The Telegraph
Monday , September 5 , 2016
 
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Godrej to develop prime city plot

Calcutta, Sept. 4: Godrej Properties, the real estate arm of the $4.1-billion conglomerate, has scooped up a 21-acre land parcel in Calcutta, with potential to launch one of the largest projects in the city.

The Mumbai-based company will partner city-based display advertising agency Selvel for the 3 million square feet project, which will be launched in 2017.

"We have formed a joint venture with Selvel, the owner of the plot located in Joka. Master planning for the project is going on now," Sriram Iyer, business head (south & east) of Godrej Properties, said.

Industry sources said the local partner had owned the land for decades, which was used for manufacturing. At one point of time, the plot was considered suitable for a software and hardware special economic zone.

The project will be jointly developed by Godrej Properties and Selvel and the profit will be shared.

It will easily rank as the largest project in the Behala-Joka area, which has seen a flurry of real estate activities in recent years after work on the Joka-Esplanade metro route began. At 3 million sq ft, it will also be one of the top 10 projects in Bengal.

The development also marks the return of a national real estate player to Calcutta, which has been dominated by local firms. Given the small market size in Calcutta, only a handful of the national developers have entered the scene. Companies such DLF and Unitech have not returned for new projects.

Godrej was one of the early birds when it started Prakriti, a 2.7 million sq ft project in Sodepur, which changed the real estate landscape of the northern suburb of Calcutta by turning BT Road into a prominent destination.

The company has handed over two phases, while construction for the third phase is going on. It is planning another phase with three towers. After the mid-segment Prakriti, Godrej took up a luxury boutique in Alipore having 36 apartments of 3,500-5,000 sq ft each. However, it has so far managed to sell only 20 per cent of the stock. "We will launch fresh marketing initiative since the project has received occupation certificate," Iyer said.

Godrej, which has also built two IT parks in Salt Lake's Sector V, said it was hungry for more projects in Calcutta even though not all its projects were successful.

Launches decline

Calcutta witnessed a 12 per cent decline in project launches in the first half of 2016 with the mid-segment market, where Godrej's new development is likely to be placed, crashing 70 per cent.

According to a report of international real estate consultant Cushman & Wakefield, a total of 5,480 units were launched against 6,210 during the same period of 2015.

However, launches in the affordable and luxury segments went up. Capital value remains largely unchanged over the last one year because of a weak market with new projects being launched at the same price point as the previous one.


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