SINGAPORE - The "Tetris-inspired" GR.iD mall officially opened on Saturday (Feb 12), offering a mix of unique food, entertainment and retail offerings targeted at youngsters from nearby schools.
Mr Alvin Tan, Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Culture, Community and Youth, officiated the launch to a display of flashing neon lights, a recurring design motif of the Selegie Road mall.
The mall, previously known as PoMo Mall, underwent a multi-million-dollar renovation in 2019. The Covid-19 pandemic delayed its 2020 launch, and it soft opened in October last year instead with a handful of eateries in operation.
The 92,000 sq ft development - with its stacked glass blocks and pop-orange steel frames - hopes to appeal to the younger community in the education district.
GR.iD has already tapped young students from schools in the surrounding neighbourhoods such as Lasalle College of the Arts and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts to paint a two-storey tall indoor mural within the mall.
"Being at the centre of the education hub, we want to develop a mall that can cater to the energy and vibrancy of the younger generation... where they can study, eat and play," said Ms Diane Aw, the asset management director of Gaw Capital, the mall's developer.
She said an emphasis had been placed on selecting unique, independent and owner-operated tenants.
"We want a good diversity and right mix of tenants that do not cannibalise each other but can complement and support each other," added Ms Aw.
About 85 per cent of its 50 or so units have been taken up, with 29 stores currently open.
One such tenant is Icebar, which specialises in handcrafted gelato and boasts claw machines in the dining area, in line with the mall's "eater-tainment" model.
Mr Jason Quah, the store's owner, said: "The mall's design is in line with Icebar's theme… There are also young creative tenants helping each other out by promoting each other's stalls."
Other anchor tenants include choir dance studio MADDspace and open kitchen concept diner House On The Moon.
Shopper Kenjamin Leong, an account manager, said he enjoys the distinctive dining experience of GR.iD.
The 25-year-old added: "I like the vibes of the mall... The modern design and variety of shops available are appealing."
As restrictions ease in the coming months, Ms Aw said she looks forward to the revival of the social experience that is at the core of GR.iD.
"We want GR.iD to be a meeting place and a social platform for the surrounding community and anyone who wants to experience it."