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Old Posted Feb 21, 2007, 11:15 PM
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Walk-free feel to new mall sprawl

A neighbourhood downtown, with the retail-entertainment-hospitality experience unfolding in a city-walk format.

That’s the theme for a Downtown dream, being scripted by Bengal Unitech Universal in New Town, Rajarhat, as part of its 100-acre condominium complex Uniworld City.

Lifestyle retail and convenience kiosks, books and music, cafes and diners across 300,000 sq ft of premium built space. Plus, a boutique hotel with 120-plus rooms and a five-screen multiplex.

“The goal is to create a world-class outdoor retail experience reflecting global trends in retail entertainment development while responding to local culture and traditions. We hope to get Downtown ready by Puja 2009,” Ajay Chandra, director, Bengal Unitech Universal, told Metro from Gurgaon.

The overall design of the Rs 100-crore project was done by RMJM Asia, while Forrec of Canada was commissioned to create the destination retail/entertainment development in the form of a low-height, double-storey sprawl.

The design works on the principle of creating streets and public spaces similar to a small downtown area and will feature lots of intimate spaces. “This design employs a simple modified ‘dumb-bell’ plan where anchor attractions are separated by public spaces to stimulate traffic flow,” explains Steven Shah of Forrec.

Major brands will be located along the main street. The large anchor attractions, the boutique hotel and the cineplex provide critical mass at both ends, while smaller shops lend a local character and variety to the inside streets.

“The streets allow for visual connections and easy transitions from private to public areas,” adds NRI businessman Prasoon Mukherjee, also director of Bengal Unitech Universal, a joint venture between Universal Success Group and Unitech Ltd.

Large restaurants with terraces have been suggested for the main plaza to provide an architectural focal point and activate the plaza with outdoor dining areas.

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