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
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