Wed, Nov 17, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Miramar rushing to get ready for opening

FOCUS ON RECREATION A company official stressed that the facility will be more than just a shopping mall -- with a Ferris Wheel and an IMAX movie theater

By Jackie Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Photographers walk in front of the almost-ready-to-open Miramar Entertainment Park. When it opens on Friday, Miramar will be the nation's fourth-largest shopping mall.

PHOTO: GEORGE TSORNG, TAIPEI TIMES

The nation's fourth-largest shopping mall, Miramar Entertainment Park (美麗華百樂園) in Taipei's Dazhi district, is nearing the completion stage with workers busy putting on the final touches around the clock for the grand opening ceremony on Friday.

During a media tour arranged yesterday afternoon, questions were raised whether all 400 tenants in the shopping complex would be ready to open their doors, since some shops are empty and woodworking is still underway.

Alex Lu (呂俊昌), marketing deputy manager at Miramar City Development Inc (美麗華城市發展), said there would not be a problem meeting the deadline. He said the mall, which encompasses two buildings with a total business area of 25,000 ping (82,500m2), will be open to its branded credit cardholders tomorrow afternoon.

In order to achieve a better market segmentation, the shopping complex has positioned itself as an entertainment-oriented facility offering middle- and top-class products aimed at families and younger customers.

"Compared with the Xinyi district's high concentration of department stores, Miramar offers all-around leisure and recreation facilities, not just shopping and consumption," Lu said.

Miramar has a 48-cart Ferris wheel, a merry-go-round that reminds one of the film Turn Left, Turn Right (向左走向右走), an IMAX 3D movie theater, water dance shows and a seascape avenue connecting the complex's two buildings. Its collection of brands, however, cannot compete with those of Breeze Center (微風廣場) and Taipei 101.

What might help Miramar stand out from its rivals, however, is some of its unique shops such as the flagship store of Switzerland-based Movenpick brand of ice cream, diamond retailer Hearts On Fire and famous Japanese designer Issey Miyake's Pleats Please brand.

Based on these offerings, Lu said the mall could generate NT$1 billion in revenues by the end of the year and its annual sales could top NT$6.5 billion.

For those who are anxious to see Taipei's latest mall, driving might be the best way to go. While a shuttle-bus service is being offered from MRT stations, the average wait for a free ride will be 30 minutes.

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