With malls, multiplexes, Ghaziabad is the new boomtown

February 19th, 2008 - 9:55 am ICT by admin  

By Rajeev Ranjan Roy
Ghaziabad, Feb 19 (IANS) A new world of malls, multi-screen theatres, multi-starred hotels and corporate hubs, all in a radius of four to five kilometres, has come up in Ghaziabad, the new boomtown bordering east Delhi. Vasundhara, Vaishali, Kaushambi and Indirapuram (VVKI) are where all the real estate activity is now concentrated.

The area is slated to have 40 new malls before the Commonwealth Games in 2010.

From Arenes Europark to Country Inn Hotel and Star Realcon’s corporate hub - there is almost everything available here usually found in a world-class city that had a population of about a million at the last census in 2001.

The Country Inn and Suites, a multi-starred hotel, coming up close to Kaushambi and Vaishali, involves Carlson, US and Magnum Ventures Limited, one of the biggest hospitality chains in the world. Thailand’s Leo Design International is working on the interiors.

“By 2010, VVKI would have nearly 40 big and small malls. Our Aerens Europark spread across 750,000 sq ft built-up area is going to be the largest mall near east Delhi,” Chhabi Raj Yadav, assistant manager, marketing, Aerens Europark, told IANS.

The transformation of this once bleak outback of Delhi to a bustling satellite township is a fairy tale for those who came to VVKI just eight years ago in search of their dream homes at affordable prices.

“I can now say with pride that I stay in Vasundhara, where we have malls adjacent to almost every apartment complex. When we came to the colony in 2000, this boom was beyond our wildest dreams,” Gunjana Roy, a resident of Vartalok Apartment in Vasundhara, told IANS.

Real estate activity is now giving a new lease of life to the colonies, where several malls have already come up and many new ones are on the way.

The East Delhi Mall (EDM), on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border, is one of the hottest entertainment and shopping hubs in the area. It has outlets of major global and national brands selling almost everything from footwear to food, jewellery to clothes as well as a multiplex.

Located a few hundred yards away is the Pacific Mall, spread on an area of five acres. It houses outlets of branded items, a multiplex, a food court and shops that go on and on.

“The boom is unexpected and will continue to acquire new dimension,” S.V. Singh, an assistant commissioner with the Uttar Pradesh Avas Vikas Parishad (UPAVP), told IANS.

UPAVP is developing Vasundhara, a colony earlier meant for the lower middle class. “With the advent of group housing societies, rich people from Delhi began shifting their base in VVKI, leading to the boom in real estate,” Singh said.

Singh also hints at investment coming from non-resident Indians. “Through their friends and relatives, NRIs are investing a lot in real estate, and they are getting higher returns too,” he added.

While Pacific and EDM are in and around Kaushambi, Shipra and Concept malls are located at Indirapuram, Ansal Plaza is in Vaishali, and Vasundhara Plaza in Vasundhara.

Unlike other malls in the area, Aerens Europark, estimated at Rs.2.5 billion with parking space for 1,400 cars and two-wheelers, intends to offer India’s biggest kids zone, a platform to organise international fashion shows, along with dedicated zones for men, women and children.

The Sahibabad Industrial area nearby with around 1,000 small and big industrial units, along with majors like Dabur, Bharat Electronics, and Bhushan Steel, is one of the reasons behind the real estate boom. But the Commonwealth Games in 2010 is also seen as a potential growth driver.

“Five years ago, very few people thought of setting up malls. The Commonwealth Games, the Metro and the entry of high-income groups to VVKI have changed everything,” Nidhi Garg, senior manager, marketing, Star Realcon, told IANS from her office in the Shoprix Mall at Kaushambi.

Her firm is setting up a seven-storey corporate hub called Star Infinity in Kaushambi. It will have 84 offices, each measuring not less than 335 square feet.

“The connectivity between Delhi and VVKI has improved. The moneybags have begun shifting their bases there, leading to a spurt in the number of malls. Good hotels are coming up to cater to the needs of the Commonwealth Games. The Metro Rail would further boost growth,” said Vinay Aggarwal, who is setting up a 400-bed super speciality hospital in Vaishali.

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