Retail leasing may surpass the pre-pandemic levels soon: Aman Trehan

In an exclusive interview, Aman Trehan of Trehan Iris talks about the performance of retail segment in the post-Covid world and shares his business outlook.

Retail leasing may surpass the pre-pandemic levels soon: Aman Trehan
Tier 2 & 3 cities are poised to emerge as new big realty markets owing to various favourable factors.

The real estate sector quickly overcame the challenges imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Apart from the residential and commercial segment gradually picking up momentum, the retail segment is quite optimistic and witnessing positive signs of an increase in retail rentals. Various reports highlight the upbeat market sentiment as retail leasing is likely to surpass the pre-pandemic levels, says Aman Trehan, Executive Director, Trehan Iris.

In an exclusive interview with Sanjeev Sinha, Mr Trehan talks about the performance of retail segment in the post-Covid world and shares his business outlook. Excerpts:

After the quick recovery from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the real estate sector is on a growth spree currently. How do you see the growth graph moving ahead?

The real estate sector quickly overcame the challenges imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The opening of the market and business activities gaining momentum reflect the regained consumer confidence in the realty sector. Besides the residential and commercial segment gradually picking up momentum, the retail industry is quite optimistic and witnessing positive signs of an increase in retail rentals. Various reports highlight the upbeat market sentiment as retail leasing is likely to surpass the pre-pandemic levels. Various brands are confident enough in continuing their expansion plans giving a much-needed push to the sector. Organized retail has been the key contributor to the progress of the retail industry. We believe that high-end malls are likely to continue attracting investors and occupiers’ interest.

What are the new developments in your company at present and where is the company focused?

The company has its entire focus on the retail vertical at present. After bringing IRIS Techpark, a multi-functional tech park spanning close to 5 lakh sq ft on Sohna Road, the company restrategized its business approach aiming to bring in the best of the retail world in the form of exquisitely-designed retail shopping malls.

We brought the most sought-after shopping centre – “Iris Broadway” – in Sector 85 & 86, Gurugram, which is a diverse mix of retail, entertainment and hospitality. It is a 100% leased-out shopping centre and food hub located at the epicenter of New Gurugram.

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The success witnessed with Iris Broadway gave us further confidence to continue the approach and we have recently launched our most ambitious project, Iris Broadway Greno West. The mall is articulated with in-depth retail zoning and its layout is based on a lease-based model. It consists of a mall, a hotel with banquets, and an iconic office tower. It will be a premium green retail destination offering a global shopping experience.

Various reports highlight that retail leasing is reaching new heights. Besides, Tier 2 & 3 cities are also witnessing great traction in retail activities. What are your views and how upbeat is the market?

Tier 2 & 3 cities are poised to emerge as new big realty markets owing to various favourable factors. In the post-pandemic world, market dynamics and consumer behaviour are constantly evolving. Retail leasing across malls and high streets is on a growth spree. According to an industry report, cities like Lucknow, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Mohali, and Ahmedabad are likely to see the supply of close to 2 million sq ft of Grade A malls. Retailers and mall developers have realized the potential base in the tier 2 markets and increasing consumer base supported by the reverse migration of workforce and hybrid work models. The market sentiments are certainly high and upbeat as the growth trends continue to move forward on an upward trajectory.

You have recently launched Iris Broadway Greno West. Tell us about this upcoming project.

Iris Broadway Greno West is the 1st Hybrid Mall in Delhi-NCR. For the first time, we have roped in the world’s best consultants. The project is conceptualized by Benoy, UK, the team behind the famous Ferrari World and Dubai City Walk. It will be a retail-led mixed-use development. While the retail experience is designed by renowned architect – Cross Works, UK, the landscape and central atrium is designed by Uncommon Land, UK. In addition, Façade Consultant – FCD Vietnam and Parking Consultant – Secure Parking, Singapore have also been roped in for this development.

Iris Broadway will boast of an iconic Class A 30-floor office tower with a dedicated business center, gym, and terrace restaurants. This mixed-use development will also have a 100-room boutique hotel with 3 large banquets and adjoining landscaped terraces and a swimming pool with a floating bar.

Offering a hassle-free experience for shoppers and visitors, each floor has names that reflect its core purpose. The lower ground floor named ‘The Essentials’ is devoted to home & fashion essentials, and the upper ground floor named ‘Regalia’ hosts premium brands of international lineage. Considering the evolving lifestyle and fitness generation, the mall has its first floor named ‘Jumper’ earmarked for health and fitness brands. The second floor branded as Verve would fulfill the requirement of modern woman’s aspirations from office attires, wedding truseo, and fashion accessories to cafes and salons. The third floor is called “Way to the heart” created as a food paradise that would have almost all sorts of cuisine under one roof. To relish great fun times, the fourth & fifth floors named ‘Circus’ offer entertainment activity space not only for kids but for young and seniors as well. The sixth floor named ‘Aria’ is crafted exclusively for celebration and rejuvenation, having large banquets adjoining landscape terraces and rooftop restaurants.

Located in front of a proposed metro station, we are likely to cater to the 12 lakh expected population in the next 3-4 years in Greater Noida West.

What are your business expansion plans? Do you have any plan to enter Tier 2 & 3 cities?

The company is focused on commercial and retail developments. With expertise in Group Housing projects, Hi-end residences, IRIS Farms, commercial complexes, retail portfolio, IT Parks, hotels, and IRIS Aavaas, we have completed 100 plus projects in Delhi-NCR and delivered over 15 million Sq Ft area. With the rich legacy of over six decades of unprecedented experience in the field of construction and the enriched expertise in retail, we are working on bringing some marquee projects and amplifying our retail portfolio.

We have a long-term vision to establish Iris Broadway as a whole entity of our company. Therefore, we are aiming at retail projects across India. We are also planning to do a few DMS model projects under this brand utilizing our expertise in design and leasing in emerging Tier 2 markets. Tier 2 cities will have huge potential for the retail sector in the coming years and we focus on the market potential and the prospect of the region to offer the best value to our brand partners, patrons, and customers.

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