Of the million sq. ft. Phoenix Market City that marks the convergence of shopping, dining, entertainment, art, architecture and design

Ah the whiff of fresh paint…the delightful smell of all things new. The two-day old Phoenix Market City in Velachery is like a gift that’s just been unwrapped. It’s shining, sparkling clean and while some of the store owners are still busy setting up shop, the mall rats have already begun discovering their latest haunt.

Spread over a million sq. ft. Phoenix Market City houses 300-plus stores, with four-and-a-half levels of shopping area and a food court, a basement as well as a multi-level car park, a 30-room boutique hotel, an apartment complex, an amphitheatre and a club.

A joint venture of Phoenix Mills and Sharyans Resources, this is the fourth in the series of Phoenix malls after Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru. “This mall is a convergence of shopping, dining, entertainment, art, architecture and design. It’s about presenting a destination to the city. Malls are becoming the nerve centres of cities. This is a mall where people of Chennai would like to congregate. It’s where a day can be well spent,” says Vijay Choraria, managing director, Sharyans Resources.

So, what’s exciting about the mall? It brings to Chennai some of the biggest brands from across the country and the globe. The list includes…hold your breath…Mango, Manchester United, Steve Madden, Promod, Superdry, Brooks Brothers, Esbeda and many others in addition to the already existing Lifestyle, Pantaloons, AND, Global Desi, Charles & Keith, Aldo, MAC, Globus, Indian apparel outlets such as Begum etc. There are electronic stores such as Access, Poorvika, home décor outlets, stores for new born babies and lots more. “We’ve ensured there is a good mix of shops for every age group in this inclusive mall,” says Choraria.

Also, Chennai’s wait for its own Hard Rock Café can now end. The popular chain is scheduled to open in the next of couple of months. Spaghetti Kitchen, Nando’s, California Pizza Kitchen too will set up shop at this mall with a host of other fine dining options as well.

The food court has 11 counters set up by Moti Mahal Express, ID, KFC, Domino’s, Wow Momo, Nala’s Aappakadai, China Wall, Arabian Hut, Kailash Parbat, Fruit Punch and Kwality Walls.

This mall has been designed by Benoy, a Hong-Kong based company. “Not just shopping and dining, Phoenix Market City is also about promoting art. We have sculptures by artists from all over India. The installations on display will keep changing every few months,” Choraria adds.

As of now the installation ‘Apocalyptron’ made of plastic cans by Thukral and Tagra, resembling a Transformer is the centre of attention with enthusiastic mall goers taking photographs with it. A large sculpture of a woman’s face made by Ravindra Reddy too gets quite a few flashbulbs.

Sathyam Cinemas will launch their next theatre here. Titled Luxe, this theatre spells opulence. It will also house Chennai’s first IMAX theatre. The lobby looks straight out of a glitzy night club in Paris. With black and white tiles, glittery wall panels, high ceiling, velvet drapes and 11 screens to choose from this sure is a theatre to lookout for.

The team is certain that the mall will do well here. “Chennai is a great market. This city is still very traditional, yet modern. It is true representation of modern India,” says Choraria.

Asked about competition, Choraria adds, “Express Avenue Mall is the best location-wise. It’s a great mall. But I am sure this city can do with two great malls. These are at two ends of the city. Velachery is the extension of the new Mount Road.”

As of now only 130 stores are open. By March the mall should be fully functional and will also organise quite a few events.

Children can keep themselves amused at Fun City or at the Scary House where skeletons among other spooky things can make them giggle, shriek or cry.

Luxury gets a new address as the Phoenix rises in Chennai.