|Shoppers’ stops: Eastern Mall looks majestic on Tuesday despite a bamboo scaffolding; (above) the upcoming Diamond Plaza. Pictures by Hardeep Singh
Ranchi shopaholics, sit back and enjoy the mall invasion — by 2012-end, over two dozen big and small ones are likely to open, many near your home. Stroll over and stare down the bearish economy with a platinum flash of your credit card.
First generation malls — GEL Church Complex on Main Road and Hari Om Tower on Circular Road — will have competition aplenty from malls opening up at what formerly were known as residential areas, if construction work is any indication.
A saturated and crowded Main Road means investors — pumping in anywhere from Rs 7-8 crore to Rs 80 crore, depending on property size — are looking upwards and elsewhere to lure shoppers. So, architecture is vertical and addresses are varied. Be it the congested Kantatoli and Dangratoli Chowk or posh localities such as Ashok Nagar, Hinoo, Old AG Colony, signs of upcoming malls are everywhere.
Eastern Mall, Dangratoli
The first to open its doors — in September — is likely to be Eastern Mall in Dangratoli. Developed by Surya Nirmal Infrastructure Private Limited, the 2-acre centrally air-conditioned property will boast brands such as Pantaloons and McDonald’s India.
“Our aim is to give Ranchiites a mall they have seen in metros,” said promoter A.K. Rai. “It will have double basements, five storeys above ground with cutting-edge parking,” he said.
He added the lower basement would accommodate over 500 vehicles at any given time.
“Apart from Pantaloons and Vishal Mega Mart, we will have offices, international lifestyle joints, clubs, among others. McDonald’s officials came two days ago. They wanted the ground floor, which is sold out. We are working out an alternative,” Rai said, adding that educational and medical firms were a complete no-no as they attracted too many people and created parking snags.
Then came the clincher. “Dangratoli will change once the mall opens,” Rai signed off.
Shopping Mall, Ashok Nagar
Shopping Mall will have a post-Diwali launch at Puran Vihar, Ashok Nagar, opposite road No. 5. A project of Jaishree Developers on 1.5 acres, it aims to capture the imagination of professionals and youngsters with a mix of entertainment, shopping and architectural splendour. “The major draw of our ground-plus-six floors is a multiplex. The mall will have a square with an amphitheatre and a stage for fashion shows, a live band and performing arts. We’ll have lifts, escalators and basement car park,” said a senior official.
Diamond Plaza, Kantatoli
A multi-brand mall, a venture of Jagannath Developers, is coming up at Kantatoli near the petrol pump. An official of the firm, Suresh Singh, said space crunch was why malls went vertical and explored newer neighbourhoods.
“A vertical mall offers a one-stop solution in less space. And we believe in exploring new localities as Main Road is overcrowded. Shoppers are irritated by traffic, lack of parking and so on,” Singh said.
Rai shared a nugget. “Earlier, people went to malls, now malls are coming to people.”
He may be right. Among the new entrants, JD Hi-Street came up on Main Road, but Galaxia Mall and Spring City boasted Ratu Road and Hinoo as their addresses.