Isetan will likely stop conducting its own retailing operations at its Wisma Atria department store from the second quarter of next year.
However, in a statement to the Singapore Exchange yesterday, the firm said that in line with its core business, it intends to continue retailing activities and food and beverage services at the premises by housing tenants and providing the necessary facilities management.
"While the company endeavours to lease out all floors of the premises, there is no assurance that it would be able to achieve full tenancy, due to market conditions or commercial reasons," it added.
Under such circumstances, the company said, it might continue to operate retailing activities in that part of the premises until tenants are found.
In the meantime, the company will continue to operate its own department
store operations in the Orchard Road shopping belt at its Isetan Scotts store in Shaw House.
It also has four suburban department stores, in Katong, Tampines, Serangoon Central and Jurong East.
Isetan said it is committed to its long-term purpose of running department stores and supermarkets.
Last month, Isetan announced that it had slipped into the red with a third-quarter loss of $2.9 million, owing to a slow growth in sales following renovation works at its Scotts department store.
Other than its new store in Jurong East, the other outlets also registered lower sales in the third quarter, owing to a competitive and challenging retail environment, it said.
In October, Isetan said it was planning to lease out one floor of its Wisma Atria department store to Japanese restaurants and food kiosks, "to spread Japanese food culture"
The intersection of Fifth Avenue and West 57th is the most coveted retail location and most expensive in all of New York. Last year, Michael Shvo and Russian billionaire Vladislav Doronin agreed to pay $500 million for 20 floors of the Crown Building at 730 Fifth Avenue, on the corner of 57th Street. Now Shvo has filed plans to convert most of the 26-story office building into condominiums and a hotel. >> DETAILS
Bergdorff Goodman, Louis Vuitton, and Tiffany's anchor the three other corners to 730 Fifth Avenue which was once owned by former Philippine's president Ferdinand Marcos.
The 400,000 square-foot tower’s tenants include talent and literary agency ICM, private-equity giants KKR and Apollo Global Management and men’s designer Ermenegildo Zegna. 35,000 square feet is retail that includes Bank of America and Piaget along with Bulgari and Mikimoto.
According to recent article in the New York Post the 25 storey Crown Building which was acquired by the Winter and Speitzer family in 1991 for $93.6 million was sold for a staggering $1.75 billion to property owner who already owns the nearby Prada and Abercrombie & Fitch locations.
Bloomberg reported that most of the office and retail tenants at 730 Fifth are paying rents well below the market. With about 90% of its leases expire within seven years, there are opportunities to boost the property’s cash flow, Bloomberg reported.
The acquisition of $1.75 billion US is believed to set a world record for a single office building at $4,490 per square foot. -- 2014 December 18
This transactionfollows New World Development’s high profile sale of its three hotels – Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui and Renaissance Harbour View, into a 50-50 joint venture with the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) for US$2.39 billion earlier in April this year, making it the biggest hotel deal in Asia in a decade
Jin Jiang owns and operates over 1,700 hotels in 11 countries, but is primarily active in China, where it has long been the primary hotel concern of the Shanghai government, and owns many of the city’s landmark hotels. Louvre Hotels has a network of more than 1,100 hotels in more than 40 countries worldwide, ranging from one to five stars under the Premiere Classe, Campanile, Kyriad, Tulip Inn, Golden Tulip, Kyriad Prestige and Royal Tulip brands. In November 2011, Louvre Hotels Group and Chinese hospitality and travel conglomerate Jin Jiang International Holdings established a commercial partnership which notably introduced co-branding for some hotels in major cities in China and France.
2015 June 29 China's Jin Jiang said to hold 4% stake in Accor hotels
Just three few months after buying international budget hotel operator Louvre Hotels Group for €1.3bn, Chinese hotels group Jin Jiang has built up a 4% stake in Paris-based hotel giant AccorHotels, according to French media.
2015 June 10 Louvre Hotels gets €2.5bn from China’s ICBC to finance expansion
France-based international budget hotel operator Louvre Hotels Group, now owned by Chinese group Jin Jiang, has secured a €2.5bn credit line from Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and says it may use some proceeds to buy further portfolios or groups.
