The Former JCube Shopping Centre to Be Converted Into a Mixed Development Condo
The former JCube Shopping Centre may soon see a dramatic transformation into a new residential building. Developer CLD is considering the move because of stiff competition from nearby shopping malls and a strong demand for new homes at the JCube site. However, some mall consolidation is inevitable, says Seshan Ramaswami, an associate professor of marketing education at the Singapore Management University.
CapitaLand’s acquisition of JCube
The recent acquisition of JCube Shopping Centre by CapitaLand Development paves the way for redevelopment plans. Located in Jurong Lake District, Singapore’s largest business district outside the CBD, the mall is close to several major transportation hubs. Last year, the mall achieved an occupancy rate of 95.5%, a record for any shopping mall in Singapore.
The sale price of $340 million represents a premium over the latest valuation for the JCube shopping mall. The JCube is one of three CICT malls in the Jurong East region and is one of the smallest assets by net lettable area.
The proposed redevelopment of JCube is expected to boost the local property market. However, the proposed redevelopment will require an approval from the Urban Redevelopment Authority. The JCube site will consist of a mix of residential and commercial space. A new residential tower would be constructed above the commercial spaces.
CapitaLand is one of Singapore’s largest retail REITs. It is listed on the SGX and owns 15 malls in Singapore. The company is considered to be a stable and reliable investor, with its income stable and strong financial status. The company is looking to raise its AUM to $10 billion by 2020.
The JCube Shopping Centre’s occupancy rate is low compared to its peers. It is lower than any other property in CMT’s portfolio, and it is currently below 90%. The mall’s owners are trying to position it as a hub for sports activities, and have recently added a 24-hour fitness centre.
Future of JCube
CapitaLand Development has acquired the JCube shopping mall, located in Singapore’s Jurong Gateway, and intends to redevelop it. The centre has a 95.5% occupancy rate last year, which was good for a shopping mall in Singapore. The new owner is expected to invest in the mall and redevelop it to be an integrated transport hub with bus interchange and community institutions.
The new Jurong East bus interchange is expected to boost footfall. The new terminal will be built just next to the JCube and should increase traffic in the area. In addition, the Singapore government plans to build 20,000 new houses in the Jurong East district in the next decade, bringing additional footfall to JCube.
Investors are also concerned about the JCube’s deteriorating occupancy rate. It is currently lower than any other property owned by CMT. The occupancy rate fell from 94.3% the year before to 90.9% in December. Despite this, the company is positioning the mall as a sports hub, and has added a 24-hour gym. It also plans to explore potential divestiture and redevelopment options for JCube.
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has issued a master plan for the area. It suggests that the JCube’s land could be converted to a mixed-use property with residential units on top. The company also intends to redevelop the mall to be more suitable for residential use.
The lease for JCube will expire in March 2023. During this period, the land plot ratio of the centre will increase from 3.0 to 4.2. Meanwhile, CapitaLand Development has also been looking at alternatives to redevelop the site. It also plans to replace the ice rink at JCube with a mixed-use residential complex.
Impact on neighbouring malls
In its bid to convert the former JCube Shopping Centre into a residential tower, CapitaLand Development (CLD) faces a number of challenges. One of the biggest is the strong demand for residential properties in Jurong East. The development could eventually generate prices of up to $2,000 per sq ft. Meanwhile, private properties in the same neighbourhood sell for around $1,500 per square foot.
A new masterplan for the JCube plot has been approved by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), with plans to develop it into a residential-led development with commercial spaces on the first storey. This will increase the plot ratio of the development from 3.0 to 4.2. The JCube Shopping Centre, owned by CapitaLand, was first opened in 2012 after undergoing major refurbishments. It has a capacity of 30,000 shoppers.
Although the redevelopment of the JCube Shopping Centre is expected to create a mixed-use development, its impact on neighbouring malls remains unclear. The former JCube Shopping Centre is located about 200m from Jurong East MRT station. Other nearby malls include IMM, Westgate and Jem mall.
Cost of mixed-use development at JCube
Developer CapitaLand has plans to develop a larger property at JCube Shopping Centre. The mixed-use development will be a new shopping mall that focuses on e-commerce and residential spaces. Currently, the demand for residential space is high in Jurong East, and the development could bring in as much as $2,000 per sq ft. In the next two years, another 970 flats in Jurong East are due for completion.
JCube is part of Jurong Gateway, a planned urban development in the Jurong Lake District. It is located adjacent to the Jurong East MRT interchange station, which serves the existing Jurong MRT lines and the new Jurong Region Line. The proposed development will also include community institutions and a bus interchange.
JCube has five floors and three basement levels, as well as an outdoor garden. It has a total net lettable area of 210,038 sq ft. It is a 99-year leasehold. The developer expects the development to add up to $90 million in retail space.
The sale of JCube is a good way for the developer to reposition the property. It is expected to generate S$340m, which is a 22 percent premium to the mall’s valuation. This will provide CICT with capital to fund future acquisitions.
The latest commercial site near the JTC Summit has launched for sale. It can be developed into a 25-storey scheme. Its GFA is 695,000 square feet and has to contain at least 90% office space. According to JLL’s national director of research and consultancy, the site is expected to fetch bids of $700-800 psf ppr.
The developer may also benefit from rezoning the site and offering a higher plot ratio. For example, if he rezones the site for a mixed-use development, the cost per sq ft could go up to S$1,200.