|(Top): Kolkata West International City, Howrah. (Above): Unitech City, Rajarhat
A city on the build, from office space to residential rooms. The real estate boom has been on the horizon for some time now, but 2005 was when it really loomed into focus. The realty bar in Calcutta was raised like never before ' the scale was mammoth, the names were huge, foreign was the flavour and the excitement was enormous.
We pick the two giant projects that promise to redefine realty in this part of the world.
KOLKATA WEST INTERNATIONAL CITY
WHAT: An integrated satellite township development across 390 acres with 6,100 bungalows, four residential towers, three IT parks, a 13-acre club, a 200-bed hospital, two schools, shopping malls and entertainment zones. The project cost is pegged at Rs 2,000-2,500 crore.
WHERE: In west Howrah, off Howrah-Amta Road, about 12 km from Vidyasagar Setu.
SIGNIFICANCE: 'A historic day for Bengal and the happiest in my life.' That was how Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee summed up his feelings after sealing one of the biggest foreign direct investment deals coming into India, in Jakarta on August 25.
A tripartite venture involving the Salim and Ciputra groups from Indonesia and Universal Success Group of Jakarta-based NRI Prasoon Mukherjee, with Singapore-based Surbana as project manager, Kolkata West International City will be delivered in phases by 2010.
The first 450 residential units will be handed over in December 2007, and another 608 in the next six months. Phase I will also have 70 G+2 shop-houses to accommodate traditional markets.
Phase II will see the club, the schools and the hospital come up. A health clinic, lifestyle centre and a prayer house, two shopping malls, three IT parks and four highrise residential towers are also planned.
The landed houses, with access to 10-ft-wide roads on two sides, are priced between Rs 16 lakh and Rs 72 lakh.
WHAT: A residential condominium project spread across 100 acres, with 4,000 apartments in various sizes, grand entrance plaza, clubhouse, stunning water features, elegant garden terraces, school plaza and festival ground. The investment is pegged at Rs 1,400 crore.
WHERE: New Town, Rajarhat.
SIGNIFICANCE: Uniworld City, promoted by Bengal Unitech Universal, a collaboration between upcountry real estate major Unitech Limited and Universal Success Enterprises Limited of Indonesia, is a defining project in its scale and detailing.
The master layout plan for the single largest cluster of residential stock in Calcutta has now been frozen and the first phase, comprising Gardens (404 units) and Horizon (366 units), will be delivered in 2008.
With over eight million sq ft of built space, the project has been designed by the Hong Kong office of architects and master planners RMJM.
In another first, Unitech has engaged traffic circulation experts MVA Consulting of Hong Kong to design the vehicular movement pattern in and around its project, in conjunction with Hidco.