Published On:June 18 2008
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Mani plans more investment in retail sector

Kolkata: Kolkata-based real estate company Mani Group plans to execute projects worth Rs 3,000 crore over the next four years across the country, with a majority of project being in the retail segment.

In long term, the company would also consider tapping the capital market through an initial public offer to fund the growth plans, said Subesh Ray, senior vice president and head of marketing of the Mani Group, on the sidelines of the launch of Mani Square, a shopping mall on Kolkata's Eastern Metropolitan Bypass.

Funds for projects would be raised through internal accruals and bank loans, he said.

The company would focus on retail development in the coming years and around Rs 2,000 crore was earmarked for the purpose.

Mani Group planned to build shopping malls in Jaipur, Durgapur, Siliguri, Bhubaneswar and east of Kolkata at Bantala.

Put together, the constructions would add around 2 million square feet of shopping space in its portfolio.

Mani was planning to build a 100 acre project called 'IQ City' in Durgapur costing around Rs 2,000 crore in the next seven years.

The project would have a medical college and retail facility, apart from residential units.

Land for the project had already been purchased, said Ray.

'We had to face several cost escalations and delay in constructing Mani Square,' admitted Lou Armstrong, chief operating officer of Mani Square.

The initial project cost of Mani Square was pegged at Rs 270 crore, which increased by at least 20 per cent due to rise in the price of raw materials over the last one year, particularly steel, said Ray.

Major brands at the mall included Spencer's Hyper, Westside, E-Zone and McDonalds.

Other brands with booked space included Costa Coffee, Forest Essentials, Chique, Foxx, and Rado, among others.

The 14 acre mall site had built-up area of 7,10,000 square feet, out of which around 60 per cent was for retail.

The mall also offered 1,00,000 square feet of office space, 25,000 square feet of banquet and business centre space and multi-level parking facility for 1,500 cars.

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