A city within a city. A lifestyle revolution. The labels seem to rest easy on South City, the “largest mixed-use complex in eastern India”, that promises to “rewrite the rules of urban development” in Calcutta.
On Prince Anwar Shah Road, opposite Jodhpur Park, it will be spread over 31 acres of development. The tallest towers in town — at 35 storeys — housing 1,600 residential apartments; a school for 2,000 kids with a soccer pitch; a multi-facility club over three acres; a state-of-the-art 450,000-sq-ft shopping-cum-entertainment complex, complete with retail galleria, sprawling food courts and hi-tech multiplexes; basement parking for 3,000 cars...
Six of the city’s leading developers have come together to create South City, the Rs 300-crore integrated mixed-use development, starting mid-2003 and ending in 2007. The industry buzz is clear— South City should spearhead a “revolution in real estate excellence” in a city in the midst of a building boom. The complex will have a network of internal roads, a special area for community festivals and an extensive fire-fighting, protection, fire alarm and sprinkler system. A performing arts centre and an art gallery will boost local talent, while a mini theatre, exhibition and convention facilities will add value and variety to the product-mix.
“Our vision is to create an icon that represents Bengal to the world, innately international, yet reflecting the local ethos. South City has been conceived as a platform to promote new technologies, showcase local handicrafts, provide local talent with an outlet and also to be a major tourist attraction,” says Sanjay Chaudhuri, senior executive of the project.
With an 80:20 green:concrete ratio, South City will be an “eco-friendly” development and will use technologies like recharging of ground water and waste-recycling. “It will also be a youth-friendly development, preventing brain drain by providing incentives in the shape of international lifestyle features,” adds Chaudhuri.
Besides helping the government market Bengal better, the mega development will support local industry in the garments, shoes, jewellery, handicrafts, furniture, household items, electronic goods, FMCGs, consumer durables and food and beverage sectors, according to the directors of the consortium, South City Projects (Kolkata) Ltd.
“Apart from its huge urban impact through its multiple USPs, South City will also have a significant social impact by triggering an employment revolution,” observes principal architect Dulal Mukherjee. The project is expected to generate direct employment opportunities for 15,000 within the complex. Mukherjee feels the “majestic tall towers and imaginative landscaping” (by Peridian Asia of Singapore) will bring in a new definition for open space.
“The availability of a variety of elements, like education, shopping, food, movies, theatre, arts, music, sports and socialising under one roof, will be synergistic and entail less travel,” adds the architect, working on the concept design prepared by Smallwood Reynolds Stewart of Atlanta.
“We are confident that by 2007, Calcutta will be ready for a project on such a mammoth scale. And this should raise the bar for real estate activity in the city,” say the developers.