About Brooke-fields - Mall signals arrival of Coimbatore
As Coimbatore city slowly warms up to its first mall , what strikes one is that the city seems to have finally arrived.
The Rs 200-crore-plus Brookefields Plaza on Krishnaswamy Road is a classic case of how an initiative, which comes at a time when a city is mature enough to receive it, becomes an instant hit.
In any Tier-II city, a mall spread over 5 lakh sq.ft and sporting some of the biggest brands names as tenants could have a positive impact on its citizens because the city would have been longing for such a facility.
This was what Mr M. Balasubramaniam, Director, Brookefields Estates Pvt Ltd, Coimbatore, seized upon when he saw a large vacant site where the mighty Brookebond factory once stood.
Explaining how the idea of a mall in Coimbatore came up, he said business should recognise what society needs and try to fulfil these needs.
This was what his company did when it built Spencer Plaza on Anna Salai in Chennai. It saw a gap in ‘convenience shopping', and tried to close this gap by putting up the first mall in India way back in 1987.
When he came to Coimbatore and saw this land, Mr Balasubramaniam said that to get such a ‘beautiful parcel of land in such a great location is a one-time opportunity', and thought he could probably fulfil a need for a place where people could conveniently shop and relax. The idea of a mall-cum-multiplex with a hotel cropped up.
Mr Balasubramaniam said in Brookefields Plaza there were some new concepts, like Mom & Me store of the Mahindra Retail, and among the tenants were international and national brands of repute — Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, Pepe Jeans, Wills Lifestyle, Reebok, Van Heusen, Max, Tata's Westside, Reliance Trends, Reliancedigital, Odyssey, to name a few.
Mr Balasubramaniam said his company has also tried to ‘zone-in' the mall floor-wise for the convenience of the shoppers — like allotting ground floor for lifestyle stores, first floor for men's wear, second floor for women and children, third floor for books, food-court, fine dining, fun and entertainment, electronics and so on. He said the mall would also be home to the first multiplex in the city with six screens and about 1,600 seats.
The multiplex has been leased out to Big Cinema of Mr Anil Ambani's group. The food court, spread over 25,000 sq.ft, would serve national and international cuisines. There would be a fine dining area with several restaurants. The idea was to bring brands that are ‘non-existent in Coimbatore' and bring a new level of lifestyle dining.
Mr Ashwin Balasubramaniam, General Manager, Brookefields Estates, said the average daily footfall was around 10,000. When all the shops are opened, he expected the footfall to go up to 40,000-50,000 a day during the weekends and the daily footfall could be 20,000-25,000.