Mall of Asia in Bengaluru will be spread across 1.2 msf and will be among the largest in India
Retail mall developer Phoenix Mills Limited (PML) is planning to open an additional five malls with around 6 million square feet (MSF) of retail space. The budgeted cost of the five malls is around Rs. 5,300 crore, managing director Shishir Shrivastava said in an interview.
Phoenix Citadel in Indore will have a gross leasable area (GLA) of 1 msf. Palladium Mall in Ahmedabad will have a retail GLA of 0.7 msf. Phoenix Citadel and Palladium are expected to become operational by the first half of financial year 2023.
Phoenix Millennium in Wakad, Pune, will have 1.1 msf of retail and 0.6 msf of office space. The fourth property, Mall of Asia in Bengaluru, will have a retail GLA of 1.2 msf and office GLA of 1.2 msf. Both these malls will become operational in early FY 2024.
Additionally, the company will have another mall coming up in Kolkata by FY 2025, Shrivastava said.
Mall of Asia in Bengaluru will be among the largest malls in India, he said.
PML plans to spend a total of Rs. 5,300 crore to develop these malls, of which around Rs. 3,000 crore has already been spent. PML has developed more than 17.5 MSF of retail, commercial, hospitality and residential assets.
Asked if the company is looking at greenfield opportunities in Kolkata, Surat, Jaipur, Chandigarh and Hyderabad and whether these would be developed by PML on its own or through a joint venture, Shrivastava said the company will evaluate potential investments and decide on a case-by-case basis.
“We are actively looking for growth opportunities across cities mentioned and will be able to share updates only upon closure of transactions,” he said.
Phoenix Mills currently has around 7 mn sq ft of gross leasable area across nine operational retail malls in six cities.
Asked whether consumption and customer footfalls had been impacted by the third wave of the pandemic, the executive said consumption in the third quarter of financial year 2022 had almost returned to pre-COVID 19 levels.
“Consumption in January was impacted due to third wave and was at 79% of January 2020 (pre-COVID). However, consumption in the first week of February is back to pre-COVID levels,” he said.
“All our malls remained open during the third wave, albeit with some local restrictions which are no longer there in most cases,” he said.
In a recent report, credit assessor ICRA Limited said rentals in malls were expected to decline by 20-25% in the fourth quarter of financial year 2022 and that trading values were expected to drop by 60-70% of pre-COVID levels.
Shrivastava said: “We do not anticipate any decline in rentals. Recovery post every wave of COVID-19 has been robust and quicker compared to the previous wave. Almost all categories are back to pre-COVID consumption levels. In particular, categories like jewellery and watches, electronics, apparel and fashion have been doing exceedingly well.”