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Friday, May 17, 2002

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A mall to beat other malls

Boby Kurian


THE fast food giant, McDonald's, is likely to be one among the anchor tenants in Bangalore's first family entertainment centre (FEC) promoted by the real estate developer, Prestige Group. The FEC, called The Forum and carrying a net asset value of Rs 100 crore, is expected to open in mid-2003.

This will be McDonald's first foray outside New Delhi and Mumbai in India. A clutch of other international and domestic brands are likely to be part of The Forum, which is probably the first truly global-scale mall in the South. Prestige's ambitious project will have 3,50,000 sq.ft of retail space and three lakh sq.ft of parking space.

The Chennai-based Landmark Group and Pizza Hut are the other likely anchor tenants. The name of Mothercare, a UK High Street baby-and-mother retail chain, is also doing the rounds. Mothercare is planning to enter the country through a franchise or joint venture route. The Prestige Group has decided only to lease out the space in order to facilitate the professional management of the mall.

The mall is located 4.5 km away from Brigade Road, which is the city's central business district, and has several leading residential and business areas on its catchment list. "The Forum aims to provide `shopper-tainment' across the domains of retail, cinema, food court and services," Mr Suresh Singaravelu, Chief Executive, The Forum, said. Retail will occupy 38 per cent of the space, followed by cinema with 31 per cent and food court with 16 per cent.

Perhaps for the first time in India, real estate consultants CB Richard Ellis and Jones Lang LaSalle are joint exclusive marketing consultants for the upcoming mall, which has four levels. The asking rate for ground-level space is Rs 75 per sq.ft, while it is Rs 55 and Rs 45 for level one and level two. It is apart from the maintenance cost based on actuals, which will be certified by a chartered accountant firm.

The third level has been set aside for 11 cinema screens with a total of 2,150 seats. Prestige has entered into a revenue-sharing agreement with the New Delhi-based PVR Cinema to manage all the screens. Prestige avers that the mall is being developed after taking into consideration the drawbacks of similar projects already in operation in Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

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