House That: Builders Plan SRZ

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Planning experts and real estate majors say that the state government should encourage Special Residential Zones on the lines of Special Economic Zones in Hyderabad outskirts. They also urged the government to develop social infrastructure in the suburbs to decongest the core city. The Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI) recently suggested that SRZs would solve the housing problem in urban areas and would bring real estate within the reach of all and not just the privileged.

SRZs may be given special incentives and tax breaks like SEZs and this would encourage real estate developers to foray into the segment of affordable housing in a big way. "Rich people are able to purchase homes in cities and the government is taking care of the poor through Indiramma houses," said Mr Ramakant Dande, director of SLV Estates. "Middle class sections are totally neglected." He urged the Chief Minister, Dr Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy to look into the SRZ proposal, to solve this problem.

"It is high time the government improved social infrastructure such as hospitals and educational institutes in the outskirts where construction activities are taking place in a big way," said Mr G. Yoganand, secretary of the AP Builders Forum. The GHMC commissioner, Mr S.P. Singh, told this correspondent that it would take at least two years for the improvement of amenities in the outskirts on par with the core city. "We are giving top priority for developing a drainage system with Rs 1,500 crore," he said.

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Shamirpet Road India’S Longest

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The state government on Thursday approved the construction of a 30-km elevated expressway from Parade Grounds to Shamirpet at a cost of Rs 500 crore. The construction of the elevated expressway will be the part of the conversion of the Rajiv Rahadari (Hyderabad to Karimnagar) two-lane highway into a four-lane road. This will be one of the longest elevated expressways in the country. At present, the 12-km P.V. Narasimha Rao Expressway connecting the city with the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport road is the longest such construction. The Chief Minister, Dr Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy, who approved the expressway project, also cleared the construction of three four-lane roads after discussions with the Roads and Buildings Minister, Mr T. Jeevan Reddy and officials.

Apart from the Rajiv Rahadari which would be made four-lane at a cost of Rs 1,085 crore, Dr Reddy approved the conversion of Potullapattu-Naidupet Road into four-lane at Rs 450 crore and Narkatpally to Addanki road at Rs 910 crore. The government also decided collect toll tax only from commercial vehicles henceforth and allow vehicles belonging to medical services, agriculture and local residents to move freely. Mr Jeevan Reddy said the Chief Minister directed officials to prepare a detailed project report of the expressway and start works at the earliest. The minister added that roads which were damaged in recent heavy rains and floods would be repaired on war footing.

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Real Estate Firms Shun Leasing, Prefer To Sell

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Reputed real estate developers in Mumbai and many parts of the country have started selling their commercial real estate which includes office, retail and hotels, rather than leasing them out. The developers are ready to sell properties at a rate which is seen attractive by the buyers today. The appetite is to purchase, build and sell off projects, with the prospect of gaining immediate returns, according to experts. Raheja Corporation, which has huge office spaces in multiple projects spread across Pune, Hyderabad and Navi Mumbai, have started selling their office spaces. Not only that, various other subsidiaries of the Raheja Group have actually started the process of selling their office spaces across the country, including Mumbai, according to a company source.

Indiabulls Real Estate has recently started selling their office spaces based in Tulsi Pipe Road, Jupiter Mills and Elphinstone Mills. According to sources, “Indiabulls Center, which was leasing out office spaces, has now started the process of selling the office space completely.” Ashok Piramal group’s realty company Peninsula Land Ltd (PLL), which is developing commercial buildings in Ashok Gardens – a premium residential project comprising 2-, 3-, 4- and 5-bhk (bedroom, hall, kitchen) apartments located at upper Parel in Mumbai - is selling off the commercial building instead of leasing the property. Peninsula Land, which had sold off 5 lakh sq ft of Dawn Mills, is now in the process of selling complete 19 lakh sq ft. Realty major, DLF too is in the process of selling a part of its big commercial establishments instead of leasing. Competitor, Hiranandani Constructions is understood to have not entered into a single land deal since the past few months.

Anuj Puri, chairman and country head, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj, has cited various reasons behind real estate developers wanting to sell properties instead of leasing them. He said, “There are owner occupiers wanting to take the benefit increasingly of the properties on lease and wanting to buy. The lease rates are still high while there has been softening of the sale price and the builders need some cash flow.” When contacted, Sanjay Dutt, MD, Cushman & Wakefield said, “Today, real estate developers are willing to enter only those projects which can be purchased, built and sold off quickly and make money. Developers have started believing in futuristic games. Real estate market is here to continue very strongly in the long term. Real estate developers should also ensure to take steps.

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Maytas Metro Signs Concession Agreement With Govt Of AP

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Maytas Metro Limited, the Special Project Vehicle floated by Maytas Infra for Hyderabad Metro project, represented by Mr. B Teja Raju, Vice Chairman, Maytas Infra, today signed the Concession Agreement with Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited, Government of Andhra Pradesh represented by CVSK Sarma. The GoAP has awarded the Concession to the Consortium for undertaking the development of Hyderabad Metro Rail Project (MRTS) on Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) basis in the presence of Honourable Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy. Maytas Infra Limited would be executing this project in a Consortium comprising Navabharat Ventures Limited, Ital Thai Development Public Company Limited and Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Limited (‘NMII Consortium’).