Larco Enterprises Inc.’s hospitality wing has acquired the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver from Ivanhoé Cambridge for $180 million. A deal for the landmark at Georgia and Burrard streets was no surprise; the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, which Ivanhoé Cambridge represents, announced plans at the end of May 2014 to sell a number of properties across North America. Real Estate Fund Manager.com has acquired numerous assets for Larco over the past decades. If you are considering sale of your hotel assets in Canada, U.S. or U.K., please contact us. The group owns 25 hotels in the city of London.
Canary Wharf Group controls development land for a further 9.8 million square feet (910,000 square meters) of property in and around the estate, including 3.3 million square feet of higher-value homes, Songbird said Nov. 28.
More than 100,000 people work in the 35 office buildings and four shopping malls on the Canary Wharf estate, which is home to companies ranging from JPMorgan Chase & Co. to Gap Inc. The district is best known for the 50-story tower at One Canada Square, the U.K.’s tallest building until the Shard was completed in 2010.
Shimao purchase of GS's Christchurch Court at Paternoster Square for £270m
The 303,000 sq ft office building at 15 Newgate Street, EC1 on Paternoster Square is let in its entirety to Goldman Sachs until 2025, subject to a tenant break option in 2020. >> MORE
Taiwan-based Cathay Life purchase of Walbrook Building
2015 May 13 The prime Walbrook Building in City of London was acquired by Cathay Life for £ 575 million.
Taiwan's Fubon Life purchases Madame Tussaud
2015 May 26 Fubon Life is paying £332.5m for London tourist attraction Madame Tussauds.
The board of Secure Income REIT said it has exchanged contracts with the Taiwanese insurer to sell the asset in the third quarter of this year.
Secure Income said Fubon Life, which is being advised by Patrizia Immobilien’s UK office, is paying an 8% premium to the property’s December 2014 valuation of £309.3m.
The property is let to Merlin Attractions Operations, owner and operator of Madame Tussauds for at least the next 27 years, with the option for the tenant to extend by up to a further 70 years upon expiry.
Kepel Land purchase 75 King William Street
Keppel Land on Monday (Feb 9) has entered into a sales and purchase agreement with Aberdeen Property Trust for a freehold nine-storey office building in the City of London for £91 million (S$186 million), it announced in a press release.
The property, located at 75 King William Street, is said to be in close proximity to Bank Junction, London's historic and financial centre. Keppel said the investment will be managed by its fund management subsidiary, Alpha Investment Partners.
CEO of Keppel Land Ang Wee Gee said: "With continued growth in the financial services and new emerging industries such as the technology, media and telecommunications sectors, the London office market is expected to remain healthy.”
With a total internal area of 130,000 sq ft, the office building – completed in 1989 – is almost fully occupied by tenants in the financial services, shipping and serviced office industries, Keppel said.
“The above transaction is not expected to have any material impact on the net tangible asset per share or earnings per share of Keppel Land Group for the current financial year,” the developer added. -- 2015 February 9 CHANNEL NEWS ASIA
Oz Buys into King's Cross Regeneration for £200 million
Malaysian developer Eastern & Oriental has bought Landmark House and Thames Tower in Hammersmith, west London for £57m.
Eastern & Oriental Property (UK) has bought the 1.2-acre site in the heart of Hammersmith, which has the potential for a significant mixed-use redevelopment, from Dubai-based education provider Gems Education Board.
The UK subsidiary of Malaysian-listed Eastern & Oriental will now become the platform for a push into London property.
It now owns three property assets in London, including Princes House acquired in 2012, ESCA House acquired in 2014, and the latest Hammersmith project which together have a combined gross development value of £269m.
The site at Hammersmith Bridge Road is prominently located along the A4 which is the principal road connecting central London to Heathrow airport via the M4 motorway.
Currently, two existing and connected office buildings occupy the site: the 11-storey Thames Tower and 15-storey Landmark House, which were both constructed during the 1960s.
