Thursday, November 26, 2020

KL East Mall

Phew, what a day!! I need to write this all down before I fall asleep and start another very busy day.

For those who don't know, I work at a retail consultancy firm. The bulk of our work is leasing to malls but we are also deeply involved in the planning of it too; so in terms of layout and fit out. A project that has kept the company busy the past 5 years is KL East Mall. It's a mall developed by Sime Darby - their first wholly owned mall. Of course we have other projects that have occupied us but KL East Mall was probably the most important of them all. 

I guess it would also be the most interesting because of the pandemic. Leasing seemed an impossible feat during a pandemic as you can imagine. Who wants to expand their business midst of a global viral outbreak?! Well... a lot more than you think. We've managed to pull through by bringing renown retailers to this mall despite it all and it's probably what I'm most proud of. 

So anyway! It has finally come! The opening day of the longggg awaited KL East Mall (KLE for short)! We have been running up and down especially in the past week making sure that everything is in place - that tenants complete their work and all is in order. Of course you can expect hiccups and well.... hiccups we had. But it was all such a rewarding learning experience that I'll take with me forever. A newfound and everlasting appreciation for the hard workers behind the renovation process - working on a tight timeline is no joke difficult. 

But it was so much fun today. We were there bright and early and we left when the mall closed. Helped out with some of our tenants in overseeing their operations and assisted best we can to ease their first day chaos. Seeing the mall come alive after so many, many long days and nights of hard work was so rewarding. We still have acres to go to achieve what we really want but today was a wonderful start if I do say so myself. It was fun to see so many people come over and get excited about the mall. We really believe in the potential of KL East Mall this whole time and we are very pleased to see that people share that same sentiment. 

It's only about to get better because some tenants are still not ready to open mostly due to the current CMCO constraints but insyaAllah in the coming weeks, we will progressively see more and more tenants opening with us and making the place livelier that it already is. To name a few that'll grace the mall soon is Naj N Belle, Calia, Chef Wan, Decathlon, dUCk, Lilit, Starbucks, and Siti Li. We also have rock climbing and cinema with us but because of the ongoing Covid 19, the entertainment trade had to unfortunately put an indefinite pause on their operations. So sabar ya kawan kawan, soon enough it'll be even more meriah with these tenants onboard! 

"Eat together and not separately, for the blessing is associated with the company"
- Prophet Muhammad S.A.W

I'll post more photos tomorrow because it's already 1am and I'm about to face another hectic day. All in which I'm happy to do. So happy!

Edit: More photos now.

Other than site visits, we also have ridiculous amounts of paperwork in the office. Endless negotiations and contract amendments and table sheets... this was my table situation for months.

This is what is called a 'hoarding visual'. For tenants who are unable to open together with the mall on the grand opening date, are required to put up a full height hoarding along with its visual. Full height meaning it covers all the way up to the ceiling so that noise/dust doesn't escape from the lot while they rush to finish up work. In our last few days leading up to opening, a bulk of our work was rushing tenants to submit their visuals and contractors to put it up quickly. 

For all ice-cream aficionados, you'd be familiar with the yellow grill. You'd be quite surprised to know Inside Scoop did all their work within a week tops. A WEEK!!!! Met up with the owners on opening day and they were so lovely. 

Ali, Muthu & Ah Hock. I was SO excited to see this come together. A kopitiam in a mall was sure to do super well and it did alhamdulillah! 

This is the kiosk area on the LG floor with notable brand names like Famous Amos and Tealive. Loved seeing the mall come together because just a little over 2 months ago, it was all bare concrete for these lots! 

We also have dUCk!! Exciting to have them on board. Under the Fashion Valet group, we also have LILIT. and KL East will host its first ever physical store.

Exciting sneak peak to Naj N Belle! It was meant to be opened together with the mall but due to unforeseen circumstances, some things were not able to arrive on time. Very exciting to see this come together. Soon soon!

Poplook dismantling its hoarding. Loved working with Poplook, they were an incredibly dedicated team and were the least fussy! Hahaha. Super professional and so easy to collaborate with for KL East Mall. 

This was us in my car because we didn't have an office to work out of so for when our phones ran out of juice, we had to run to our car and charge it there. It was also a party.


Friday, November 13, 2020

15 Minutes

 I'm going to give myself 15 minutes to blog before I head for my good night sleep.

I'm having a gush of delayed emotions; I miss so many people. So many of my friends, and so many of the things we used to do together. This third wave has heightened fears in so many of us; so much so that although it isn't a proper lockdown, we find ourselves confined at home anyway. Well, almost all of us. Some still find it appropriate to head out and meet up with friends and have fun. I don't understand why we're not taking this more seriously. Of course there's that argument of "life goes on" and that we have to still maintain and adhere to SOPs but I think a cafe date can wait. Worrying numbers now in Selangor and KL and I think we have taken this for granted. We always think the numbers are scary but that since a bulk of it is still from Sabah, we have nothing to worry about. And that it's okay to go out. It isn't!! Not until we're in the clear, at least. Which isn't so wild to fathom because we've had those days before of zero and single digit cases. Stay home if and when you can. It's the *least* you can do while so many of the frontliners help combat this for you. It'll be so mindless and irresponsible of us going out risking it for everyone. 

Anyway, I miss everyone so much. All of my friends. I bumped into a friend the other day at the lobby of my office (yes, I work from the office) and I was just so elated to see him! We aren't that close but I was just still so stoked to see a friend outside! Haha. I was watching the news on the vaccine progress and my heart leapt for joy. It's said to be available April 2021 and although that could very well be untrue, it still excited me. That the fact that we could be at this virus' tail end. Life will never get back to its usual step and rhythm if there isn't a vaccine in this world for this pandemic so I hope we're getting there soon. I just need this all to be over with, what a nightmare year it has been for so many of us. I speak from a place of privilege of course, in which I completely acknowledge. That I still live with my parents rent free, that I still have a job, that I still have all this technology to connect me with the rest of the world and that I complain that I can't work from home. MasyaAllah. For the unfortunate ones who have had it bad; losing their work, battling with mental health, struggling to keep food on the table, I can't begin to imagine their year. 

Ok, my 15 minutes is up. I'm going to go sleep now. This is already considered late for me these days. I'm usually out by 10:30pm. Work has kept me on my feet this past few months. Leaving me stressed and tired and drained everyday but I am grateful for it anyway. Like, *in tears* grateful.

I'm off Instagram for a while, by the way. It's been... bit of a weird time for me personally. And I don't know when I'll be back on; could be next week, could be next year. But it's going good... I think. Anyway, you can find me on Twitter and/or here. If you're a friend, Whatsapp me to say hi; I'd love it if you do.

Night, guys. Talk to you soon. Take care, stay safe and don't forget to read your doa's tonight. Keep me in them too, if you don't mind. 

See you in a bit.