Prestige Real Estate Projects, which has opened three malls in the last nine months, has 7-8 more malls under construction that will be coming up over the next several years starting from 2025 onwards.
The Bengaluru-based real estate developer has about 11 malls lined up equivalent to 9 million square feet of gross leasable area, V Muhammad Ali, CEO, Forum Malls, Prestige Group told businessline on the sidelines of a retail summit MAPIC India.
In 2021, the company had sold majority interest and rights in about eight retail properties to private equity firm Blackstone and used the proceeds to substantially reduce its debt. It still held some small stakes in the malls and when Blackstone launched the real estate investment trust of the mall portfolio, Prestige Estates’ holdings were converted to units and it holds around 4.5 per cent of the overall REIT, Nexus Select Trust.
The new upcoming malls of the group are wholly owned by it, though some of them are being developed in partnership. The land for the malls have been mostly acquired by the company.
Ali said that compared to the malls it had built and developed earlier, it’s under-construction malls are of over 1 msf of space. “The way things are changing we have decided to operate on a large scale,” he said. The company has malls, which will be coming up all over the country such as Goa, Kochi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Bengaluru, where it has four malls.
The malls are being built with an eye to providing holistic entertainment and cultural experience to visitors and customers. It has also opened a centre for performing arts in Bengaluru that can seat 3000-4000 people, auditorium, and space for live music concerts.
About a quarter of the space in the malls is occupied by food and beverages brands while the fashion segment space has commensurately reduced compared to earlier.
Alli said that the malls that were already opened were seeing ‘phenomenal’ footfalls’. He added that the malls were ‘capex heavy’ but did not provide a figure for it. In an earnings call in August, the management had indicated a total capex of ₹17,000 crore for the company as a whole. The management had said it was looking at cash flows from its residential projects as well as annuity flows from its commercial assets to fund part of its capex while it would also look at lease rental discounting.
The malls have mix of luxury and value brands, catering to all segments of customers, Ali said.