I just wrote about malls recently. Online will not kill malls So, do you shop online weekly? If you are a Penangite, where do you currently shop? My favourite mall when I was still based in Penang is Queensbay Mall. The reason I love it? It’s near to where I live and it has so many retail shops which are suitable for me. A very important point is also that there are lots of car park slots and even when everyone is trying to come out after 10pm, it does not face jams like Gurney Mall.
Gurney Mall has around 890,000 sq ft of retail floor. This size qualifies it to be the largest mall in Penang. Gurney Mall’s retail floor size is very slightly smaller, at 858,000 sq ft. For those not so familiar with Penang and wants a comparison with a mall here in PJ, Paradigm Mall here in Kelana Jaya has around 700,000 sq ft of retail floor space. Penang will however have a new mall with a larger retail floor space. It’s going to be coming up in Prai, Penang.
Article in thestar.com.my GEM development by Belleview Group in Jalan Baru, Prai has a RM2.5bil gross development value is expected to be completed in 2022. This is a 8ha project with four towers of 38-storey residential units, a 6-level shopping mall and a 20-storey hotel. Belleview Group managing director Datuk Sonny Ho said, “Construction will start with the mixed used residential and shop units followed by the hotel and mall.”
Ho also shared that GEM Mall is set to become Penang’s largest mall when it’s completed. It will cover an area of 4.5 ha and a total lettable area of 1.2 million sq ft of space for 400 retail shops. Ho said the mall’s anchor tenants include a Sogo department store, Golden Screen Cinemas cineplex with 20 screens for 3,500 seating capacity, a 38-lane bowling centre and an Olympic-sized ice skating rink by Patine Leisure Japan. He further explained, ““Under the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP), LRT and monorail stations are planned in front of the development.” For more details about GEM, please refer to the Article in thestar.com.my
So obviously the project is still ongoing and the residential part has to complete before the hotel and then only followed by the mall. While it will not be so soon, I am more interested to find out if Penangites will prefer to visit a mall in mainland instead of here in the island. Based on a survey of 8 friends, the answer is quite clear. The islanders will still prefer the malls within the island while the mainlanders say that they will definitely visit a mall on their side instead of driving all the way to the island once GEM mall is completed.
Well, quite logical right. We should support malls within our neighbourhood instead of supporting a mall in some other people’s neighbourhood right? This will help to increase the traffic in the mall and more retail shops will remain open instead of closing down. No one I know like to visit an empty mall. Happy waiting for that new largest mall in Penang (mainland).
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