Allies & Morrison architects has drawn up a plans for a development of up to 22 storeys at the site, which it hopes will appeal to the upper end of the residential market as well as office occupiers.
The proposed scheme would provide a residential tower in the centre of the site as well as a terrace of houses on Angel Walk and an office building in the eastern area of the site.
Thames Tower is currently vacant, while vacant possession will be obtainable for Landmark House by the end of September 2015.
Dato’ Terry Tham, E&O group managing director, said: “This prime freehold parcel in the established commercial hub of Hammersmith represents a significant refurbishment or redevelopment opportunity for E&O in the future. Subject to the relevant authority approvals, there is the potential to create Grade A office space and residential accommodation in an area where demand for quality new build property is strong.”
Paul Nicholls, director at CBRE who acted for the vendor, said: “This transaction underwrites the growing interest we have seen from both domestic and international developers who want to capitalise on the wave of value spreading out from the core central London market. Hammersmith is a strategic location with excellent transport links and has significant growth potential.” -- 2015 January 19 PROPERTY WEEK
Hong Kong Emperor adds second Oxford Street property Hong Kong-listed Emperor Group has picked up a second property on London’s Oxford Street for £35.5m, just six months after it bought a similar asset on the same strip at a low yield of just 2.6%
Asian investors, including insurers and banks, are buying into European properties as a way to diversify their portfolios as they seek steady yields of between 5 and 6 per cent.
Wanda faces challenges in its first project in London
Foreign buyers have fuelled soaring home prices in London in the past few years. Photo: Bloomberg
It is going to be a tough start for Dalian Wanda Group in Britain, industry experts say, as the mainland property-to-film conglomerate begins its first London project amid rising competition for clients and contractors, just as the tide in the city's prime home market appears to have begun to ebb.
Wanda will market the One Nine Elms project in Hong Kong over the weekend, just a week after a Malaysian consortium started the sales process here for the iconic Battersea Power Station project.
The two projects are about 1km from each other, both at the waterfront along the south bank of the River Thames, at the redevelopment zone of Nine Elms that comprises more than 20 different developments.
Wanda's project is of a smaller scale, some 213 flats in the first release, and sits on existing infrastructure, said Michael Purefoy, a deputy general manager of Wanda's international real estate centre in Beijing.
He told the South China Morning Post that clients' response from London, Singapore, Beijing and Shanghai had exceeded expectations, as global awareness of the Wanda brand grew amid the company's aggressive expansion in countries including the United States, Spain and Australia.
Wanda bought the site last year in London near the new US embassy in its first foray into overseas markets. The 1.13 million sq ft scheme comprises two residential towers of 439 flats - one of which will be central London's tallest residential building - and a hotel. It is due for completion in late 2018.
Foreign buyers have fuelled soaring home prices in London in the past few years. However, a survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors showed expectations for housing inflation in the British capital were falling at the fastest pace since before the global financial crisis on worries about a strengthening pound, rising interest rates and possible punitive taxes on overseas buyers.
Mark Farmer, head of residential at consultancy EC Harris in London, is more concerned about the delivery.
"Wanda is bringing forward One Nine Elms in one of the most challenging London development markets of recent years," he said.
"There are big contractor and supply chain capacity problems at the moment which are making the selection of construction partners very difficult."
An EC Harris report in October estimated total prime residential units in the pipeline would hit 12,000 in the next three years with a peak in 2017, and planned completion would overshoot a deliverability ceiling of no more than 2,500 to 3,000 units per annum in the years between 2016 and 2019, considering both financing and human resources.
London media said Wanda had appointed architects, project managers and cost consultants, but has yet to finalise the decision on its main contractor.
Meanwhile, the 42-acre Battersea development has also yet to pin down the contractor for its third-phase construction, which will offer 539 apartments. It had fixed-price contracts for the first two phases. Delivery will start from mid-2016 until 2025.
"The constructors are busy but there is still a lot of competition in the market," said Simon Murphy, chief financial officer of Battersea Power Station Development. "So we are comfortable that the numbers we have in our appraisal will be delivered in terms of cost, and we have funded the whole project."
