JLL teams with Colonial for Asian mall venture

Jones Lang LaSalle and Australia’s Colonial First State Property Management’s new 50-50 partnership will be the first to offer retail development and management across Asia.

Chicago-based Jones Lang LaSalle has teamed with Colonial First State Property Management, an Australian developer and operator of malls, have entered into a 50-50 partnership to launch a new vehicle targeting retail operators in Asia.

The joint venture company will be called Sandalwood and will be the first integrated retail development and management service provider to operate across Asia, according to the firms. Stewart Hutcheon, former deputy managing director of AMP Capital Shopping Centers, has been appointed CEO of the new firm, and about 740 employees from Jones Lang LaSalle and Colonial will be transferred into Sandalwood. Financial details of the arrangement were not disclosed.

Colonial was founded in 1983, and has since then undertaken more than 25 major shopping center developments and now manages 36 shopping centers, including some of Asia’s biggest malls.

Sandalwood’s head office will be located in Singapore and the company will launch its operations in two phases. The first phase will cover Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Macau, Taiwan, Indonesia and India. In the second phase, the venture will expand to Japan, Vietnam and South Korea.

Peter Barge, Asia Pacific chief executive officer at Jones Lang LaSalle, said in a statement: “Results of our latest annual Retailer Sentiment Survey also showed broad retailer optimism in Asia, with 76% of survey respondents anticipating higher growth in turnover in 2008 and nine out of ten survey respondents planning to expand their retail operations. All these positive indicators present tremendous retail opportunities for the new joint venture company.”