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.