To increase its rental revenues from Rs 2,400 crore to Rs 3,000 crore by the end of this financial year, DLF, India’s largest real estate player, is pinning its hopes on its soon-to-be-opened retail project – Mall of India in Noida.
Scheduled for a Diwali launch, the mall will have a leasable area of around two million sq ft, which is pretty close to its existing retail portfolio of DLF at 2.2 million sq ft, among a total commercial space of 28 million sq ft in its portfolio. Around Rs 1,000 crore has gone into the project, touted as among the biggest retail destinations in the country. While the DLF mall would be as big as 37 soccer fields, there are four other malls that are larger than this, according to market estimates. Phoenix Market City in Mumbai at four million sq ft is the largest in India, followed by Lulu Mall in Kochi at 3.9 million sq ft.
At a time when the residential market is going through a slow phase, developers are banking on commercial business including retail and office space, experts say. DLF, too, is focusing on rental business to spur growth and boost revenues, which is expected to help the firm reduce its high debt of about Rs 21,000 crore. The company has been selling its non-core assets such as hotels and pieces of land to pare debt and focus on core business of real estate.
DLF eyes Rs 3,000 crore in rental revenues by end of financial year 2016 DLF expects international concepts used in designing the mall would set it apart from others. US-based Turner, which has projects such as Burj Khalifa at Dubai, Madison Square Garden in New York, and Yankee Stadium in New York to its credit, is the project management consultant for Mall of India. Among 500 international and Indian brands, Sweden’s fashion chain H&M would open its anchor store spread over 60,000 sq ft in this mall, it is learnt.
Besides the Noida mall, DLF is expected to come up with another shopping destination in South Delhi where Chanakya cinema was located earlier.
Sriram Khattar, CEO of DLF’s rental business, said: “Mall of India at Noida will be an iconic one and change the paradigm of retail industry… The strategic location of the project – on the circuit of Delhi-Agra-Jaipur – will attract tourists as well.”
The project was delayed by one-and-a-half years due to the National Green Tribunal order of restraining construction around 10 km area near Okhla Bird Sanctuary. Last month, the government reduced the area of eco-sensitive zone around the sanctuary giving relief to about 50 residential projects and Mall of India.