Business Times - 25 Jun 2009
Ion Orchard, Orchard Central have healthy lease figures
Ion is 94% leased, Orchard Central is 80% leased, say their developers
By UMA SHANKARI
ION Orchard, which is due to open in a month, is 94 per cent leased, the mall's developer, Orchard Turn Developments, said yesterday.
Previously, the developer said the mall was 80 per cent leased and it was in advanced negotiations for the remaining space.
At the other end of Orchard Road, 80 per cent of space in Orchard Central is also committed. Previously, developer Far East Organization said the mall was 65 per cent leased.
Orchard Central is already open to shoppers. Tenants have progressively opened for business since early June. The mall's soft opening is slated for early July, by which time about 100 shops should be open, Far East says.
As for Ion Orchard, management hopes many of the 333 shops will open in time for the mall's soft opening on July 21.
'They (the tenants) are rushing to finish renovations and we hope as many of them as possible will open with us,' said Soon Su Lin, chief executive of Orchard Turn Developments, which is building the mall. Orchard Turn Developments is jointly owned by CapitaLand and Hong Kong's Sun Hung Kai Properties.
To give tenants an incentive to open on time, Ion Orchard said in March that they would get 30 per cent rebates off base rents if they opened for business by July 21. The response has been 'very positive' so far, Ms Soon said.
Neither Ion Orchard nor Orchard Central have given a recent update on asking rents. Ion Orchard has said previously that its rents range from $20 to $80 per sq ft per month (psf pm). Rents at Orchard Central range from $20 psf pm to more than $70 psf pm, Far East Organization said late last year.
But industry watchers have said that signing rents at most existing Orchard Road malls have since fallen, which means asking rents at Ion Orchard and Orchard Central could also have edged down.
Ion Orchard said yesterday that more than 21 per cent of its 640,000 sq ft of retail space will be dedicated to food and dining - with many casual and fine dining outlets offering local and international fare, plus food and confectionary stores and a gourmet supermarket.
28 restaurants and cafes will be spread over different levels of the mall, with the largest clusters on level 4 for fine dining, and basements 2 and 3 for casual dining. In addition, basement 4 will feature a food hall, with 80 stalls offering a range of cuisines for all tastes.
Ms Soon said that Ion Orchard remains on the lookout for suitable retail and F&B concepts for the 6 per cent of space that has yet to be leased.