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Great World City to undergo major facelift

11 Apr, 2018

Great World City will get a facelift and more beginning mid-April, as it looks ahead to the opening of the Great World MRT station on the upcoming Thomson-East Coast line in 2021.

Under its first major refurbishment in 20 years, the mixed-use development in River Valley will add 50 new tenants and three main access points to the MRT station.

Visitors to the mall will be greeted with a new design and facade and have a wider range of food and beverage offerings to choose from, owner Allgreen Properties said in a statement yesterday.

Estimated to cost more than $50 million, works will be carried out over two years and should be finished by the third quarter of 2020.

The mall will remain open and major tenants such as Zara, Golden Village and Cold Storage will be unaffected, Allgreen said.

This is not the case for all tenants. A sign posted outside True Fitness said the gym would be closed for renovations from next Monday to May 31 as part of the mall's refurbishment plans.

Allgreen said interior walkways and escalators will be reconfigured to ease navigation and improve accessibility, while "dual-level retail pods" will be created in the foyer to house creative retail concepts.

The mall's F&B offerings will increase from the current 20 per cent to 30 per cent of net lettable space when works are completed.

A key change will be a zone just for F&B on level one, where eateries can stay open for slightly longer hours on weekends and the eve of public holidays.

The food court will open to a new dining concept when it is relocated from the basement to level three in the first quarter of next year.

Basement one will house a new food hall concept alongside other retailers and F&B operators for a "marketplace experience", Allgreen said. The new tenant mix will also feature a cluster of Japanese-focused retail and F&B tenants.

Anchor tenant Cold Storage, whose flagship supermarket is located in the basement, said it would carry out its own store revamp to add "more experiential and technological initiatives", along with a new range of food and products.

An outdoor playground will also be built near the existing pedestrian overhead bridge on level two that leads to a bus stop in Kim Seng Road.

Allgreen said the improvements will create better connectivity for office tenants and shoppers.

A new retail link in basement two will provide access between the mall and the upcoming MRT station. Great World MRT station will be also be accessible from level one, and the pedestrian overhead bridge on level two.

Management for other malls located adjacent to upcoming stations along the new line - Thomson Plaza, Parkway Parade and Tanglin Mall - declined to comment on their plans.

Singapore Polytechnic senior lecturer in marketing and retail Amos Tan said the upcoming MRT line provides a "golden opportunity to rejuvenate the offerings in the mall".

"It's smart to lure people in from the F&B angle because Singaporeans today don't shop as much in-store, so the next best reason to go to a mall is to eat," he said.

Adapted from: The Straits Times, 11 Apr 2018