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    Open-air malls from BIG Shopping Centres

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    Israel-based plans to develop 60 open malls across India, and has earmarked Rs 9, 600 crore investment for next 10 years.

    , a joint venture of Israel-based BIG Shopping Centres and US-based Lehman Brothers, will develop malls spanning an area of about 24 million square feet.

    “The initial plan is to roll out 60 shopping centres in the country, which will be based on our ‘open mall’ concept. For this venture, we have earmarked an investment of 2.4 billion dollars,” , director, BIG India Malls Pvt. Ltd, said in a statement.

    “Open mall is a new concept here, with provision for free parking. The structures will be up to maximum ground, plus one level with large free area. There will be no entertainment or hang-around zones as these are meant for hardcore shopping,” Zeev added.

    The company plans to roll out the first mall at Thane, Mumbai, in November this year, with 5.5 acres of retail space. “ has already been signed as anchor for the ground floor, while the company is in talks with other brands,” informed Zeev.

    After Thane, the company plans to launch such malls in Bengaluru, Vadodara, Nagpur, Bhopal and Pune. “The Bengaluru mall will be completed by 2009. Besides metros, our main focus will be tier II and III cities,” said Zeev.