Update: There’s more and current 1 Borneo information at Sabahbah.com.
1Borneo promises to be the Largest Lifestyle Hypermall that Kota Kinabalu has ever seen and the largest mall in Borneo. It’s scheduled to open March / April this year. Can’t wait.
Which is exactly why I organised myself a little tour. It’s not quite publicly available, so my tour guide will remain anonymous. Wouldn’t want to get anybody in trouble now, would I?
Anyway, you’ve probably seen from the outside, driving by, that it’s now nicely taking shape. With less than four months to go before the supposed opening of the actual mall (the towers might take another while still), they seem to be on track. From the outside, Tune Hotels Kota Kinabalu brought some colour when they splashed their trademark red and white all over the walls.
The yellow from the funky canopy covering the main entrance has also been visible for a while, as has the dome you can see when you approach from Kota Kinabalu’s side.
We now know that Ikea won’t be coming to Kota Kinabalu, but Living Concept will have a much large space than what they currently have in Warisan Square, and they will be selling Ikea products. Apparently you will also be able to order through them, those Ikea products you might want, but can’t get your grubby little paws on – rumours, this last sentence.
Let’s Pause for Some Pics
There’s more below the pics. Click to jump there now…
Post pics. Others rumours are that Fitness First, a big gym chain already established in Kuala Lumpur, might have a gym in 1Borneo, but these are just more rumours; or perhaps somebody’s slice of pie (in the sky). As far as I could tell from having my ear to the ground, there are no other major surprises of brands that Kota Kinabalu has been longing for.
Milling more rumours
Another frosty rumour is that 1Borneo might be featuring an ice-rink, with real ice. If true, it’s sure to spell trouble for the fledgling rink with faux ice, currently situated on the top floor of Asia City. It’s things like these that make me wonder whether business plans are still essential when opening a new business.
Moving on – 1Borneo will also feature 7 cinemas by Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC). I wonder whether this means that we’ll now get all the movies on circuit in Malaysia. An insider once told me that when there are limited copies of a movie going around, Kota Kinabalu will easily be axed from the list, because it’s not a high yield market. Us poor friggen KK’ians.
Other entertainment that 1Borneo will feature is a bowling alley. My tour lead took me onto the roof above where the alley will be, and it looks big. Nintendo is said to have a little something up their 1Borneo sleeves as well.
1Borneo – Holiday Hub?
So you know about Tune Hotels opening up in 1Borneo, but did you know that 1Borneo will eventually have 4 hotels? Tune Hotels, Best Western, Novatell and Mecure. 1Borneo is rumoured to have the biggest conference space (pipping Sutera Harbour, which is the current holder of this title), although it looks like that conference space will belong to 1Borneo, and not to any one of the hotels. Nobody knew they’d count their parking lot as part of this record-breaking claim.
What else is new?
Well, I saw the showroom for the Super Condos. The duplexes are going for a steal at just RM1.3 million (assuming you get the early bird discount). For all you big spenders out there, there are only 3 duplex units left (in fact, there’s only 3 out of all the units left) – so you better hurry, because if I win the jackpot I’m taking one for sure.
The duplex features it’s own swimming pool, and your front door is the lift – access via swipe card only. It has three big rooms, all en suite, and in the show unit it might as well have been a hotel suite. Ah, the life of the rich and ostentatious.
The other not-so-super condos are also progressing nicely. Those are the ones where Joe Soap and Jane Everywoman will live. Don’t think it’s cheap though, because it’s not. Did they start at RM600k?
Transportation Plans (or more wishful thinking?)
Supposedly, once the river has been widened, you’ll be able to access 1Borneo via hovercraft. Yup, hovercraft, as in wind-driven floaty boat, which will depart from their sister property, Warisan Square.
If true, this is good news, because traffic to and from 1Borneo promises to be chaos. One promise that is sure to be delivered on.
Several reasons for this – first of all, there’s only really one direction from which you can approach 1Borneo when coming from town, and that’s the road leading from Kota Kinabalu. This road will have an access ramp into the 1Borneo parking, where the bare- minimum of parking spaces that the developer could get away with will be waiting for the first 2,000 lucky visitors.
I don’t understand how developers in Kota Kinabalu still only build the minimum required parking spaces. Either they are cheap, selfish bastards who don’t care for their potential visitors’ convenience, or they build the mega million Ringgit malls expecting them to not be busy. I’m willing to bet it’s not the latter.
We can all see what’s happening over at City Mall – those developers also only allowed for the minimum required parking spaces, the result? People park everywhere, and anywhere, eventually spilling out onto the highway. 1Borneo is heading the same direction, so the hover craft might actually be a good call – I sure hope it’s an affordable ride.
And that’s about all there is to report. The launching of 1Borneo has been pushed back a few times, so hopefully this widely advertised launching of March (which has already become March / April), will see us KK’ians with a new Hypermall. Just what we needed.