Murphy, a former HSBC banker, is betting on the history of the Battersea Power Station, which at its peak supplied a third of London's power but ceased operation in 1983, to attract Asian buyers against rivals. But he said developers including Wanda can help rebuild the old industrial Nine Elms neighbourhood. - 2014 November 5, SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST
2015 June Japanese developer Mitsui Fudosan and British partner Stanhope have agreed to buy the BBC’s studios in west London for £87m, the pair’s second deal with the publicly-funded British broadcasting group.
Queen of England in a Real Estate JV With Chinese Gov't to Buy Mall in UK
You might think the Queen would want something a bit more posh than Fosse Park in Leicester.
The Crown Estate, which manages the Queen of England’s real estate assets, announced late last week that it had joined with an investment-arm of the Chinese government to buy a shopping centre in the UK for £345.5 million ($576.76 million). The partnership between the Crown Estate and Gingko Tree Investment Ltd, a wholly owned unit of China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), is the biggest acquisition ever for the Queen’s asset manager, and the latest in a string of deals in Europe for the UK-registered Chinese firm. The investment was revealed in an announcement from the Crown Estate. The deal for the 560,000 square foot (52,000 square metre) Fosse Park retail development in the city of Leicester shows the key role that government relations are playing in China’s outbound investment wave, as well as rising enthusiasm for recovering European real estate markets. The joint venture formed by the two companies purchased Fosse Park, which attracts more than eight million shoppers a year, from UK property firm Foyleside. Retailers represented at the centre appear to be distinctly mid-market, including Marks & Spencers, Gap, Clarks, Boots, DFS and Costa Coffee.
China’s Government Investing Actively in Europe
While Chinese real estate developers have gained headlines with plans for splashy projects in cities around the globe, the country’s state-owned asset managers have also played a significant role.
Gingko Tree acquired One Angel Square in Manchester, England last year
Gingko Tree was China’s most active buyer in Europe’s real estate markets in 2013, acquiring stakes in 16 properties worth a total of $2.44 billion in the London, Manchester and other locations. Gingko’s parent, SAFE, is the government office charged with managing the country’s foreign exchange reserves. China Investment Corporation (CIC), the country’s sovereign wealth fund has also been active in the UK market, and earlier this year acquired an office park in London from private equity firm Blackstone for £800 million ($1.34 billion). The Chinese government’s growing taste for overseas real estate investment comes as the country’s government asset managers move beyond their traditional strategy of parking the country’s assets in government bonds and other safe investments. The decision to move into global real estate markets is partly a search for yield, and is also likely to have been triggered by growing confidence and sophistication among the government asset managers tasked with the real estate investments, as well as among the bureaucrats supervising them.
Private Investors Following the Government to the UK
In China, there are few strategies as effective as working with the government, particularly for real estate deals. And the country’s property investors seem to be bringing this approach with them as they head overseas, so the tie-up between Gingko Tree and the Crown Estate is likely to drive still greater interest in UK property among Chinese investors. London has already been established as the favorite target among Chinese real estate investors.
Wang Jianlin seems to be bringing his government alignment strategy with him on his trips overseas
China’s richest man Wang Jianlin, who made much of his fortune through relationships with the Chinese government, has worked hard to develop ties with the authorities in the UK. Already last year Wang acquired a site in London to build a $1.1 billion hotel and residential project, and after meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron in Davos earlier this year pledged to spend another $5 billion.
England’s capital was the single biggest target for Chinese investors buying real estate internationally, bringing in nearly four times the amount of investment than closest competitor San Francisco, according to JLL. Even the total amount invested in San Francisco, Chicago, and Los Angeles combined did not equal half of that going into London. New York failed to finish among the top five investment destinations for Chinese capital during the period.
Figures from Knight Frank show the proportion of properties worth £10m or more sold to thirtysomethings rose from 7.1% to 14.8% between June 2014 and June 2015. Accompanying comment singles out tech and IT money as the source.