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Is­land Star Mall De­vel­op­ers Pvt. Ltd, a strate­gic in­vest­ment plat­form owned by real es­tate de­vel­oper The Phoenix Mills Ltd and Canada Pen­sion Plan In­vest­ment Board (CPPIB), has ac­quired a land par­cel in Pune for `160 crore ($24 mil­lion). The 1.6 mil­lion sq ft plot at Wakad, Pune, is Is­land Star Mall’s first ac­qui­si­tion. It plans to de­velop a pre­mium re­tail space of one mil­lion sq ft. “West of Pune is one of the fastest de­vel­op­ing res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial hubs, but yet lacks large-scale re­tail, en­ter­tain­ment, and food and bev­er­age op­tions un­der one roof. We will de­velop our sec­ond Phoenix Mar­ketCity in the city,” said Atul Ruia, joint man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Phoenix Mills. Ear­lier, the com­pany had built a Phoenix Mar­ketCity in East Pune.

“This ac­qui­si­tion helps de­liver on our strat­egy of ex­pand­ing our In­dian re­tail port­fo­lio with Phoenix Mills. Pune’s at­trac­tive de­mo­graphic and eco­nomic growth pro­file com­bined with an un­der­sup­plied re­tail mar­ket makes this an ideal lo­ca­tion for a high-qual­ity re­tail and en­ter­tain­ment des­ti­na­tion and is well suited to CPPIB’s long-term in­vest­ment hori­zon,” said An­drea Or­landi, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, head of real es­tate in­vest­ments, Europe, CPPIB.

Phoenix Mills and CPPIB had cre­ated the plat­form in April. CPPIB had ini­tially pumped in `724 crore to own a 30 per­cent stake in the plat­form. Sub­se­quently, it plans to in­vest an­other `1,600 crore across mul­ti­ple tranches to own up to 49 per­cent in the strate­gic tie-up. Of late, many global in­vestors have shown in­ter­est and taken ex­po­sure in re­tail as­sets through plat­forms and joint ven­tures. Black­stone, which has one of the big­gest port­fo­lios of com­mer­cial real es­tate in In­dia, has ac­quired a bunch of re­tail prop­er­ties lately. It has also set up a ded­i­cated plat­form, Nexus Malls, which houses all its re­tail prop­er­ties. Dutch pen­sion fund APG had also bought three re­tail as­sets of Vir­tu­ous Re­tail, the re­tail de­vel­op­ment arm of The Xan­der Group, to cre­ate a plat­form. an up­dated frame­work for es­tab­lish­ing REITs have at­tracted the at­ten­tion of var­i­ous pri­vate eq­uity funds.

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