DLF to launch Mall of India in Noida today

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Bengaluru: DLF Ltd will officially launch on Wednesday Mall of India in Noida, a two million sq. ft retail and entertainment space, adding a sixth shopping mall to its portfolio of retail assets. The mall is expected to generate about Rs.250 crore of rental income annually for the realty firm.

DLF’s Noida mall, which is 95% leased out and will have a total of 330 brands, is the second mall to be launched in the National Capital Region (NCR) in the month of April, after Logix Group opened the 0.5 million sq. ft Logix City Center in Noida’s Sector 32. NCR gets two new shopping malls after almost two years, during a period when the real estate sector has been battling its worst-ever slowdown.

“With this, we have six operational malls. A boutique, uber-luxury mall is scheduled to open at the end of this year. We are continuously working on the superior experience we want to give to our customers in our malls,” said Sriram Khattar, chief executive, rental business, DLF Ltd.

DLF, India’s largest developer by market value, is adding a new retail property at a time when it is consolidating its retail portfolio.

In March, DLF said it will sell its shopping mall in Saket in the national capital to its unit for Rs.904.50 crore as part of its plan to streamline and monetize its existing assets. The transaction with Nambi Buildwell Pvt. Ltd, on an arm’s length basis, included the sale of the land parcel on which the 5.16 lakh sq. ft mall is situated.

This is in line with the strategy to structure ownership of existing assets in order to facilitate potential monetization either through real estate investment trusts (REITs) or otherwise, in future, subject to necessary regulatory and statutory approvals, DLF had said.

The assets are being consolidated in a manner that all rental assets come under a single umbrella to create pure rental play.

DLF has also sought expressions of interest from many global investors to sell a 40% stake in its rental assets arm as it seeks to pare debt. The rental assets arm holds about 20 million sq.ft of leased-out office space and is valued at about $2 billion.

Through this process, DLF will partly sell its commercial office portfolio, which involves DLF promoter companies Rajdhani Investments and Agencies Pvt. Ltd, Buland Consultants and Investments Pvt. Ltd and Sidhant Housing and Development Co. selling a 40% stake in DLF Cyber City Developers Ltd (DCCDL) to institutional investors.

DLF will continue to hold the remaining stake in DCCDL.

DCDDL’s retail mall platform includes, besides the Saket mall, DLF Emporio and DLF Promenade in Vasant Kunj, City Centre in Chandigarh and now, the Mall of India in Noida.

Towards the end of 2016, DLF plans to open a boutique, luxury mall of 200,000 sq. ft in Chanakyapuri and will develop another one in Gurgaon after that.

“This is a fantastic time to open a shopping mall because there are lots of new brands coming in and very little new supply of retail space. We expect both the DLF and Logix malls to be received well though there may be some overlap between the two in the short-term,” said Pankaj Renjhen, managing director—retail services at property advisory JLL India.

While DLF’s mall is much larger and more premium with brands such as H&M and Zara, the Logix mall has PVR Superplex with 15 screens that is expected to generate a lot of footfall.

“We have a strong tenant mix in the mall and almost 95% of the mall is leased out. We are positioning it as a destination mall and it is one of the largest retail malls in north India,” said Pushpa Bector, executive vice-president and mall head, DLF-Mall of India.