In a first-of-its-kind initiative, promoters and senior executives of 64 malls of north India came together on a common platform to discuss rent defaulter issues concerning the fraternity. Mall penetration is more in north India as compared to other regions of the country and the region took the lead in a meeting held at Hotel Intercontinental Grand, New Delhi on December 1.
The bone of contention arised as developers are said to have leased their properties at reasonable and mutually agreed terms, in spite of high cost of construction material over the past couple of years. Now, in the wake of the prevailing economic meltdown, a few retailers allegedly tried to extract unwarranted gains by pressing requests for renegotiation in terms of the signed leases on the pretext that other developers aredoing this. Developers sensed a foul play and decided to address the issue by way of sharing real time information with fellow developers.
Thus, it is mutually agreed upon to end the arm twisting tactics by preparing a rent defaulters’ list to identify retailers asking for renegotiation or/and defaulting on payment and not honouring agreed and signed letter of intent (LOI)/agreements, thereby, not to own up responsibility for those who are not confident of their own credentials. Whereas, all retailers doing good business in malls who have strong business modules would be supported by offering them strategic tie-ups in new properties at preferential rentals.
Informs Arif Sheikh, COO, Ansal API, “The idea is not to create a union or a typical association to promote vested interests of the developers’ community but to optimise the benefits for all concerned in the shopping centre business with a cooperative approach to promotional activities. The focus is business-oriented to facilitate sharing of real time information and find solutions to pertinent issues. Consequently, this platform is meant only for the decision makers who can bring about a positive difference. Only the senior most company officials are to be seen in this forum. While the first meeting saw a participation from 64 malls in north India, the next meeting on December 6 will have 99 per cent participation with 104 decision makers from the mall developers fraternity in north India.”