We are focusing on integrated, mixed-use retail destinations

Written by Mona Mehta | Updated: Nov 16 2009, 08:52am hrs
Phoenix Mills Ltd managing director Atul Ruia, a third generation entrepreneur from the Ruia family, has been instrumental in setting up and managing premier retail destination, High Street Phoenix at Lower Parel, a 2.5-million sq ft integrated mixed-use development comprising residential, commercial and retail space. Ruia spoke to FEsMona Mehta on how he is further reinventing the space with the opening of Shangri-La and Mumbais first luxury retail destinationPalladiumat a time when six similar Phoenix Market City Projects are at various stages of development.

Tell us about the background of Phoenix Market City and its position today in the Indian real estate market

Phoenix Market City is a concept of large scale retail-led mixed use development. Phoenix Mills Ltd has successfully created and made operational one such concept in Mumbai branded as High Street Phoenix. A Phoenix Market City is typically a city centre development between 2.5 to 4.5 mn sq ft in size and comprising retail, commercial offices (if there is an inherent demand at that location) and a 4/5 star hotel. The Phoenix Market Cityz is designed to be a high-footfall destination with ample open spaces, plazas, etc with entertainment and leisure forming a significant component of the retail areas.

We believe that such a mixed-use development can unlock the true value of real estate.

What are your real estate expansion plans in India

We are in the process of developing a compelling and yield-generating real estate footprint across the country. The vision of our company is to capture the Indian consumer spend through a diversified basket of high yield generating retail and hospitality assets across the country. We aim to achieve our vision by organic growth through Phoenix Market Cities that are being developed directly by us at tier-I Indian cities and inorganically through our investments in Big Apple Real Estate Pvt Ltd and Entertainment World Developers Pvt Ltd that are focused developers of smaller mixed use developments in tier-II and III cities.

What is your take on the revival of the Indian real estate market What are your views on the price correction in the local real estate market

Since 2005 until mid of 2008, the Indian real estate market saw an unprecedented growth fuelled by FDI. The last 15 months have seen correction in valuation and have been a test of reasonableness. We continue to have faith in the Indian consumption story which is a fact based on the growing middle class, higher expendable income and credit facilities. In our opinion, there is significant potential for growth of Indian real estate at reasonable values.

Tell us how many retail projects similar to Phoenix Mills, apart from residential and commercial projects, are Phoenix Market City planning to launch

High Street Phoenix is our operational development located at Lower Parel Mumbai. Currently we have six similar Phoenix Market City Projects at various stages of development.

What are your key ongoing real estate projects in the commercial, residential and retail segment

They are Phoenix Market City, each in Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Agra and two in Bangalore.