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Pink is too hot for builders, retailers

The Pink City is catching builders' fancy. And a retail war is only waiting to happen.

india Updated: Apr 08, 2006 11:32 IST

The Pink City is catching builders' fancy. And a retail war is only waiting to happen.

With several shopping malls and multiplexes coming up, Jaipur has now become a favourite destination for most builders to set up commercial ventures.

The city, which only a few malls, is all set to welcome another 25 to 30 malls in the next few years, of which 10 to 15 malls have already started their construction, says Alok Jain, a real consultant.

"The city has undergone tremendous transformation during the last few months. With more and more malls coming up overnight, there is a mad scramble among big retailers, licking their lips in anticipation. Consequently, the city is witnessing a sudden spurt in the prices of commercial property," Jain adds.

The unprecedented increase in the demand for commercial space can be traced to the fact that Jaipur has witnessed an investment of Rs 20-30 billion in the retail business. And, it is expected to see an investment of the similar nature in the next couple of years too, says Alok.

Several big retailers like Reliance, Big Bazar, Pantaloon, Max insurance, Lifestyle, Café Coffee Day and many more have either settled down or are looking for suitable place in the city.

The unprecedented expansion of these shopping malls has led to a sharp increase in the commercial prices. Commercial prices have seen a growth of over 200-300 per cent in the last couple of years.

"These prices, which were earlier hovering around Rs 4,000 to 5000 per sq feet have now shot up to Rs 15,000 to 20,000 depending upon the facility and location of the mall," informs Vishnu Agarwal, a real estate consultant.

Besides this, the likelihood of coming up of several specialised malls like Rs 350 crore World Trade Park, Gold Souk, Wedding Souk and Automobile Mall has further added to the price-rise.

However, the real estate consultants feel that prices "would not go up" further as "they have reached a saturation point" and they are likely to stay there in near future.

"Any further increase (in the prices) could divert new retailers to the other cities," Agarwal opined.

City experts, meanwhile, attribute the mushrooming of malls and increasing influx of the retailers to the city's improved infrastructure and changing lifestyle of the people.

"It's the transformation period for the city. Life style is changing, infrastructure has improved, paying capacity has increased and people are ready to spend any amount over quality products. All these factors lead to the commercial development," Agarwal added.

First Published: Apr 08, 2006 11:32 IST