Can Strata-Titled Mall be Successful?
Strata-titled mall has often fall into disrepair and pale in comparison with flashy retail mall managed by professionals. Having multiple owners, there are different priorities, making it hard for them to meet eye to eye on issues to maintain the malls or to maintain a good mix of tenants to maintain the character of the mall.
Despite these challenges, there are strata-titled malls like Queensway Shopping Center, Lucky Plaza, Golden Mile Complex which have flourished and built characters of their own.
So what makes Strata-titled mall like Queensway Shopping Center, Lucky Plaza, Golden Mile Complex successful?
Today, if you stepped into a mall such as Bugis Junction, Plaza Singapora run by REITs like CapitaMall Trust, you may find great similarity in the shop mix between the malls, there is a lack of differentiation among the malls. It has become a common complain among shoppers that there is a lack of differentiation among retailers at malls run by professionals.
Unlike Reits-managed mall, stepping into strata-titled malls, you may find a wider selection of retailers displaying wider selection of goods, providing shoppers with a different shopping experience.
For strata-titled malls like Queensway Shopping Center, Lucky Plaza and Golden Mile Complex, they have further established their stronghold given those retailers in the same trade has congregate together. Queensway Shopping Center is known for sports apparel, Lucky Plaza is known for Filipino shops and patrons and Golden Mile Complex is a popular hangout for Thais.
Will upcoming Strata-titled malls avoid the plague of their predecessors?
With the increasing dominance of REITs-managed mall, rents of those REITs-owned malls have gone up considerably and retailers are forced to accept harsher terms and conditions included in their lease agreements. With fairer term and conditions in their lease agreement, newer and trendy strata-titled malls like Alexandra Central may be poised to attract retailers.
To avoid history repeating itself, a two-tiered management corporation scheme can also be introduced. On the first tier, a main council can be set up to manage the common property. For the second tier, one or more subsidiary councils can be set up to govern the retail mixes and to remove conflicts between the different shareholders.
Having witnesses the mistake of predecessor, newer strata-titled malls should be well equipped with lessons from the past to avoid the plague of their predecessors.