THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Whenever the people from other cities and towns in the state and the country visit the capital they called it a conservative place or a ‘sleepy town’. However, Thiruvananthapuram will no longer be termed the ‘City of Babus’ (city of government servants). A huge retail revolution is all set to storm the city. More malls and outlets of international brands are planning to open their facilities in the capital city.
The realtors based in the city have already started branding the IT corridor from Chackai to Kazhakoottam as the ‘New Trivandrum’ since a lot of development is happening along this stretch. According to them, there will be a paradigm shift in the area very soon in terms of development.
S N Reghuchandran Nair, governing council member of CREDAI and president of Trivandrum Chamber of Commerce said all the fresh developments are centered in and around NH bypass.
“The opening of a new mall is a good sign and it could be the first step towards a major retail revolution in the city. Earlier, the techies didn’t prefer Thiruvananthapuram as their job location due to lack of leisure and entertainment facilities. Many people have asked for a transfer out of here due to the absence of mall and retail giants. Now, the things are changing. Many retail giants have already opened their exclusive stores here and many more are coming,” Nair said.
Four shopping destinations to come up
Making a mark in the retail space, three malls are coming up near NH 66 bypass. Another mall is coming up at Pattoor, which is very close to the bypass road. The first mall project in the city is ‘Mall of Travancore’ by Malabar group at Chackai near Trivandrum International Airport.
According to the promoters of the project, the mall will be opened on March 23. More than 150 brands, including local, national and international, have already leased out space in the mall spread over 6.5 lakh square feet in three floors. Apart from the hypermarket apparel shops, food courts and multiplex will also be opened.
The next mall project, which will come up in the city will be at Pattoor, is owned by Artech relators. Sources said the commercial space of the Artech group has been leased out by the Future group to start its retail branch ‘Central’ in the city. It is expected to be opened in May. The total development area is around one lakh sq ft across basement+ground+ four upper floors. Parking is available in the basement and surface; retail space over the ground, first floor, and second floor; multiplex and food court over the third and fourth floor with four screens. The Future group had already opened the Central brand in Kochi four years ago at MG road.
Another two major commercial projects near the bypass road are the Lulu Mall project at Akkulam and Embassy Taurus World Technology Centre at Technopark phase- III campus. Lulu Mall, the second mall-cum-hotel project is expected to be opened in November 2019 while the first phase of Taurus project is expected to be completed in 2020. The upcoming Lulu Mall envisages investments of Rs 2,000 crore and is expected to generate 5,000 jobs. It will be coming up in over 20 acres of land. It will also feature 200 international brands, the Lulu Hypermarket, food courts, ice skating rink, a nine-screen multiplex, entertainment centre for kids, and parking space for 3,000 cars.
The Taurus downtown project also includes a 175 key business hotel to be operated by Hilton. The office space to be branded as Embassy Taurus World Technology Centre will also have plug-and-play facilities for startups and small businesses. On completion, Taurus Downtown is expected to generate 35,000 direct employment and about 75,000 indirect employment.
Kishore Kutty, general manager, Mall of Travancore, told Express they had chosen Thiruvananthapuram since the people in the city badly need a mall and commercial space having international brands. “Earlier, the people used to go to Kochi for buying international brands and they used to hang out at the Museum or Shanghumugham beach. This has to change. Our mall has everything for the people under a single roof. There will be events on a daily basis in the mall to entertain people,” he said. He also expects at least 35,000 footfalls daily. Naveen Shekhar, a techie based in Technopark said he feels happy that a mall is finally coming up in the city. “Not only me, a large number of youngsters based in the city have been waiting for a mall in the city. We finally got at least one for a time being,” he said.