"'It's completely open to the roadway, without compromising the enclosed-mall concept,' said Nicolas Kyriacos, managing director of Bentel Associates International, a South African architectural firm. 'As you drive past it, you can see the guts of it.' Kyriacos designed the mall, which aspires to be the shopping hub for residents of Mumbai's northern suburbs.
The mall sits on an 80-acre plot that will contain office, hotel and residential space. Currently, Gokuldham, one of the largest middle-class residential developments in the area, provides traffic to the mall. 'Besides that, the fact that it is located on the Film City Road and en route to work for many film and TV stars also helps,' said Bhupesh Singh, principal consultant at market research firm Technopak.
Oberoi Mall's glitzy design symbolizes the new era in Indian retail. About eight years ago existing centers were mainly a hangover of the old Indian bazaars - a slew of stores thrown together under one roof. Over the past three years, as the Indian economy has soared, developers have been building Western-style malls, some better than others."