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Mega mall in Puja debut
- Local and global heavyweights in multi-anchor, zone-specific retail address

A million square feet of retail and entertainment space, with multiple anchors and international brands, a 20,000-sq-ft food court, a six-screen cineplex, parking for 1,400 vehicles across six levels and much more is coming up on Prince Anwar Shah Road before Puja 2006.

South City Mall, eastern India's largest destination mall ' five times the size of Forum (two lakh sq ft) and nearly twice the size of City Centre (5.5 lakh sq ft) ' is part of the 31.14-acre mixed-use development South City. And the Rs 300-crore mall promises a flurry of firsts.

For the first time in Calcutta, retail heavyweights Pantaloons and Shoppers' Stop will co-exist on the same property, the other anchors being Spencer's Hypermarket and the Fame multiplex. 'Four large anchors sharing floor space in the same mall gives consumers a bigger basket to choose from,' stresses Sushil Mohta, a director in South City Projects, the company developing the property.

A range of global brands led by Marks & Spencer will stretch the options further. 'We are extremely upbeat about Calcutta and delighted to bring in strong foreign brands like Guess (hi-fashion denims and casuals) and Next (family apparel),' Atul Nayar, general manager, Planet Sports Pvt Ltd, tells Metro from Gurgaon.

The company is exclusive franchisee in India for Marks & Spencer (men's and women's lines, toiletries and lingerie) and a bouquet of other brands like Spanish contemporary innerwear label Women's Secret, which, too, will be housed in South City Mall.

The in-house sports goods and apparel brand Planet Sports will also be present.

Designed by South African retail space specialists Bentel, based on the overall concept design by architect Dulal Mukherjee, the mall will have a giant central atrium with four escalators and four high-speed elevators.

Landmark, with its books-music-gifts spread, will unveil its second city outlet in the south Calcutta mall, while My Dollar Store (every item priced at Rs 99) is set to make its eastern debut. High-profile international brands like Lladro, Giordano, Lacoste, Benetton and Adidas will share footplates with high-end jewellery brand Lucera and French women's apparel label Aftershock.

'This will be the first zone-specific mall with synergy in placement of retail clusters. Also, you can just park your car on any floor and walk in,' observes Jugal Khetawat, another director in South City Projects.

Besides the giant food court, the mall will have three speciality restaurants, including one from the Speciality Restaurants group, owners of the Mainland China brand, and a Provogue Lounge.

The six-screen Fame multiplex, seating 1,400, will even have a Royal Class auditorium with luxury features, while Time Zone will run the family entertainment area.

'The mall will generate Rs 150 crore annually by way of taxes, providing employment to more than 5,000 people,' says Mohta.

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