THE mall in the upcoming Westgate development in Jurong East has seen healthy interest a year ahead of its targeted opening in December next year.
CapitaMalls Asia (CMA), CapitaMalls Trust and CapitaLand, which own the mixed development through a joint venture, said yesterday that to date, about half the retail space has been pre-leased.
This is despite rents being generally higher than at CMA's two other Jurong East properties, IMM Building and JCube. Westgate commands rents of $16 to $18 per sq ft per month (psf pm) - at the upper end of the $10 to $18 psf pm for all three properties.
Among the Westgate mall's anchor tenants are Isetan, which will run its first supermarket outside Orchard Road, and Food Republic; other tenants include Yamaha music school, Paradise Dynasty restaurant and Paul Bakery.
The venture said that the mall would tap a captive market of more than a million people - including middle-income families and working professionals - living or working in western Singapore, though its catchment will come from across the island.
That the mall will be connected to the Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and LendLease's JEM mall will bring it traffic; its link to the Jurong East MRT station and proximity to the Jurong East bus interchange will also bring some 1.8 million commuters a month, the venture said.
The mall will have a net lettable area of 416,000 sq ft - about the same size as the retail area in Raffles City Singapore.
"In short, we are bringing Raffles City to Jurong East," said Wee Su Lin, the general manager of Westgate
The mall will have a thematic playground designed by an American theme park designer who has worked on attractions at Universal Studios and Disneyland.
It will also have a gym, a childcare centre and a naturally-ventilated area called the Courtyard, a covered outdoor shopping area bathed in natural light and cooled by jet blowers and air diffusers.
Besides the seven floors of shops of this family and lifestyle mall, Westgate will have a 20-storey office building called Westgate Tower, into which the CapitaLand Group will move from end-2014.
The Westgate development is part of Jurong Gateway, which the Urban Redevelopment Authority has earmarked as one of three key commercial hubs outside the city centre that will provide jobs closer to where people live.