US, Australian firms float retail real estate management JV

April 23rd, 2008 - 12:43 am ICT by admin  

Mumbai, April 22 (IANS) Two of the world’s leading real estate retail management services - New York-based Jones LangSalle Incorporated (JLI) and Australia’s Colonial First State Property Management - have formed a new company, Sandalwood Asia. The joint venture (JV) will concentrate on retail development and management services in Asia. The 50:50 JV company’s prime aim will be to help developers from India and other Asian countries to capitalise on premium retail opportunities and assess long-term value of small owners by evaluating their assets.

Announcing this here Tuesday, Anuj Puri, chairman and country head of Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj (the Indian branch of JLI), said through Sandalwood Asia, “we intend to create a long-term value for retail assets and also introduce India’s small real estate owners with intensive practices used internationally for benchmarking the assets”.

Taking the cue further, head of Colonial First State Property, Darren Steinberg, pointed out that the real gross domestic product (GDP) compound average growth of Asian economies has been approximately nine percent per annum in the last five years, with retail management and property development markets “showing a compound average growth rate of more 20 percent in the same period”.

“We think that India’s retail sector will grow approximately by 35 percent by 2010. The real estate sector has responded well to this retail growth and if one looks at this growth closely one finds that the total retail mall stock has been doubling every year,” he added.

Stewart Hutcheon, the newly appointed CEO of Sandalwood Asia, said at present there were over 100 malls operating in India and more than 300 were being developed. “And out of this, 90 percent do not have international benchmarks.”

Hutcheon added that Sandalwood with its specialised focus on property management “would ensure that the retail owners and developers get these benchmarks and simultaneously place them strategically whereby they garner long term gain from their assets”.

In India, the Sandalwood Asia’s operation would be headed by Gagan Singh, who also holds the position of deputy CEO in Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj.

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