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Kota Kinabalu’s Retail Market Is a Booming Sub-Sector Within the Property Market
By Knight Frank / Apr 20, 2017

Kota Kinabalu’s retail market is a burgeoning sub-sector within the property market. The existing supply of purpose-built shopping space in Kota Kinabalu tallies at 4.7 million sq ft as of the second half of 2016. Since the new debut of Imago Shopping Mall, there are no new launches of a purpose-built shopping complex in the market.


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According to a Knight Frank report, occupancy rates for the prime shopping malls in Kota Kinabalu are achieving healthy occupancy rates, ranging from 79% to 95%. In prime shopping malls, gross rental rates for ground floor retail lots generally range from RM9.00 per sq ft to RM25.00 per sq ft per month, depending on the location and size of the retail units.

Imago Mall as the first non-stratified mall in town is gaining momentum in terms of occupancy rate; which currently stands at 85%. Combining factors such as being the newest mall in Kota Kinabalu, renowned anchor tenant as well as international mall management brand, it is no surprise that Imago Mall has flourished from an economic point of view albeit the subpar economic situation in the country. Recently, Imago Mall successfully drew multiple well-known retailers on board such as Morganfield’s, Cortina Watch and Baskin Robbins.

Pacific Parade, a revival project by Pacific Sanctuary Holdings Sdn Bhd is scheduled for completion by the end of 2017. The retail space with the total net lettable area (NLA) of 615,000 sq ft has two separate and distinct retail concepts, the strata bazaar – Pacific Parade Bazaar and a fully retained lifestyle mall – Pacific Parade Premier Lifestyle. Pacific Parade Bazaar is located on the lower ground floor of the retail component, whereby approximately 90% of the units have been sold off on strata titled basis. On the other hand, the Premier Lifestyle Mall currently has an estimated take-up rate of 50% with a number of secured anchor tenants, namely TGV Cinema, IMAX, Everrise Supermarket, and Maybank.

Similar to the first half of 2016, there is an absence of new proposed supply as for the retail sub-sector. However, there will be approximately 1.5 million sq ft of retail spaces emerging into the market in the near future.

Kota Kinabalu central business district

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