Love them or leave them, malls are here to stay

Though re­tail spa­ces bring fa­mous brands under a sin­gle roof and help in­crease prop­erty val­u­a­tions, th­ese also add to traf­fic con­ges­tion and cre­ate noise pol­lu­tion

HT Estates - - HTESTATES - Nam­rata Kohli

Time and again there are ad­ver­tise­ments splashed across Delhi an­nounc­ing launches of new malls. Most of th­ese su­per shop­ping cen­tres try to outdo each other in terms of for­mat, size, ten­ant mix, and zon­ing. Ear­lier malls made news be­cause they brought all the fa­mous brands spread across the city under a sin­gle roof. To­day, most of them make head­lines for traf­fic con­ges­tion and the re­sul­tant noise pol­lu­tion.

It is true that malls have an enor­mous im­pact on neigh­bour­hoods, es­pe­cially if they are lo­cated in the mid­dle of a res­i­den­tial zone. Take the case of Saket, for in­stance, that was cre­ated by DDA in 1970s. Most 3BHK units in the area were al­lot­ted for a petty ₹ 55,000. It was a quiet neigh­bour­hood lo­cated in what was then per­haps the out­skirts of South Delhi. It was di­vided into blocks – A to N, where ev­ery block had a lo­cal mar­ket. Two decades later, 1997 to be pre­cise, mul­ti­plex PVR hap­pened and changed the en­tire fab­ric of this place. The ex­treme end of the city trans­formed into a re­tail and en­ter­tain­ment hub where the youth of Delhi de­scended for fun and leisure.

As if that was not enough, a slew of malls such as Se­lect City Walk, MGF Me­trop­o­lis and DLF Place came up in the area 10 years later, around 2007. At about this time the cap­i­tal val­ues of apart­ments were in the range of ₹ 8,000 per sq ft to ₹ 8,500 per sq ft while the rental val­ues were in the range of ₹ 6000 to ₹ 7,000 per month. As the lo­cal­ity trans­formed into a hap­pen­ing re­tail zone, rentals soared. Cut to 2015-16, a 2BHK lo­cated close to the mall fetches a rent of ₹ 40,000 to ₹ 45,000 per month. A fully-fur­nished apart­ment gets around ₹ 60,000 per month.

This only goes to prove that malls go a long way in im­prov­ing

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