SINGAPORE: Property developer CapitaLand capped a record year of shopping mall openings with the unveiling of Suzhou Center Mall, its first mall in Suzhou, east China and the largest mall in its portfolio.
Located in the heart of the western central business district (CBD) of Suzhou Industrial Park, right next to the renowned Jinji Lake and traditional Suzhou city centre, the landmark retail development is the largest mall in the city.
It spans close to 300,000 sq m in gross floor area (GFA) excluding the car park – more than three times the size of ION Orchard in Singapore, a CapitaLand press release said on Monday (Nov 13).
The sprawling Suzhou Center Mall is the centrepiece of the Suzhou Center integrated development that also comprises four Grade A office towers, two luxury residential towers and the W Suzhou hotel tower, which are all interconnected.
With a total GFA of 1.13 million sq m served by a newly built 1,570m underground tunnel leading to its basement car park and directly linked to two metro lines, Suzhou Center is positioned as the city’s new CBD and is master developed by Suzhou Hengtai Holding Group Co Ltd, which is owned by the Suzhou Industrial Park government.
CapitaLand, through its wholly owned shopping business CapitaLand Mall Asia, is the co-owner and co-developer for the shopping mall and two 21-storey office towers.
“The successful opening of Suzhou Center Mall caps a record year for CapitaLand. Close to one million sq m of retail GFA across eight developments turned operational in 2017, marking our largest ever retail GFA offering in a single year. " Mr Lim Ming Yan, CEO of CapitaLand Limited, said.
Mr Jason Leow, CEO of CapitaLand Mall Asia, said: “The continued confidence of our tenants in expanding their presence in the region with CapitaLand underscores the value of our retail platform in connecting retailers to ready catchments of shoppers with purchasing power.”
The mall opened with a high commitment of more than 90 per cent for its net lettable area of about 152,000 sq m.
About 400,000 shoppers visited the mall on the opening day on Saturday (Nov 11), CapitaLand said.
Anchor tenants among the mall’s over 600 brands include Suzhou’s first CGV cinemas, Suzhou’s first Fanpekka children’s theme park, Suzhou’s first indoor simulated counter strike gaming centre, an Olympic-size ice rink operated by Champion Rink, OLE gourmet supermarket and Food Member food court.
About 30 per cent of the mall’s offerings are new entrants to Suzhou, including Victoria’s Secret, Forever 21 and HAY furniture store.
In addition to the wide range of fashion and lifestyle choices, Suzhou Center Mall houses over 170 food and beverage options, with diverse cuisines ranging from Szechuan to Spanish. Renowned traditional Suzhou restaurant – Song He Lou – has an outlet in the mall.
In addition, a 16,000 sq m children’s zone on Level 3 offers a wide range of entertainment and educational choices catering to families with young children. There is also an art gallery in the mall catering to art lovers.
Leveraging technology to deliver an offline-and-online experience, Suzhou Center Mall offers free full coverage Wi-Fi access. Shoppers can use their mobile devices to seamlessly connect to the mall’s online functionalities, including onsite navigation and digital payment. Interactive touch screens on each floor serve as information hubs to provide shoppers with a wealth of information.
CapitaLand said that Suzhou Center Mall is designed as a green oasis that meets local and international design and sustainability standards.
“With the opening of Suzhou Center Mall, 61 out of CapitaLand’s total portfolio of 69 owned and managed malls in China are operational. Across Singapore, China, Malaysia, Japan and India, CapitaLand owns and manages 109 malls, of which 95 are operational,” the developer said.