i12 Katong reopens after two-year revamp, with co-working spaces, automated F&B concept

The mall will have over 150 retail and F&B stores opening progressively. ST PHOTO: SYAMIL SAPARI

SINGAPORE - After a two-year revamp, i12 Katong officially opened on Thursday (June 23) with co-working spaces and technology-backed retail concepts.

The six-storey mall, located at the intersection of East Coast Road and Joo Chiat Road, will have over 150 retail and food and beverage (F&B) stores opening progressively.

Over 80 per cent of the mall's tenants are new, including the first Lululemon retail store in the east, and Mr Woofles, the country's first dog club and daycare to be situated within a mall.

Returning tenants include F&B outlets Tim Ho Wan and Wine Connection.

Among the new features and innovations is a fully automated storefront called Bistro Bytes, where shoppers can mix and match orders from a selection of F&B providers, and pick up their food a few minutes later from automated lockers.

Shoppers can mix and match orders from a selection of F&B providers, and pick up their food a few minutes later from automated lockers at Bistro Bytes. ST PHOTO: SYAMIL SAPARI

The food, from brands such as Pizza Express, My Tampopo and The Pasta Project, is prepared by a central kitchen.

Bistro Bytes was developed by the mall's owners Keppel Land, who said this technology will offer tenants greater productivity and higher sales efficiency, as well as the agility to rapidly launch new brands and food offerings to meet fast-changing consumer demands.

"(It) has also helped tenants reduce overhead expenses and mitigate the challenge of hiring service staff amidst a tight labour market," said the developer in a statement.

The mall now also houses Core Clinic, a medical co-working space for practitioners which has fully fitted-out clinic spaces and medical facilities.

The first of its kind in Singapore, it allows medical practitioners to book spaces for use as and when needed, and access a medical concierge.

It is located alongside Core Collective, a co-working space targeted at fitness and wellness practitioners, complete with a 650 sq m gym and functional training area, 10 treatment and consultation rooms, and an occupational therapy room.

Core Collective, a co-working space targeted at fitness and wellness practitioners, at i12 Katong. ST PHOTO: SYAMIL SAPARI

i12 Katong's reopening comes off the back of a bullish retail sector, which has shown positive signs of recovery since the easing of the Covid-19 pandemic and border restrictions.

Retail sales increased 12.1 per cent in April year on year, according to figures released by the Department of Statistics at the start of this month, extending the revised 8.8 per cent increase in March.

"The opening is particularly timely as Singapore takes steps towards normalcy and resumes gatherings in the community," said Manpower Minister Tan See Leng.

Dr Tan, who is also Second Minister for Trade and Industry and MP for Marine Parade GRC, was at the mall's grand opening.

"With the upcoming Marine Parade station on the Thomson East-Coast MRT line only a five-minute walk away, accessibility to i12 will be enhanced even further," he added.

i12 Katong's reopening comes off the back of a bullish retail sector. ST PHOTO: SYAMIL SAPARI

There are also sustainability features dotted throughout the mall, including electric vehicle chargers in the carpark, and urban farming spaces.

For instance, on the fourth floor, there is a vertical urban farming system that grows lettuce, kale and mint. These will be donated to food charity Willing Hearts, which operates a soup kitchen.

A food digestor that can break down food waste from F&B outlets and convert it into compost and liquid waste will also be installed at the mall.

Keppel Corporation chief executive and Keppel Land chairman Loh Chin Hua noted that residents in Marine Parade will be among the first consumers to enjoy these new concepts.

"Some of these concepts can be exported to other malls, not just in Singapore but other countries where Keppel is present, creating further opportunities for our tenants and partners," said Mr Loh.

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