Singapore’s new-gen integrated development Funan has successfully obtained its Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP). This milestone puts Funan a step closer to opening its retail and office components in 2Q 2019, as announced last September. Funan is owned by CapitaLand Mall Trust (CMT) and managed by CapitaLand.
From groundbreaking to completion, the construction of Funan took 27 months – a feat for a development of its scale. At 887,000 square feet (sq ft) in total gross floor area, the new Funan is 405,000 sq ft or about 85% larger than its predecessor Funan DigitaLife Mall.
Despite challenges such as a tight site with limited access, time savings are achieved through innovation in construction methods, and the choice of building materials and equipment to avoid redundancies and inefficiencies in Funan’s construction process.
These include applying Virtual Design and Construction at the onset, and adopting a top-down construction method, which allows for the building’s basement and superstructure to be built concurrently. Precast concrete structural building components are also used to further reduce the construction time.
Funan is home to Singapore’s first online-and-offline shopping mall integrating online, offline, data and logistics aimed at empowering retailers’ omnichannel strategy and transforming the customer experience.
It also includes two Grade A office blocks that meet the needs of a variety of business, including established MNCs and coworking spaces for the mobile workforce; as well as the Singapore flagship of The Ascott Limited’s lyf coliving serviced residence that is designed by millennials for millennials. Funan is located in the heart of Singapore’s Civic District with excellent connectivity, including a direct underpass linking to City Hall MRT interchange station.
The new Funan is envisioned as a vibrant live-work-play hub that fosters emotional connections with its users through lively social and cultural activities, inviting public places and energetic community vibes.
It is set to enliven Singapore’s Civic District with theatre performances and movie screenings, and promote wellness with a futsal court, rock-climbing facility and a world-class gym. With an urban farm and end-of-trip amenities for cyclists, the new Funan will also appeal to the socially conscious.
Featuring the innovative integration of technology and automation in a retail setting, Funan offers shoppers the convenience of a 24-hour click-and-collect drive-through facility, as well as hands-free shopping using automated guided vehicles – both firsts for shopping malls in Singapore. Smart directories with sensors provide shoppers with personalised recommendations based on their demographic profile.
CMT updated in its 1Q 2019 results announcement today that Funan is about 90% leased to-date.
Funan is being rebuilt on Funan DigitaLife Mall (formerly Funan The IT Mall and Funan Centre) located near the Civic District in Singapore. Established in 1985, the mall specialised in electronics and IT-related goods. It was a more upmarket competitor of Sim Lim Square, the latter of which catered more to those seeking more budget purchases.
The mall opened in 1985 as Funan Centre as a general shopping centre, which provided more options for shoppers to shop at other than Orchard Road. In the early 90s, the mall began to attract a critical mass of electronic and IT retailers over the years. Its main and long-time anchor tenant is Challenger Superstore, a major homegrown IT store established in 1984. In 1992, the mall was refurbished. It later adopted the name Funan The IT Mall in 1997 to reflect its current focus on IT related outlets. In 2005, the mall received minor upgrades, and was again renamed to Funan DigitaLife Mall.
There were a total of 178 outlets spread over six floors. Challenger Superstore occupied almost the entirety of the sixth floor, and was accompanied by another anchor tenants such as Harvey Norman in the other floors.
Due to the popularity of online shopping, business at the mall began declining over several years, forcing tenants to close down. The mall was initially planned to be renovated in 2014. However, it was later slated for demolition. The last day of mall operation was 30 June 2016. All tenants have since relocated and the building was later demolished.
The mall is being rebuilt from scratched. Originally slated to be reopened in 2020, the mall will be re-opened in June 2019. The revamped mall will have a 24-hour drive-thru, underground walkway to City Hall MRT station, Adelphi and Capitol Theatre. It also will have serviced apartments and offices as well.
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