In bragging rights for who’s got the biggest, impressive buildings are a frequent battleground (Erotic Gherkin, anyone?). In the old days, they were monuments stocked with semiprecious stones, and the craftsmen were blinded after completion; today, they’re miles-long malls with built-in ice rinks, Prada stores and rugrats in tow:
Menon… is embarking on his new venture – Sobha Global Mall — in Bangalore with a cost of Rs.15 billion ($345 million). “As of today, our upcoming mall project will be the largest in India, spread over 17 acres with a built-up area of 2.8 million sq. feet,” Menon said. “Apart from a shopping complex, an amusement park, 192-room plush hotel, convention centre, multiplex and smart offices, the mall will boast of an Olympic size ice skating rink, the first of its kind in the sub-continent,” Menon added.
How does that compare to the Mall of America, owned by the Iranian-American Ghermezian brothers? It will be 33% smaller, and that’s before the MoA’s expansion:
… the managing partner of Mall of America, wants to nearly double the size of the largest mall in the U.S. with a $1 billion, European-themed addition featuring boutiques, hotel towers, an ice rink, a concert hall and a casino.
It’s Tiffany vs. Bhindi Jewelers: I foresee a global charms race. It’s hard beating Middle Easterners for grandiosity, although Noida is trying. See Harrods and the Burj al-Arab — there’s a reason why Texans and Saudis get along.