Today we need to understand what consumers want – not what they need, but what they want.”
Besides retail, the centre will feature a ‘family-friendly’ ice skating rink, a 28,000sqft piazza for outdoor concerts and events and a 47,000sqft exhibition centre. Regal is also building interconnected hotels and residences.
Pavilion Bukit Jalil is being marketed with the slogan “the icon of connectivity” referring to its location adjacent to transport networks. It has a 560m-long facade fronting onto the Bukit Jalil Highway, and is served by public buses, two light rail stations, and connections to the Kesas Highway, the local MRR2 road and the Maju Expressway.
The anchor tenants were revealed at a ceremony in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, officiated over by Yang Berhormat Tuan Muhammad Bakhtiar bin Wan Chik, Malayisa’s deputy minister of tourism, arts and culture and Datuk Lee Whay Hoong, director at Regal Path, the development’s owner.