Chengdu’s Atrium mall sold to Singaporean investor

Singaporean asset management firm ARA has entered into a joint venture to buy Atrium mall in Chinese provincial capital Chengdu.

The partners expect to invest RMB1.6 billion (US$231.8 million) in the 45,352sqm retail property, which was purchased from a Tishman Speyer-managed fund that has held the complex since it was completed in 2012. The mall occupies the lower floors of Tishman Speyer’s Atrium commercial tower.

“We are very bullish on Chengdu,” said ARA Asset Management’s head of China Alvin Loo, “and this location is directly opposite Taikoo Li and IFS and has excellent repositioning and asset management activities.”

Savills Research figures show a 5.5 per cent vacancy rate in the surrounding retail area, with rents averaging RMB 850/sqm for first-floor retail space in the first quarter of this year.

ARA is moving into the sector with the expectation that the experiential retail format will continue to expand with the growth of the Chinese middle class and an ongoing need for family gathering areas, despite the growth of e-commerce in the region.

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