Located in the bustling township of SS2, SStwo Mall (also known as SS2 Mall) was very promising when it first opened back in November 2010. And we can see why.
For starters, it’s located in the vicinity of residential areas of SS2, Taman Paramount, Section 17, as well as commercial areas like Section 13 and Section 19. Thus, with an estimated population of over 400,000 residents, office workers, students at the nearby colleges and universities, SStwo Mall seemed to have had the upper-hand in the immediate catchment of potential customers and was poised to be a definite crowd-puller.
On top of that, the developers also cashed in on a “sure win” property trend at the time, wrapping a “retail mall with an outdoor alfresco dining area” concept around the mall. SStwo Mall isn’t lacking in space either as it’s spread across an approximated gross floor area of 700,000 square feet with an estimated 200 retail units making up a net lettable area of 470,000 square feet. The mall also has 1176 dedicated car park bays (including valet parking) at both entrances.
Sounds like a dream community mall, correct?
Alas, the tenant take up has been painfully slow, with only a few notable businesses (some of which have already since closed/moved out) anchored in such as Celebrity Fitness, Times The Bookshop, Econsave, Pet Lovers Centre, F.O.S, Chatime, Bread Story, Home-Fix, and who can forget J Tean Kitchen‘s popular Bak Kut Teh Pork Burger?
We’re not sure if the bad take up is due to low demand, high rentals, or a not-so-prominent location (nestled in a residential area) because it seems that different people have different theories.
As seen in the screenshot above, on 12th November a Facebook user posted “news” of an impending cease of operations for SStwo Mall. It also said that the management has ordered some of its tenants to vacate the mall within the next one or two months.
On 17th November, The Edge Malaysia wrote (read the cached file here if you can’t access the previous link) that developer Asian Retail Mall Fund II (ARMF) is planning a redevelopment of the mall. Apparently, RMF has been in talks with several property developers on a joint venture to undertake the redevelopment and repositioning of the mall, following failed attempts to sell it off.
*Pictures from SStwo Mall’s website.
SStwo Mall’s retail tenants were briefed by its management last month and have been given notice to vacate the premises by March 31, 2015. The fund is expected to compensate some of its eligible tenants.
What happens next, then? According to sources, the SStwo Mall redevelopment will involve a partial demolition of the structure and building a serviced apartment block. There are also talks that the developer might form a joint venture with a local developer to reduce the mall size and to build serviced apartments on top of the mall.
It was also via The Edge Malaysia (upon a search with the Companies Commission of Malaysia) that we learnt that as at Dec 2013, the mall’s total liabilities accounted for RM154.75 million, of which RM102.22 million are current liabilities.
Ouch. For a mall that cost RM180 million to build, that’s painful! But perhaps it’s for the better if it means that the space can be used for a residential project instead.