The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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16-storey Hilton hotel on Bypass
- DLF outbids ITC, Rahejas in plot race

Calcutta, July 22: The city's tallest deluxe destination is likely to be a 16-storey hotel bearing the haloed name Hilton.

Delhi-based DLF today scooped up the plot for the project off EM Bypass by stumping up Rs 154 crore, continuing a sizzling run in an equally hot real estate market in resurgent Calcutta.

Only last week, the com-pany won the bid to build a township at Dankuni, about 20 km from Calcutta, by offering Rs 2,713 crore for 5,000 acres.

Today, DLF outbid ITC and the Raheja group to acquire the 5.54-acre Calcutta Metropolitan Corporation plot.

A DLF spokesperson said it plans to build a five-star deluxe hotel on the plot in partnership with Hilton International. 'DLF has tied up with Hilton to develop 100 hotels in the country. The Calcutta property will be one of them. We'll build a 16-storey hotel here.'

The company is not ready to spell out more details, but the hotel is likely to be ready in about four years.

In April, DLF had lost out to Emaar-MGF in the race for another plot off the Bypass by a whisker. Emaar-MGF, a Delhi-Dubai joint venture company, had paid Rs 213 crore or about Rs 33.6 crore an acre.

Emaar-MGF and DLF's hotels will come up a stone's throw from the five-star deluxe ITC Sonar Bangla. They will also not be far off from Hyatt Regency, another five-star property, and the proposed Inter Continental hotel at Rajarhat.

ITC yesterday announced that it would add 300 rooms to its existing establishment.

Industry veterans said the constellation of so many top-class properties would not pose a problem for hoteliers if business develops in the city according to the present trend.

S.S. Mukherjee, the vice-chairman and managing director of the Oberoi Group, said Calcutta can add some more hotels given the positive outlook on the state and the city. For projects to be viable after the purchase of land at such phenomenal prices, room rents have to go up, he added.

The average room rent in Calcutta is still the lowest among metros. While a five-star deluxe room costs Rs 4,000 on average here, the same would cost Rs 9-11,000 in Delhi and Mumbai and Rs 19,000-20,000 in Bangalore.

Even Chennai has an average room rent of Rs 6,500.

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