The project cost as per Government of AP (GoAP) estimate is around Rs. 12,000 crores and will comprise 3 lines totaling 71km – Line 1: Miyapur to L.B. Nagar, approx length being 30 Km which will have 28 stations along the route; Line 2: Jubiliee Bus Station to Falaknuma, approx length of 15 Km with 15 stations along the route; Line 3: Nagole to Shilparamam, approx length being 26 Km with 23 stations. Additionally, GoAP is also providing development rights to the Consortium for 18.5 million sq. ft. Commenting on the development, Mr. Mohan Gurunath, CEO, Maytas Infra Assets Limited said, “We are very proud to be working on one of the biggest projects in the country.

Hyderabad Metro will be a world-class project, and will have a widespread impact on the city’s landscape and business scenario. Now with the Concession Agreement being signed, Maytas Infra along with the Consortium partners will be gearing up to execute the project on schedule and with high standards of safety and environmental norms.” The Consortium will be paying an amount to GoAP, which has a net present value equal to Rs. 1240 crores over a 34 year period – based on a discount rate used by GoAP of 13.5%. The Concession Agreement between GoAP and the Consortium is based on an initial Concession Period of 35 years (incl. construction period), and a possible extension in Concession Period of 25 years. As per the draft Concession Agreement, the project has to be constructed over a five and a half year development period. GoAP would subscribe to equity of Rs.250 crores, while various financing options are looked at for the project.

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GHMC Tax Target: Rs 1,200 Crore

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The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation has set the process in motion to collect a whopping Rs 1,200 crore from building owners and citizens in the current financial year. This will be done by improving tax collection, revising the lease and rental amounts of its property, bring unassessed property under tax net and ensure maximum collection of tax from under-assessed property and other sources. The GHMC commissioner, Mr S.P. Singh, said the corporation has fixed the targets for each of the sections. He added that the revenue will be increased substantially without effecting any hike in the existing tax structure.

The GHMC chief wants to collect Rs 750 crore towards property tax . A large number of new residential buildings have come up in the corporation limits which can earn more revenue for the corporation. "The GHMC can take up better infrastructure facilities for the convenience of citizens with increased revenue," Mr Singh said. Officials have been asked to form special teams and identify top tax defaulters and find the tax evaders.

As the main revenue of the corporation is from the property tax, the additional commissioner (finance), Mr Ramesh Babu, said there were 10.46 lakh tax payers in March 2008 which increased to 10.83 lakh in August 2008. In the previous financial year, Rs 322 crore was collected under property tax. Collection of advertisement tax, revenue on rents and leases on corporation estates and real estate property, entertainment and building permission fee and trade licenses should touch at least Rs 30 crore during the current financial year against Rs 6.62 crore in the last fiscal. "There is every possibility for a substantial increase in the advertisement revenue," the GHMC commissioner said. He added that the corporation had fixed a target of Rs 70 crore against Rs 14.58 crore collected last year. The corporation also plans to collect Rs 250 crore for building permission fee compared to Rs 118 crore collected last year. Besides, the GHMA plans to raise Rs 50 crore from trade licenses against Rs 9.89 crore collected last year.

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The Tallest Residential Buildings Are Coming Up In Hyderabad

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Some of the tallest residential buildings in the country are coming up in Hyderabad. The Aliens Group is constructing 13 30-storied residential towers at Tellapur near Gachibowli while Bharat Infratech has taken up the Iconia project, which will have 18 20-storied residential high rises offering duplex flats. Many such high-rises will dot the skyline of Hyderabad in the next three years because of the relaxation given by the high-rise committee of Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority, which has carved a separate skyscraper zone around city. Flats in these huge residential towers will offer ultra-modern facilities with swanky interiors and will be priced between Rs 75 lakh and Rs 2.5 crore. There will be around 2,200 flats in the Aliens Space Station, which will be spread over 20 acres and Iconia will have 1,500 flats in 21 acres. The projects are being built in phases and will be completed in the next three years. Realty experts say that the city will witness unprecedented vertical growth in the coming years.

“Where’s the space for independent houses in the city?” asked Mr Alluri Sitarama Raju, chairman of Bharat Infratech. “People are moving to the outskirts and apartment complexes work out cheaper than villas. High-rises are a good option.” High-rise apartment buildings are a common feature in all developed countries. “Even smaller countries such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia have huge high-rise apartments,” said Mr Raju. Mr Challa Hari, managing director of Aliens Group, said that people also insisted on living in serene environments these days. “People are tired of pollution of all kinds — air, sound and water and they are even moving away from the commercial hub for calmer environs,” said Mr Challa Hari, managing director of the Aliens Group. To feed this need, realty firms leave lot of space for greenery in luxury communities.

