Link Asset Management buys Shenzhen mall

Link Asset Management has bought the Centralwalk shopping mall in Shenzhen’s CBD via its real estate investment trust.

The RMB6.6 billion (US$981.9 million) transaction marks Link REIT’s first acquisition in Shenzhen, the second in the Greater Bay Area and its fifth in Mainland China, all in tier-one cities.

Centralwalk is a five-storey retail centre in Shenzhen’s Futian District, home to the South China head offices of Fortune 500 companies, multinational corporations and leading domestic firms. The property sits atop two subway lines, providing a 14-minute link to Hong Kong and less than an hour to most parts of the Pearl River Delta region.

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“The acquisition marks another milestone in our expansion in China,” said Link CEO George Hongchoy.

“Centralwalk is seated in the heart of the city’s booming commercial hub. It is strategically located at the juncture of two popular subway lines in Shenzhen and within a five-minute walk from the Futian high speed rail station. We see enormous upside potential in this asset as we will apply our expertise in asset enhancement and placemaking to attract footfall to this mall, unleashing its potential as a leisure and entertainment landmark in Shenzhen.”

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Upon settlement of the transaction next month, Link REIT will control approximately 5 million sqft of retail and office space in four tier-one cities on the Mainland: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, with Mainland Chinese assets representing about 13.1 per cent of Link’s total asset value.

“The acquisition will enable us to capture the exponential growth spurred by the high speed rail link and the Greater Bay Area development,” Hongchoy added. “With diversification of markets, we continue to play to our strengths to offer investors steady income and long-term growth opportunities.”

Centralwalk has a retail floor area of about 903,100sqft, and its retail occupancy currently stands at around 100 per cent. It has a gross monthly passing income of RMB 23.8 million as at December last year.

The property houses a wide variety of familiar brands and a dynamic mix of retailers, covering food and beverage, fashion, accessories, education, lifestyle, health and beauty, a supermarket and a cinema.

Link is anticipating the opportunity to enhance the property’s rental reversion and performance through trade-mix and tenant-mix upgrade, given that retail tenancies expiring in 2019, 2020 and 2021 represent approximately 25.5 per cent, 24.8 per cent and 18.0 per cent respectively.

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