IF THE way you do business is changing, where you do business should also follow suit, right? And what if we told you that you could mix a bit of pleasure too along with business? If you’ve been to Delhi Aerocity lately, you’ll know what we’re talking about.
Across the world, mixed-use realty projects— retail outlets, food courts and office spaces all under one roof—have proved to be advantageous for both developers, as well as buyers, making them a preferred choice for many. In India, there are already several examples of such projects—existing and upcoming—such as Inorbit Mall (Mumbai), Nirmal Lifestyle (Mumbai), Phoenix Marketcity (Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai), Express Avenue (Chennai), Supertech Supernova Spira (Noida), etc.
Now, close to a decade after getting approval for construction, Aerocity—a 45-acre complex near Delhi’s international airport that was set up as a transit hub—is fast becoming the next big leisure destination in the national capital.
Sample this: you’re a business traveller and staying at one of the nine operational hotels (three more are under various stages of development, as per reports) at Aerocity. You want to unwind with some retail therapy. No problem; just call up the reception at Central—Future Group’s high-street fashion store at Aerocity—and a golf cart will arrive to pick you up.
As you enter the massive 1,50,000-sq-ft mall, spread across four levels, you’re spoilt for choice. There are over 500 national and international brands on offer. Just hop on to another golf cart to explore the huge store. While you’re making your choice—whether it’s Tommy Hilfiger, Guess, Gucci or Michael Kors—you might want to enlist a shopping assistant to help you. While you’re at it, you can also avail of the store’s complimentary Wi-Fi and finish those last-minute online chores.
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Can’t decide what to buy? Reserve any product you like for 48 hours—without any charge—order it via WhatsApp and have it delivered to your doorstep. Since Central gets a lot of international tourists, the store also offers on-the-spot VAT refund for purchases made by them.
Now, say, you are travelling from Gurugram to south Delhi or vice-versa, and it’s lunch time. Just take a detour from NH-8 near Mahipalpur and head to Worldmark 1 at Aerocity. The commercial block, one of the three adjacent buildings (Central store is housed in Worldmark 3) spread across a mammoth 14,00,000-sq-ft space and managed by Bharti Realty, houses Delhi’s “largest food court” called Food Capital. Spread across 55,000-sq-ft and with a sitting capacity of more than 600, the food court offers more than 17 live counters at the moment.
From chhole bhature at Bikanerwala to kebabs and rolls at Khan Chacha, corn and cheese momos at Wow! Momo to chicken pepperoni pizzas at Pizza Hut, you are spoilt for choice. Other leading names that are currently operational include Subway, Karim’s, Biryani Blues, Keventers, Street Foods of India, Asia Seven, Giani, etc.
If you happen to visit the food court in the near future, you can stop by for a burger or coffee at Epicuria, a consortium of restaurants that is currently tucked up under the Nehru Place Metro station in Delhi and will soon make its presence felt at Worldmark 1. As per sources, Epicuria will take up over 60,000 sq ft of the building.
Food Capital takes on a different tinge towards weekends, as it features upcoming bands and live instrumental performances on Friday afternoons. “Worldmark has been hosting laughter shows at Food Capital by popular stand-up comedians like Amit Tandon, Sorabh Pant and Atul Khatri, to name a few, and the response has been overwhelming. Worldmark will also be the venue partner for one of India’s biggest international film festivals and awards—the Global Impact International Film Festival & Awards (GIFFA) 2017—to be held in June,” says a Bharti Realty spokesperson.
Bharti Realty is also planning to host Oktoberfest 2017 at Worldmark later this year. These activities have been conceptualised to create a work-life balance, as a host of high-profile companies are already operational at Aerocity, particularly at Worldmark 2. In all, Worldmark comprises around 9,00,000-sq-ft office space, hosting giants such as Ernst & Young, Airbus, Goods and Service Tax Network, Credit Agricole, Industrial Bank of Korea and Hike, to name just a few. “Worldmark 2 comprises Fortune 500 companies with efficient workspaces and floor-to-ceiling height of over 11 feet. Very high lobby areas mean airier and comfortable rooms. With over 7 lakh sq ft area leased out, almost 80% of Worldmark is now home to some of the biggest names in global trade and commerce,” says the spokesperson, adding that Worldmark Aerocity is already seeing a footfall of 55,000-60,000 per month, which will only grow in the future.
On an average, 1.3 lakh travellers use the Delhi airport everyday and about half of them are business travellers visiting the city for a day or two. With Aerocity now being fully operational, there is a huge change expected in how business travellers work and network without stepping out of the vicinity of the airport.
Coming soon: an underground walkway that will connect all the three buildings of Worldmark. “This is poised to become the talk of the town, as it’s designed to replicate an underground tropical rainforest. The walkway will also have restaurants and an open gallery space for artworks,” says the spokesperson.