Shopping Malls Swing Property Prices in Chandigarh

By: George Gonigal

Chandigarh's strategic location makes it a real estate hot-spot of north-India. It is the nucleus of all business activities for neighbouring areas. Traditionally, Sectors 14, 17, 18 and 22 are popular for their high-street retailing. While Sector 18 and 22 are popular for hardware goods, apparels, shoes etc. Sector 17 hosts top retailer brands and thus draws a very elite crowd.

However, the concept of retailing is changing here. The advent of organised retailing has changed the real estate profile of Chandigarh. Presently, the city has small-time shopping arcades like V3S mall, Mega mall, City Mart etc. Popular retail house - Ebony - is located in Sector 9. This multi-product store has alliances with Wordsworth, Planet M and Ivory Store to cater to niche requests like books, music cassettes and designer apparels respectively.

Besides this, real estate developer Realtech group have started the construction of City Emporio Mall, next to Tribune Chowk. The mall will sprawl over an area of 2.5 lakh sq ft and will be operational by November 2008.

Recently, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) permitted the construction of two malls in Sector 5, Panchkula. Panchkula, though under the Haryana municipal boundaries, is located near Chandigarh and serves as an extension of the city.

All these developments, have brought Chandigarh on India's retail map. With this, the property rates for commercial spaces have also hiked. Property dealer PS Kang cites it as a positive development. 'The advent of this mall culture has attracted a lot of commercial buyers. Almost every retail brand has its presence in Chandigarh or is in the expansion mode here. And this affects the property prices directly and is good for the market. This creates a strong demand in the market. Today 2 acre of commercial land in the Industrial Area is being sold for Rs 1.5 crore. It seems like an unfair deal but this is what commercial properties are fetching in Chandigarh.'

Kang has been dealing with for almost 12 years now and agrees that this is one of the best phases for the realty market. With such positive indications, one can only hope that the city's commercial squares will witness a boom in future.

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