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Benoy to design Mumbai's mall

The British firm will design the mother of all malls, report Madhurima Nandy and Nabanita Sircar.
By Madhurima Nandy and Nabanita Sircar | None, Mumbai/ London
UPDATED ON JAN 25, 2006 11:41 AM IST

Mumbai is set to become home to the biggest mall in India.

The 2 million sq ft project that will be christened Market City will come up at the Mukand factory complex in LBS Marg, Kurla, sources said. A consortium of developers had bought the 25-acre property for Rs 221 crore last December.

The £200 million project — including 350 retail units, a one-acre artificial lake that will serve as a recreation area and a car park that can accommodate 3,000 cars — would be completed in two years.

British architectural firm Benoy — which built the famous Bullring and Bluewater shopping centres in Birmingham and Kent (seen in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham) — has won the contract to design this mother of all malls.

“We have been closely observing the growth of the Indian retail sector and we think this is the right time for us to venture into the market. It’s going to be a world-class destination with retail space, offices, hotel and a multiplex. We have also designed a unique leisure area for people, something which will be entirely new for the city,” said Benoy chairman Graham Cartledge.

With this, Benoy has also become the first British firm to win a retail design project in India.

Not just India, the mega project will also exceed any retail complex in the UK, where Bluewater is the largest at 1.6 million sq ft.

Benoy’s contract, awarded by Kshitij, the retail development arm of the Pantaloon Group, came days after Commerce Minister Kamal Nath told the first Hindustan Times Luxury Conference that the government would allow foreign retailers to set up shop in the country.

Kshitij will set up 51 malls over 14.5 million sq ft over the next three years. They will include those being developed using Kshitij Venture Capital Fund as well as malls owned and leased by Pantaloon Retail.

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