Calicut, Kerala, India:With cities expanding in length, width and height, distances between dwellings and place of work, study and other amenities is also increasing. Many forgo living comforts and continue to live in compromising dwellings to be amidst these. Bringing spacious dwellings with retail, entertainment, hospitality and corporate venues within walking distance are Mixed Use Development projects that are emerging in metros and tier-II and III cities in India now. Experts in the industry feel that Mixed Use Development will be the future of construction industry in India.
One such futuristic development is taking place in Kozhikode (Calicut), Kerala in Southern India. It is the third largest city in Kerala and state’s second largest urban agglomeration with a metropolitan population of 20 lakh plus. The city, which stands testimony to Europe’s trade mission from Portugal in 1498 when Vasco da Gama first landed at its shore, is now making a firm foothold in India's realty sector.
HiLite City project, dubbed as one of the very few first-of-its-kind projects in South India, has set an example for many of the realty players to look up at. “At a time when developmental projects in major cities have reached stagnation, this tier-II city, among others, has become a high growth sector for the real estate industry in India. Thanks to the high purchasing capacity of non-resident Keralites, the city is attracting investments in real estate sector”, says P. Sulaiman, CMD of HiLite Builders Pvt. Ltd.
HiLite, which has been developing properties since 2003, has successfully completed over 2000 projects. It has now geared up with its latest project – HiLite City, a first of its kind urban integrated township with 32 lakh sq. ft. of residential, commercial and retail spaces awaiting completion by 2013. HiLite City houses a shopping mall, 400 luxury apartments and office spaces for commercial enterprises besides a massive parking facility for over 3000 cars, informed Sulaiman. HiLite Business Park comprises an exclusive office complex with twin 'S’ shaped towers aggregating over 10 lakh sq. ft. of built-up space.
Adding further M.A. Mehaboob, Director of the group informed that the 1.4 million sq.ft HiLite Mall would be the right blend of retail and entertainment spaces with 60,000 sq.ft. hypermarket, 1,20,000 sq.ft. departmental store and 35,000 sq.ft. gaming zone. The mall would have 200+ retail outlets, a hotel, 8 screen multiplex, food courts and convention/expo hall.
Mixed Use Development is the best bet for the realty sector as it provides convenience of shopping and other facilities at one place. It reduces automobile dependency in daily life. Scarcity of land within cities is another reason why this concept is picking. Hence mixed land use and compact development have become alternative and attractive approaches.
“This concept will be a boon to those who refrain from moving to suburbs to avail such conveniences. With main cities saturated, it becomes necessary to move to outskirts. Mixed land use development is the best alternative,” said Sulaiman. With projects of commercial spaces right within the realty project, even suburbs will be preferred now. Internationally, it has proven successful in large as well as Tier-II cities and India is no exception, he observed.
The total project cost of HiLite City is put at Rs.900 crore. In this, the investment for shopping mall alone would be Rs.500 crore. When completed, the HiLite Mall would be the first to introduce some of the premium brands such as the retail chain Lifestyle, the global brand Spar, Mark & Spencer, Cinepolis - the biggest multiplex chains in the world and Amoeba, the leisure and entertainment group in Kerala,” stated Mehaboob.
Focus Mall, Kerala’s first shopping mall was introduced by HiLITE. HiLITE City, is best example of how mixed use development of land, a concept unknown in India, has been efficiently put into practice in a tier-II city like Kozikode,” he added.
The project, nearing completion by 2013, opens up huge investment opportunity. The company assures guaranteed rental returns along with value appreciation,” informs Mehaboob.
Kozhikode with 8% of Kerala’s population is one of the key commercial cities and trade hub with good connectivity and contributes 12% to the state’s income. Many Retail brands choose Kozikhode to make foray into Kerala. It ranked second best city in India to reside.
Vinod Paul, Senior Marketing Manager, , +91 8606007878