ING Real Estate has announced the purchase of North Port Mall in Yokohama City. The property will be added to ING Real Estate's Asia Retail Fund. The nine-story, newly-built Yokohama shopping center has a GLA of 56,321 m². The center was completed in March and opened April 2007. North Port Mall is fully-let and houses a well-mixed tenant base which includes a grocery store, a home center, fashion and clothing stores, an appliance shop, as well as a cinema complex. Six anchor tenants are located at the end of each level linked by speciality stores.
Commenting on the transaction, Robert Lie, CEO of ING Real Estate Investment Management Asia, stated: "We are very pleased with this second Japanese investment for our Asia Retail Fund. Japan plays an important role in our Asia growth strategy. We have established a strong team in Tokyo and plan to expand further our Japanese platform to facilitate growth in the Japanese market."
The city of Yokohama is located 30 kilometers south of Tokyo. It has 3.6 million inhabitants and is the second most populated urban area in Japan after the capital. The mall is located in Kohoku New Town, a well-planned and popular living area which has excellent public transport connections to Tokyo's CBD. ING Real Estate's research confirmed that there is strong demand for a community based shopping mall in the area. There are a number of residential developments surrounding the mall and the population growth in Tsuzuki-ward of Yokohama-City, is the highest in the Kanagawa Prefecture (115.2%, 2006/2001), and the second highest of all Japanese cities.
"This is a rare opportunity to acquire a fully occupied, newly-completed large-size core shopping center in Japan which helps diversify the Asia Retail Fund portfolio," said Jimmy Phua, Portfolio Manager for the ING Real Estate Asia Retail Fund. "With ING Real Estate's retail track record and our global retail expertise, we are confident that we will continue to ensure excellent asset management, further improve tenant satisfaction and continue to contribute to the local community which continues to expand on the back of a number of residential developments underway in the area."
North Port Mall is the fund's fourth acquisition. The fund has also invested in Kuala Lumpur's Suria KLCC, The Mall in Seoul and Morioka Minami Shopping Centre SANSA in Iwate prefecture. The fund is expected to be fully invested by the end of this year.
The North Port Mall shopping center was acquired from a SPC (special purpose company) operated by a real estate fund operator.
Source: ING Real Estate