E&O's retail marina set to raise bar for Penang

Penang's retail and dining scene is set for a fresh wave when Eastern and Oriental (E&O) Bhd unveils its first retail outlet.

The sea-fronting Straits Quay retail marina enclave, which covers a net lettable area of 270,000 sq ft, which will be operational by the end of November.

It is expected to raise the bar for the island state, as efforts are being made by its developers to place the mall on the tourism map.

The mall which is made up of three levels and will accomodate 100 tenants, forms a component of E & O's waterfront development Seri Tanjung Pinang which is located at Tanjung Tokong on the island.

Besides boasting the entry of new local and international brands into Penang at Straits Quay, E & O is also looking to set up Penang's first performing arts centre at the same site.

"Negotiations and discussions are underway at the moment to set up a performing arts centre in collaboration with one of the foremost performing arts proponents in the country," E & O Bhd executive director Eric Chan Kok Leong told Business Times.

He also said that an arts and crafts enclave is also under negotations which is set to showcase Malaysian works, with a special emphasis on Penang craftsmen.

E & O is also set to bring its Delicious Cafe to Straits Quay.

With projected investments of RM5 million, "Delicious at Straits Quay" will serve as E&O's sixth Delicious Cafe outlet and its first foray outside the Klang Valley.

"Future plans include being on the lookout for more prime sites within high-traffic retail areas, as well as the ambition to branch overseas, such as in Singapore," Chan said.

He said nearly 80 per cent of the prime lots or those facing the marina on the ground floor have been leased.

Among the confirmed tenants are the Melium Group's Aseana Cafe, Cheeky Duck chinese restaurant, Hisago Japanese restaurant, French deli Agua and Italian eatery Marina Aperitivo.

Other confirmed tenants include Finnegan's Irish Pub and Restaurant, an English language education centre, Italian fashion label Versus Versace and home-grown fashion label Bran-et-daguet.

"Straits Quay will be targeting the middle to upper income, family-oriented consumers, as well as local and international tourists," Chan said.

"The marina setting, water limousine as well as the unique complement of outlets and attractions will provide a strong draw for local and foreign visitors," he added.

He said that E & O will be introducing a water limousine service in the future which will establish a strategic connectivity between Straits Quay, the Eastern & Oriental Hotel and Lone Pine Hotel, which are properties owned by the company. - By Marina Emmanuel (Business Times)

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