Gumberg Global and tvsdesign Bringing Exciting New Malls to India
India has a strong retail tradition and an economy that is growing as quickly as any in the world, but this huge Asian country does not have a tradition of “organized retail,”
especially the big malls and shopping centers common in Europe and the United States. Gumberg Global, the international division of shopping center developer J. J. Gumberg Co., plans to change that, partnering with U.S. based global architectural and design firm tvsdesign to bring new high quality, western-style retail destinations to India.
“With rising per capita income, a surging middle class and a young population, India is an attractive market,” says B. Anantharaman, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer
of Gumberg India, Gumberg Global’s India-based operating company. “But India lacks a strong ‘organized’ retail presence. Estimated at more than $600 billion in 2010, retail in India is dominated by small retail stores that average less than 500 sq. ft. per store.
India has only about 100 malls, most of which do not conform to the “western style” horizontal layout. Gumberg Global and tvsdesign plan to launch three more in 2012, with a total of almost four million square feet of retail space. “Gumberg’s strategy is to develop about 20 regional and super regional malls across India over the next 6-7 years,” Anantharaman says. “Initial concentration is in top 12 markets with the greatest potential.”
Gumberg India focused on the northern region of Punjab for its first mall, The North Country Mall, which will open in 2012 in Mohali, outside of Chandigarh. Gumberg Global is developing The North Country Mall in a 50/50 partnership with Apollo Real Estate Advisors.
The North Country Mall is regarded as one of the best upcoming malls in India, having pre-leased nearly 85% of its 280 outlets to prominent international retailers.
Poised to be the largest in Punjab, The North Country Mall is situated on 21.6 acres along the busy Chandigarh-Kharar National Highway in Mohali. Construction began in July 2010 and when it opens in the fourth quarter of 2012, the mall will feature a total of 1.03 million square feet of built-up area and more than 750,000 square feet of gross leasable area. More than 325,000 square feet is reserved for anchor tenants and 255,000 square feet for smaller retailers. There will be parking for 3,000 cars.
“The North Country Mall will be a flagship development, a regionally dominant horizontal mall, bringing a western style product to the market,” Anantharaman declares. “Anchored by the finest domestic and multinational tenants in the country, it will have an unwavering focus on anticipating and meeting the needs of consumers.”
Collaboration with local architects and designers has been the hallmark of tvsdesign projects around the world, and India is no exception. The company has built relationships on mall projects in other countries and with North Country has begun to build similar relationships in India.
“Our local team members in India understand codes and procedures and are licensed professionals,” says tvsdesign Retail Principal Donna Childs, “so collaboration is crucial to the success of this project and future India projects.”
“Obviously we had a huge vision for The North Country Mall and we sought an internationally known architecture and design firm that was comfortable working in India and could handle the scale of this project,” said Gumberg Global Chairman Gregg Searle. “tvsdesign fits our needs perfectly. They have a wide range of experience doing large-scale retail and entertainment projects. But they also understood that in The North Country Mall we intend to set a new standard for retail projects in India, and indeed the whole of Southeast Asia. We need an architecture and design firm that can dream as big as we, and are able to deliver on that dream. We found that shared vision in tvsdesign.”
Article written by Mark Carter, Principal, tvsdesign