Commercial space up for grabs in Kochi metro stations

Auction to be held from December 13 to 15

Buoyed by the response to the leasing out of 311 kiosk spaces at Kochi metro stations, Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) is toying with the idea to lease out the balance 35,000 sq ft of commercial space in the stations to offices, supermarkets and other ventures.

Entrepreneurs took over the around 200 of the 311 kiosk spaces at metro stations in the Aluva-Pettah corridor, at an auction held earlier this month to mobilise revenue from non-ticketing sources for the metro’s operation and maintenance. Yet another auction of rest of the commercial spaces will be held from December 13 to 15. A key area of focus will be to lease out 8,000 sq ft of space at Aluva station and 9,000 sq ft at Ernakulam South station. They would be apt for supermarkets – each of which need an average of 3,000 sq ft area, metro sources said.

As for lease conditions, there are two options – the monthly rental or the revenue sharing models. This will be finalised after discussions with stakeholders who come forward to take over the spaces. Yet another plan that KMRL had — to hand over vacant spaces near/at metro stations to entrepreneurs on long-term lease, following which they would be permitted to construct a building on mutually-agreeable terms — has been temporarily put on hold. This is because most firms would prefer ventures within stations, they added.

17-acre farm

In the meantime, KMRL has tied up with the Horticulture Department to ready a farm in 17.43 acres of government land in Kakkanad that was handed over to it a year ago for its ₹3,000-crore Bliss City project. The project was envisaged as a modern entertainment zone, a wellness and wholesome entertainment destination for Kochiites and tourists, the revenue from which would be used for the metro’s operation and maintenance. The land will be used for farming, until a solid plan emerges on making optimal utility of the space, it is learnt.

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