While the complex was approved for construction in 2007, the first of the 12 hotels could come up only in 2012 as the final clearance from the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) and Delhi Police came late.
“The world over, wherever there is airport development, retail and hospitality offices come up. Aerocity, too, is seeing such mixed use,” said Anuj Puri, chairman and country head, JLL India. Already, Aerocity is starting to become a major commercial complex and within the next six months to a year, it will grow further, Puri added. “The development has been slow due to the time taken to get all the approvals; something so international should have come up earlier than later.”
Stakeholders agree. Recently, Future Group’s Kishore Biyani launched his 34th large format retail store, Central, in Aerocity. “The full realisation of the Aerocity project in terms of food courts, connectivity etc is expected by December,” said Vishnu Prasad, CEO, Central.
According to Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), Aerocity has nine operational hotels, three more under various stages of development, plus the commercial blocks anchored by Worldmark 1, 2 and 3.
“DIAL has developed a master plan for the entire airport area including commercial developments at various land parcels. The activation of commercial development opportunities within this master plan is pursued after taking into account existing market dynamics and the needs of airport ecosystem,” said a DIAL spokesperson.
He added that other than a few properties where there were delays, most of the commercial complexes have been cleared and are up and running. “In case of hospitality district, after the initial discussions among various stakeholders, BCAS and Delhi Police had laid out clear set of mandates and guidelines for developments. In accordance with these guidelines... most of these have been up and running,” said the spokesperson.
Experts believe its close proximity to Gurgaon, South Delhi and Dwarka makes it an ideal commercial hub.
Among the prominent corporate real estate tenants with operational offices in the area are consultancy firm EY, Airbus, Goods and Service Tax Network, and Hike, among others. “Although retail space at Worldmark is yet to become operational, fit-outs for the food court, Epicuria, and the anchor, Central, are underway. The brand mix is expected to be fairly diverse, with global F&B brands, and experiential shopping and leisure opportunities likely to be a part of the development,” said the DIAL spokesperson.
Worldmark, a mixed-use development at Aerocity offering nearly 1.4 million square feet of investment-grade corporate real estate and retail space, has been developed by Bharti Realty, a 100 per cent subsidiary of Bharti Enterprises.
Hotels in Aerocity are on an average seeing 70–80 per cent occupancy, say executives. Currently, about 2,300 hotel rooms are operational in the area, while 2,800 more in around five hotels are under construction and expected to get operational in a phased manner.