Kochi metro to link stations to commercial properties The cold response to the initiative of Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) for leasing out its commercial space in Metro stations seems to have forced the agency to think out-of-box. It has now offered to provide direct connectivity to commercial properties, similar to the bridge that connects Edappally Metro station and Lulu Mall. Businesses should give an expression of interest (EoI) to initiate the process.

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In a commercial properties expo hosted by KMRL for prospective lessees, KMRL managing director APM Mohammed Hanish said the Metro is open to set up walking bridges to private enterprises.

“Just based on the fare box collection, no Metro in the world has been successful, including the ones in Hong Kong and Singapore. It has been the creation of enormous realty assets and their returns that is propelling them forward. So based on this premise, all the 16 stations from Aluva to Maharaja’s College Ground, have world-class commercial spaces that can be utilized. We are open to the idea of having commercial and business institutions setting up direct connectivity to the Metro stations, similar to what has been initiated by Lulu Mall. It enhances the reputation of both institutions and would result in enormous increase in footfall. Edappally is just the beginning and we are trying to initiate similar tie-ups as soon as possible,” said Mohammed Hanish, while speaking at the event.

Currently, KMRL has over 1.35 lakh sq ft within the Metro stations, which they plan to lease out. Apart from this, they have an additional five acres of land outside the Metro station premises. Hanish said KMRL is open to joint ventures in these plots based on the expression of interest sent to them.

The commercial properties expo on Tuesday aimed to highlight the real estate assets of KMRL to potential leaders in the city with hopes of enhancing their nonticketing revenue. Thirman Archunan, Director (Projects), KMRL said that KMRL, which will celebrate one year of operations in June, earns a daily revenue of around Rs 15 lakhs from ticketing. Their daily revenue from non-ticketing sources is around Rs 12 lakhs, which is mostly earned from advertising.

“Currently the daily cost of operations comes to around Rs. 37 lakh. We have another Rs 10 lakh to bridge breakeven, which we expect to do by around March 2019,” said Archunan.

Though KMRL had issued tenders for leasing out their properties earlier this year, only 20% of their reality has been leased out.

Out of the 20% area that has been leased out, three office spaces were taken by banks. Other retail outlets have been leased out to enterprises like retail stores, bakeries and book stalls. Currently, there are around 96 retail spaces and 9 office spaces that are open for lease. KMRL officials said among the stations, Aluva Metro has been of keen interest to prospective lessees.

Info- https://realty.economictimes

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