CITTA Mall, an open-air strip-mall-inspired shopping centre located in Ara Damansara, Petaling Jaya, has been generating some buzz among Klang Valley denizens despite not having an official launch.
“The moment it opened on June 25, 2011, Citta (which means ‘mind’ and heart’ in Pali) has been operating as if it is fully occupied,” said centre manager Wong Sue-May.
Advertising and promotions manager Josephine Wong said Citta has already embarked on its tactical campaigns for each season, and has been getting most of its publicity via word of mouth recommendations and blogs.
Managed by Citta Sdn Bhd, Citta is a shopping mall owned by SEB Asset Management, a German real estate fund manager, and property developer Puncakdana Group.
“Citta’s layout was adopted from malls in North America, where retail outlets are arranged in a row in an open-air environment,” said Sue-May.
Citta sits on an 8 acre (3.24ha) site, with an estimated gross floor area of 650,000sq ft and nett lettable area of 424,000sq ft respectively.
“Only about half the plot ratio was used, as we had to take into consideration the open air design,” said Sue-May, who described Citta as a suburban community mall with a good mix of stores to service the community and draw in new people.
The horseshoe-shaped Citta Mall covers four-and-a-half floors, including a supermarket on the lower ground level.
It features 130 shops, including Presto supermarket, nine-hall MBO cinema, electrical, computer and bedding retailer Harvey Norman, Macy home furnishing and Unique Seafood restaurant as mini anchors.
Its tenant lineup features a mix of the familar and unique, encompassing local and international dining, shopping retailers and services.
New F&B outlets include Chawan, Gourmandis bar lounge, Baci Italian cafe, Wondermilk, non-halal French brasserie Las Delicias, Dr Cafe, Figaro Coffee Company and Kay Riches fusion restaurant.
There are also new retail and service stores like Volt bicycle shop, Jane Yap Atelier arts school, Treasure Box brain development centre, Speak and JJ Trendy Fashion boutiques, A Beauty Secret Studio beauty salon, Home Art Decor, Julia Gabriel & Chiltern House learning centre for children, as well as The Space @ Citta — a 4,200 sq ft permanent exhibition space.
Sue-May highlighted another unique feature at Citta — a 1,800sq ft parents’ room on the first floor that offers a spacious and comfortable space for parents to attend to their children’s needs as it includes nursing rooms, parent child toilets, diaper changing room and play area.
Other facilities include travelators, glass lifts that can hold up to 24 persons, another 1,200sq ft play area, bicycle parking, easy access ramps and disabled-friendly facilities.
“Citta has 55% confirmed tenants; we are in the process of closing deals for the 45% unoccupied stores,” said Sue-May, who is targeting to have the mall fully occupied by end 2013.
“Depending on the floor and size, the leasing rate averages between RM5 and RM8 per sq ft for a store, RM1,000-RM1,500 for a pushcart, and RM3,500-RM5,500 for a kiosk.”
The mall has 1,200 parking bays — 400 at surface level; 800 at lower ground. Parking rates are slated to be introduced in the third quarter of this year.
In terms of landscaping, Sue-May said it includes Citta’s ‘chief tenants’ — two resident raintrees aged about 75 years old which were rescued from Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur.
The mall is accessible via Jalan Lapangan Terbang Subang, Jalan Lembah Subang and Jalan PJU 1A/1, which are linked to the NKVE, LDP, Federal and GCE Expressways.
Sue-May said Citta Mall has a gross development value of RM280mil.
“The mall’s target market will be young families and working adults, with the estimated 0.5 million population in Ara Damansara, Glenmarie, Tropicana and Subang Jaya as the primary catchment area,” she said.
“The self-serving concept will make life easier for the shoppers and help families take the load off their daily tasks, as the stores offer a variety of products and services to cater to each person’s needs.”
Citta Mall presently has a weekend bazaar that runs from 11am-8pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Sue-May said the company is not too worried about competition, as Citta’s concept is different, that it would be hard to duplicate its physical layout with generous land space, and because of its niche market targeting the mid- to upper-income group in the community.
“Although a convention centre, hotel and Soho units are scheduled to be constructed next to the mall, we foresee that it won’t pose a huge problem in terms of traffic and accessibility as Ara Damansara is a well-planned area with good infrastructure.
“The LRT Line Extension that will run near Citta will further complement business to the mall,” she said.
Source : 22.03.2012 StarMetro by Jade Chan