| A sliced view of what the Mackinnon & Mackenzie mall will look like
High-end boutique retail along the heritage southern and western facades with their later English Renaissance-type cornices and dramatic ionic pillars… Seven levels of shopping, food and movies in the scooped-out central core, rebuilt with the same marble pillars and the imposing dome on top, complete with a grand atrium feel…
Mackinnon & Mackenzie House, at 16 Strand Road, will be ready and running as the city’s first riverside retail rendezvous following a Rs 100-crore restoration push, in 18 months, “subject to routine clearances”.
“It’s a unique format in India’s retail roadmap and could well become the Selfridges of Calcutta, offering an ambience unmatched in the country,” Kishore Biyani, managing director, Pantaloon Retail (India) Ltd, the flagship company of the Future Group, tells Metro.
The 412,000-sq-ft retail space has been leased out to Pantaloon Retail by the city-based Diamond Group. The private consortium, headed by A.N. Shroff, has undertaken the conservation project, Calcutta’s first private initiative to restore a heritage structure in BBD Bag and create contemporary retail in an old-world setting.
While the INOX multiplex will come up across the fourth and fifth levels, the dining options and food courts will sit on top with a “breathtaking view” of the river. “This could become the brand ambassador of a rejuvenated Dalhousie Square and can inspire others to create contemporary spaces of interest,” says Dulal Mukherjee, principal architect for the project.
Mukherjee is working in tandem with Benoy of the UK, specialists in heritage retail architecture — creators of Bluewater in Kent, Europe’s largest out-of-town shopping development, and BullRing, Birmingham, the UK’s biggest retail-led inner-city regeneration project.
“The old and the new sections of the born-again building will be connected by bridges and walkways to create interesting vistas. The space behind the ornate pillars will house Paris sidewalk-style cafes,” says Shishir Baijal, CEO and managing director, Kshitij, the real estate asset management arm of the Future Group.
Benoy is again involved in the design of the 380,000-sq-ft VIP Road mall, also leased from the Diamond Group by Kshitij. “It will house a four-star business hotel on top and should be ready by early 2010,” Baijal adds.
Pantaloon Retail, which is targeting business of over Rs 1,000 crore from its Calcutta outlets in the current financial year, expects its 360,000-sq-ft seamless mall, Central — coming up at the intersection of Ballygunge Circular Road and AJC Bose Road — to be complete by 2009-end. Designed by the Rockwell Group of New York, the Calcutta Central will be the largest in the chain with a seamlessly integrated cineplex, a large food court and “efficient parking systems”.