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CapitaLand opens its biggest mall in Suzhou

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Developer releases 1 million sq m of retail space in one year

CapitaLand has released a record 1 million sq m of retail space into the Chinese market this year.

The milestone was reached yesterday when the developer opened a gigantic mall in Suzhou.

The Suzhou Center Mall, more than three times the size of ION Orchard, is the largest such facility CapitaLand has built and the biggest shopping centre in the Chinese city.

It spans almost 300,000 sq m in gross floor area (GFA) excluding car parks and boasts more than 600 retail brands.

CapitaLand chief executive Lim Ming Yan said the mall's opening caps a record year for the company. "Close to 1 million sq m of retail GFA across eight developments turned operational in 2017, marking our largest ever retail GFA offering in a single year."

The firm reached the milestone with one of its most eye-catching complexes yet devised.

The seven-storey mall designed by architectural firm Benoy has the world's largest free-form monocoque roof at over 36,000 sq m.

It is shaped like a pair of phoenix's wings to symbolise Suzhou's growth taking flight and is made up of 6,947 pieces of multi-coloured curved glass.

Suzhou Center Mall also boasts 60,000 sq m of greenery across its numerous outdoor terraces, rooftops and the landscaped cantilever bridges that extend from two ends of the complex to the lakefront.

A 45m-wide and 25m-high water curtain lies on the facade facing Jinji Lake. The mall is in the heart of the western central business district (CBD) of Suzhou Industrial Park, right next to the historic Jinji Lake and traditional city centre.

The sprawling shopping mecca is the centrepiece of the Suzhou Center integrated development that also comprises four Grade A office towers, two luxury residential towers and the W Suzhou hotel tower, which are all interconnected.

CapitaLand's wholly owned shopping business CapitaLand Mall Asia is the co-owner and co-developer for the shopping mall and two 21-storey office towers, which opened for business in the third quarter of this year.

The centre, which is positioned as the city's new CBD, has a 1,570m underground tunnel that leads to its basement car park and directly links to two metro lines.

The mall opened with more than 90 per cent lease commitment for its net lettable area of approximately 152,000 sq m.

Anchor tenants include Suzhou's first CGV cinemas, its first Fanpekka children's theme park, first indoor simulated counter strike gaming centre, an Olympic-size ice rink, a gourmet supermarket and foodcourt.