How to Understand Mall Rental Rates?

First Published: 16 Nov 2020
Last Updated: 30 Oct 2023

It is not surprising that you find it difficult to find information on mall rentals for the industry. Malls have changed the way they charge rental to the tenants over the past 5-years and are constantly innovating new ways of increasing their business.

Base Rent

You should be familiar with the term base rent if you are thinking of owning a business and renting a space in the mall to do so. In case you are not, don’t worry, here is what base rent consists of.

Base Rent is the agreed upon rate of the amount you pay per square foot of space multiplied by the size of your unit. For example, the base rent of a $40psf space taking up 200sqft, will be $8000/month.

Base Rent Per Square Foot

Here comes the first curveball from the mall. Your base rent psf will be increasing every year. Malls by default will ask for a $1 increase per square foot per year. So, a base rent psf of the first year of $40psf will increase to $41psf in year 2 and $42psf in your third year.

With a kiosk space of just 200sqft, this increase in base rent psf will amount to $600 over 2 years. While this may be a small amount, however with a larger size of 1000sqft, over two years, this amount will add up to $3,000

However, at MallSpaces, our professionals have proven methods to work on your behalf to reduce the increase in base rent psf to a 50¢ increment instead, saving you precious budget even before you start.

Gross Turnover (GTO)

The calculation of gross turnover does not include any selling, general, and administrative expenses, it is the total amount of inflow going through your POS machine.

This is an important key point to understand as this plays a large factor in the deciding factor of your monthly rent payable at the end of each month.

It is a good practice to calculate your projected GTO on your year to year to understand the increase in rent you will have to pay over-time as your business grows.

Update: Since 26 March 2021, with the new Code of Conduct for Leasing of Retail Premises, we no longer needed to understand Lower GTO and Higher GTO. GTO is set at a fixed 1% rate.

Lower Gross Turnover (GTO)

The typical lower gross turnover percentage malls will charge ranges between 1% – 2%. The reason behind malls weaved in a gross turnover into their rental charge is to remain competitive with the industry. The “extra” rent they receive from the GTO formulation goes towards external advertising and promotion efforts from the malls to the greater public.

Higher Gross Turnover (GTO)

The typical higher gross turnover percentage malls will charge ranges between 15% up to 20%. Some malls may charge even higher than 20% GTO but these malls are usually the highest premium malls with luxury retail products with very high dynamic crowds.

Monthly Rental Formulae

This formula is based on the standard throughout the industry:

Base Rent + % GTO.

*Based on an example of a 3-year lease term, of a 200sqft Kiosk, the rental will look something like this:

Asking Rent:
Year 1 @ $40.00psf
Year 2 @ $41.00psf
Year 3 @ $42.00psf

Projected Monthly GTO: $80,000
% GTO: 1%

The rental computation will be as follows:

Year 1
(Asking Rent x sqft) + 1% GTO
($40 x 200 sqft) + 1% of $80,000
$8,000 + S$800.


In this case, the rental payable shall be $8,800.

Ready to calculate your monthly mall rental? Click here for Mall Rental Calculator.

Typical Sizes and Prices Per Square Foot

We have created a simple reference for you before you decide on the size of your concept space.

Typical kiosk space

  • Ranges from: 120sqft – 480sqft
  • Price per square foot: $30psf – $50psf
  • Price for Design & Build: $120psf

Typical café space

  • Ranges from: 500sqft – 2,000sqft
  • Price per square foot: $20psf – $40psf
  • Price for Design & Build: $180psf 

Typical restaurant space

  • Ranges from: 2,000sqft – 10,000sqft
  • Price per square foot: $18psf – $30psf
  • Price for Design & Build: $220psf

Typical Shophouse space

  • Ranges from: 1,200sqft – 1,500sqft
  • Price ranges from: $3,000 – $10,000 (Not by $/sqft)
  • Price for Design & Build: $150psf

Total Initial Investment

At the end of the day, malls are a business as well and wishes to safeguard their interest. As a result, malls require new tenants to show that they have the capability of sustaining their business for at least 6 months.

We have built a great tool calculating your total initial investment including advance rentals, security deposits, renovation costs and working capital.

Total Initial Investment: F&B

Total Initial Investment: Retail

Deciding on Your Space

There’s a lot that goes on inside your head while deciding on your perfect space, from understanding the type of crowd your mall will have to decide if you want to embark on an eCommerce solution for your business, and much much more.

We Have Your Interest in Mind

Not sure what type of crowd you have? Prefer to have an expert with you? Let us know and we’ll be pleased to help you!

We have gathered several resources in the event you require assistance on one or more of the required segments for your proposal or the overall process.

We have a team of real estate relationship managers, business consultants, interior design consultants, marketing consultants, fulfillment consultants and much more to assist you in any queries you may have!

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