Grandstand gets green light for more varied tenant mix

The Grandstand mall in Turf Club Road was formerly known as Turf City. Cogent, which makes use of all its seven floors, has only about three years left on the lease.
The Grandstand mall in Turf Club Road was formerly known as Turf City. Cogent, which makes use of all its seven floors, has only about three years left on the lease.PHOTO: COGENT HOLDINGS

Cogent Land aims to fill unoccupied 5% of mall, whose units can now be used as offices, karaoke outlets and showrooms

The Grandstand mall has obtained approval to host a wider range of businesses.

Units at the Bukit Timah centre can now be used as offices, property showrooms, telco service centres, family-oriented karaoke outlets, certain medical centres and maid and travel agencies.

Cogent Land Capital, which is leasing the premises, wanted a greater tenant mix so it could fill the unoccupied 5 per cent of the mall, said Mr Benson Tan, chief executive of parent firm Cogent Holdings.

Mr Tan noted that the new category of tenants, such as maid agencies, could set up at the Grandstand for far less than it would cost to establish a restaurant. That would allow them to recoup their investment in a shorter time - an important factor, given that Cogent has only about three years left on its lease.

But Mr Tan does not foresee a significant change in the mall's tenant mix, adding that most tenants "have established themselves and are doing well".

"Currently we don't have any tenants that have indicated they are exiting. However, based on experience, in a three-year lease term there will always be about 5 to 10 per cent of tenants from various sectors that do not do well, which results in turnover."

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We are now in the mid to high (income consumer) market, compared to perception that people had of Turf City, (which) was that it was a rundown place in the lower end of the (income) spectrum.

MR BENSON TAN, chief executive of parent firm Cogent Holdings, on Grandstand mall

Cogent's three-year tenancy began on March 1, 2012, and included the option of a three-year extension, which the firm has exercised.

Mr Tan said he does not know what the Government's plans are for the Grandstand site at the end of the lease term.

The Singapore Land Authority told The Straits Times that agencies are looking at whether the tenancy for the site can be extended beyond February 2018.

Cogent Land Capital has invested a lot in revamping the mall, which was formerly known as Turf City and seen as being rundown, Mr Tan said. It makes use of all seven floors compared with only two under the previous operator, he said.

It now offers a wider range of tenants, including food market Pasarbella, high-end restaurants, a supermarket and a taekwon-do school.

"We are now in the mid to high (income consumer) market, compared to perception that people had of Turf City, (which) was that it was a rundown place in the lower end of the (income) spectrum," Mr Tan said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 16, 2015, with the headline 'Grandstand gets green light for more varied tenant mix'. Print Edition | Subscribe