Businesswithoutborders - Chinese state-owned conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group Corp is probably best known outside China for its bold $2.6 billion purchase of U.S. movie theater chain AMC this summer. In Chinese real estate circles, however, it’s known for something else altogether: churning out shopping malls in a fraction of the time it would take other developers.The Mall of American has 4.2 million square feet (2.7 million square feet of retail space). The Mall of AMerica took 3 years to build.
Wanda is a household name in China, with 55 “Wanda Plaza” mixed-use developments across China. Among them is Nanjing Jianye Wanda Plaza, a mall with a gross floor area of a 275,000 square meters (68 acres or 2.96 million square feet) – roughly equivalent to 60 American football fields – that the company managed to build in 12 months.
Construction of the even bigger Guangzhou Baiyun Wanda Plaza — a retail, office and residential development with a gross floor area of 392,000 square meters — took a mere 11 months, while the 210,000-square meter Han Street retail space in Wuhan took nine months.
So how does Dalian Wanda do it? By having a complete industry chain to churn out the malls from start to the end — and an unforgiving attitude towards delays.
Wanda has a design institute, project development and commercial management teams all dedicated to planning and building malls, according to Mr. Wang. “Being in the same company, we can support one another,” he said, adding that during construction, if property managers find that the changes need to be made to toilets, shop sizes, or mall layouts, they can easily speak to the relevant teams and make the corrections.
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