New treats in store as i12 Katong mall progressively reopens
SINGAPORE - A revamped shopping mall in the East Coast and Katong area has plenty of surprises in store, including Singapore's first medical co-working space, a live theatre concept by Golden Village, and a dog club and daycare.
The concepts are part of the offerings in the progressive reopening of Keppel Land's i12 Katong mall, which closed for renovations in early 2020.
The new-look centre began operations on Thursday (Dec 23), and will eventually have 180 stores when it has its grand opening in March next year.
A Keppel unit paid about $56.6 million in 2018 to take full control of the centre, which comprises six levels of retail and lifestyle shops, and two basement levels of parking spaces.
Keppel said the mall underpins its aim to improve its retail offerings and shape them "into future-ready, smart and sustainable retail hubs".
The new mall will also incorporate energy-efficient features such as LED lighting and water-efficient fixtures. There will also be electric vehicle chargers in the carparks.
There will also be a digestor to break down discarded food and other items and convert them into compost or liquid waste.
The mall will also feature art exhibitions in partnership with local gallery Sound of Art.
Some anchor tenants, such as CS Fresh, Golden Village and United World Preschool, will return, alongside new entrants such as aesthetic collaborative cafe Huggs Collective, ramen chain Ippudo, confectionery Janice Wong Singapore, foodcourt Malaysia Boleh and restaurants such as Prive and PS Cafe.
The mall will also host athletic clothing retailer Lululemon's first store in the East.
A specially curated fashion lifestyle zone called Pop Palette will open in the first quarter of 2022 alongside Bistro Bytes, a kitchen that allows consumers to order food through the mall's app for delivery or takeaway.
Mr Keith Low, Keppel Land's head of retail, said the new mall will present multi-experiential retail concepts and spaces powered by technology.
Keppel Land has also collaborated with M1 to transform i12 Katong into a 5G-enabled mall.
There were challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic, said a Keppel Land spokesman, as renovations were slightly delayed.
The pandemic also means that the mall will have more safety and hygiene features in place, such as air purifiers in lifts, automated handrail sanitisers and portable purifiers with hospital-grade filters to help remove microbes, bacteria, viruses and fungi in the air, he added.
But tenants remain hopeful that despite the ongoing pandemic, the refreshed mall will bring back crowds.
Mr Henry Tan, Ippudo's general manager of business development and marketing, said: "We are upbeat about opening Ippudo at i12 Katong during this period as we have confidence in the mall and as this is our first dining outlet in the East."
Mr Tan Kim Leng, director of Fei Siong Group, which runs Malaysia Boleh!, added: "Katong is a vibrant district known for its heritage and food, and we are excited to introduce authentic Malaysian hawker fare to the people in the area."
On the entertainment front, Golden Village will feature a new live segment in its theatres, which will include in-person performances and live streams of concerts, musicals and entertainment events.
A Golden Village spokesman said: "Like all retail businesses, Golden Village has been impacted by the pandemic. But... we saw the need to improvise and tailor our services to meet the changing needs of consumers.
"If the pandemic situation stabilises, and people start to return to a semblance of their everyday pre-Covid-19 lives, we are hopeful that things will get rosier.
"Now, with our new offerings, we will not only attract moviegoers, but also another fresh group of audience - which will augur well for us in the long run, way beyond the pandemic."
Auto, H. (2021e, December 24). New treats in store as i12 Katong mall progressively reopens. The Straits Times. https://www.straitstimes.com/business/new-treats-in-store-as-i12-katong-mall-progressively-reopens