The landmark Suntec City Mall reopened yesterday after completion of the first phase of a $410 million facelift that began just over a year ago.
The mall had been partially closed since June last year when owner Suntec Reit started the ambitious revamp that will eventually transform the complex 17 years after it first opened.
The makeover will eventually add about 980,000 sq ft of retail space and offer more than 400 shops and food and beverage outlets and a large cinema - making it the largest mall in the central city area.
Phase one, which has opened just in time for next week's Formula One Grand Prix, has involved adding more high street fashion labels such Uniqlo, H&M and Cotton On, and the upmarket Giant Hyperfresh supermarket - the first in the Marina Bay area.
Phase two of the renovation should be completed by the first quarter of next year and the last phase by the end of next year, said Ms Susan Sim, deputy chief executive of ARA Trust Management (Suntec), which manages the Reit. The next stage will feature more entertainment offerings, including Golden Village, which will build an 11-screen cinema complex.
Ms Sim added that Suntec Reit is in talks to attract luxury brands like Kate Spade and Coach as tenants for the last phase of the revamp. She said the firm was confident the mall will prosper despite the strong presence of shopping centres like CapitaLand's Raffles City and Marina Square, which is also being renovated.
"I think we're different because we are an integrated development," Ms Sim added. "We have five office towers, a big mall, a huge convention centre. This is an entire mall remaking.
"It's about enhancing the hardware, meaning connectivity and integration. When it was built 17 years ago, there wasn't an MRT station, and now there are two MRT stations sitting within the development."
Yesterday's ceremony was held at the mall's Fountain of Wealth and attended by Second Minister for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran, Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) chief executive Ng Lang, Singapore Tourism Board (STB) chief executive Lionel Yeo and ARA Asset Management chief executive John Lim.
CBRE director of retail services Letty Lee noted yesterday that major fashion brands are setting up shop at the mall because it allows them to tap into the growing residential and tourist population in the area.
"It is also expected to lead the way by synergising with the other malls in the vicinity to carve another full experience shopping precinct other than the traditional Orchard Road market," Ms Lee said.