Dubai: The design of Sharjah’s next mega shopping destination will be finalised by June and the main contractor to be decided immediately thereafter, according to a senior official at the Tilal City master-development. The mall, estimated to cost Dh1 billion or so and with a built-up area of 2.2 million square feet, was first announced in September last. The ground plus one-storey structure will be linked to a hotel with between 200-250 keys. The developer expects a late 2019 completion deadline to be maintained.
“From the initial announcement we have made some changes to the mall master plan, the chief one being integrating it with the hotel as is the norm in mall development,” said Ziad Al Attar, Business Development Director at Tilal. “This mall will serve not just the 65,000 resident base Tilal City itself will have … around 300,000 will eventually live in its vicinity or within proximity to it.”
Located along Emirates Road (E611) and with key highways skirting it, Tilal City itself could be in the future centre of things as far as Sharjah’s ambitious development programme targeting the outer reaches is concerned. Much of the infrastructure for the master-development itself, in terms of internal roadways and utility connections, are done.
Tilal City is a joint venture between Sharjah Asset Management and Eskan Real Estate. The latter owns the mall project outright. It has access to 25 million square feet, 13 million of which will be used for property development.
Arcadis had been contracted as the mall consultant while JLL will oversee the leasing and marketing aspects. “All of the leasing-related operations will take off once the details of the mall master plan are finalised,” said Al Attar.
On the side looking into Tilal City, the mall will front a “central park”, and across that interface the developer expects to put in place a chain of F&B brands. The intention, as is the case with most mall developments these days, is to get in a captive audience intent on not just shopping alone.
Tilal City will also set the marker for Sharjah’s push to build new residential and mixed-use destinations outside of its heavily built up city areas. A new mall outside of city limits would certainly be welcome, and a strategy that has worked extremely well in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
“When the mall construction starts, that’s when we expect individual plot owners at Tilal City to start building their own properties,” said an official. “A mall presence in a mixed-use community/township will always be an incentive for investors to want to get in. We expect to capitalise on that.”
It has been just over two years since individual plots were sold at Tilal City. In recent weeks, major new joint ventures have confirmed a handful of projects in Sharjah. This includes Emaar Properties and another in which the Emaar chief has a share, Eagle Hills. They are part of a new alliance with Sharjah Investment and Development Authority to build a Dh2 billion plus portfolio.