Johor Baru's largest mall is being built by Capital City Group, which is listing on the Singapore Exchange via a reverse take-over of marble producer Terratech Group.
Due to open early next year, Capital 21 will have a gross floor area of 1 million sq ft and will be part of a mixed-use development, Project Capital City, which includes a hotel and residential component, in the heart of central JB near the Inland Revenue Board Building.
Over 60 per cent of retail units have been sold, which Capital City chief executive Siow Chien Fu said "was very encouraging".
Mr Siow was bullish about the company's prospects, despite perceptions about the real estate situation in JB. Foreign buyers reportedly buy up units in JB, but without real occupiers, retail sales could be affected.
"JB is the second largest city in Malaysia and it still lacks this type of large shopping centres. When it is completed, it will cater not only to people in the area, but it will be a regional mall for customers from further afield."
Capital City will have 690 serviced apartment units, akin to Singapore's condominium units, as well as 630 hotel-style serviced suites.
Mr Siow was unperturbed by the perception of oversupply in the housing market, although he noted that the company's number of units is relatively small.
"People have been talking about an oversupply of housing in Kuala Lumpur for years, but there has still been good take-up. JB is big enough and the state is doing a lot of development, like industrial parks," he added.
Capital City is the firm's first development and Mr Siow is confident of its asset-light business strategy.
The firm has a pipeline of projects, including another integrated development of retail, office, hotel and residential apartments in JB, as well as a wellness hub in Perak.
This article was first published on March 31, 2017.
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