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Reliance scoops up 150000 sq ft

Calcutta, Jan. 17: A retail behemoth has found a chunky slice of shop space in Bengal.

Reliance Industries Ltd, which recently announced its arrival on the retail racks with its Fresh format, has taken 150,000 sq ft for its hypermart in Batanagar.

The township, around 50 km from Calcutta, is undergoing a Rs 2,000-crore makeover to re-emerge as the sprawling Calcutta Riverside.

The Reliance real estate deal was sealed at Rs 50 crore, said Sumit Dabriwal, the managing director of Riverbank Holdings. The company, a joint venture between Bata India Ltd and Calcutta Metropolitan Group, is building Calcutta Riverside.

The giant retail outlet is expected to open by January 2010, around the time 262-acre township project would be nearing completion. “We will hand over the space to Reliance for fit-outs by October 2009 and it will take another four months to get rolling. By that time, the first phase of our residential component comprising 357 units should be ready,” said Dabriwal.

The hypermarket will anchor The Esplanade, a 640,000 sq ft mall. It will also have two speciality retail outlets by the Mukesh Ambani group — a 30,000-sq ft furniture and lifestyle store and a 20,000-sq ft outlet for electronics and computer peripherals.

The Rs 250-crore Esplanade will have 440,000 sq ft of leasable space with food joints, a family entertainment centre and a multiplex.

Although Ambani’s ambitious agri-retail plan has hit a political roadblock, Reliance is booking space across the state. Last October, it acquired around 80 acres in Asansol for its agri initiative and in December it scooped up 62,000 sq ft in Axis, an upcoming mall in Rajarhat.

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