Amidst land rush, malls vacant

Published Sep 9, 2014, 10:36 am IST
Updated Mar 31, 2019, 6:06 am IST
People in Vijayawada are still not used to shopping in the mall
An under-construction multiplex at Benz Circle in Vijayawada. 	(Photo: DC)
 An under-construction multiplex at Benz Circle in Vijayawada. (Photo: DC)
Vijayawada: It is a conundrum few can understand. While the real estate business in and around Vijayawada is witnessing an unprecedented boom in the recent past, huge shopping malls or complexes in the city wear an almost deserted look, with traders wary of setting up their businesses there.  A majority of the spaces in these multi-storeyed buildings lie vacant, though they were constructed long ago. 
A shopping mall that was inaugurated last November has about 40 per cent of the space still unoccupied. Similarly, another such mall, a Rs125 crore five-storeyed project opposite the Chennupati petrol bunk, was inaugurated a month ago and is waiting for retail firms to occupy the space. The huge lobby and food court of this particular mall wears an almost deserted look.
“People of Vijayawada are not yet used to shopping in these malls which usually host single brand showrooms or exclusive brands. Many come to the mall in the initial days but end up just window-shopping. This factor is leaving firms reluctant to start their businesses in these malls that have very high rentals but give less mileage”, said a trader at a mall on MG Road. 
While the newly-opened mall is charging Rs260 per sq. ft. as rent, with maintenance charges additional, the mall that was opened almost a year ago is charging a mere `60 to `80 per sq. ft. The rent for showrooms in individual buildings on MG Road is at Rs 100 to Rs120 per sq. ft. “Shopping malls mostly host exclusive and international brands that attract potential buyers. As most of the potential buyers still rely on outlets in Hyderabad there is not much scope for such business here,” said M. Ajay Reddy, a businessman. 
“It will take at least two years for that shopping mall culture to set root in Vijayawada, he said. 
However, the multiplexes in these shopping malls are successfully running as Vijayawadaians, who basically rely on cinemas for entertainment, throng them often. There are three other shopping malls coming up in the city and one of them, the largest, will be inaugurated soon at Benz Circle. 
Location: Andhra Pradesh