“Of the total 20 acres, the building will come up only in the 20 per cent and there will be lot of greenery in the remaining space,” said Mr Challa Hari. Developers have also hired world renowned consultants to take up the real estate projects. The Iconia project is conceptualised by Atkins of UK, which created the world-famous hotel Burj Al Arab in Dubai. Further, the living spaces are designed by DWP of Thailand and accessories are provided by Kohler of the United States. Landscaping is done by SCI of Singapore and the apartments are serviced by Jones Lang Le Salle Meghraj, expert in facilities management. Similarly, the Space station project has hired UK-based SMC Alsop as architect and design consultant. Experts have also been hired for smooth flow of traffic inside the premises.

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Govt Allots Seven Acres To Health City

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With the proposed 200-acre health city ‘Elixir’ at Ameenpur landing in legal wrangles, the state government has proposed another health city at Gachibowli. It has allotted seven acres land for medical institutions. The revenue department recently sent a memo to the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) informing it of the allotment of land to the medical institutions. To begin with, four acres of land has been allotted to three institutions, two acres to Asian Institute of Gastroenterology, one acre each to Rainbow Children’s Hospital and Max Vision Eye Care Hospital. The land has been given at survey no. 136 of Gachibowli village in Serilingampally mandal in Rangareddy district. The revenue department said the health institutions would provide state-of-the-art facilities to patients.

It asked the Rangareddy district collector to hand over advance possession of land to HMDA immediately. The HMDA will collect market value fixed by the government from the medical institutions for the land. “We have not given up the ‘Elixir’ city proposed at Ameenpur. Due to some land problems, we have put the project on hold,’’ a senior HMDA official said. The erstwhile HUDA had proposed ‘Elixir’ for medical tourism in 200 acres. HUDA had studied Dubai Health City to develop Elixir on the same lines. Apart from this project, Pentagon in 200 acres at Poppalguda near Gachibowli, Giga city in 2,000 acres for IT & knowledge destinations beyond Secunderabad Cantonment area were proposed. BITS Pilani has already come up in the area. Menefer, a mini township, at Budwel in 200 acres, Regal Broadway project in 150 acres next to Hyderabad International Airport and Calibre SEZ proposed at Kokapet for IT and IT Enabled Services in over 100 acres were proposed by the HUDA. However, most of these projects were shifted due to legal and other problems. The hotel corridor, Regal Broadway, was shifted to Budwel as the proposed site at Shamshabad is in the catchment areas of Himayatsagar and Osmansagar area. Pentagon city was shifted from Poppalguda to other area as it is in a heritage precinct.

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Fairmont Hotels &Amp; Resorts Debuts In Hyderabad

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Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has been appointed to manage a hotel in Hyderabad, in the capital city of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The property joins the company's collection of landmark hotels as the first Fairmont property to be announced in India.Opening in 2010, the Fairmont Hyderabad will feature 350 rooms and suites offering an elegant and relaxing atmosphere. Sustainable design will be a hallmark of the hotel, echoing Fairmont's commitment to responsible tourism. A variety of restaurants and bars will reflect the flavors of the destination and its rich tradition of culinary entertainment for both travelers and local residents to enjoy. A wide range of meeting and function space can accommodate groups of varying sizes, including a ballroom for up to 800 people, while recreational facilities include a pool and a Willow Stream Spa.

The hotel, embodying Fairmont's spirit of hospitality for more than a century, will serve as a welcoming destination for guests as well as members of the local community as they meet, celebrate or commemorate special occasions.The hotel is conveniently located near the growing business development area of the city, dubbed Cyberabad, a modern information technology and bio-technology hub and home to some of the most recognized brands in the world. The historic city of Hyderabad, which dates back more than 400 years, is known for its rich history, culture and architecture including temples, palaces and gardens. Uniquely positioned at the meeting point for North and South India, the destination attracts both leisure and business travelers. Called the city of pearls, Hyderabad is home to products locally hand-crafted and traded for centuries, such as silverware, saris, bangles and handloom-based clothing. Fairmont is partnering with MMVL Hotels Pvt Ltd., a subsidiary of the Maheshwari Group, a The real estate leader in Hyderabad. "We are very pleased to introduce the Fairmont brand to India," stated Girish Mallpani, CEO, Maheshwari Group.

"The company has a strong record of respecting and embracing the history and environment of their communities, and will deliver not only high standards of product and service but a distinctive and welcoming hospitality which celebrates our rich culture." Thomas W. Storey, President, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts said, "Announcing this development, our first in India, is an exciting milestone for our company. From the opening of our flagship hotel The Fairmont San Francisco in 1907 to planting a flag in this rapidly developing, global high-tech center, it's been an incredible journey in hospitality and we look forward to providing rich travel experiences for our guests in our newest destination." Fairmont Hyderabad joins a number of recent announcements across the globe, including Fairmont Zimbali Lodge, South Africa; Fairmont Roco Ki, Dominican Republic; Fairmont Zanzibar, Tanzania and Fairmont Beijing.

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Real Estate Developers Foresee High Growth

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According to an Ernst & Young survey on real estate developers titled ‘Realty Pulse', a majority of developers foresee the Indian real estate sector embarking on a high-growth trajectory in the long-term, despite the momentary slowdown witnessed over the last 12 months. The qualitative survey conducted by Ernst & Young across six prominent cities comprised of NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata and Bangalore and forms a part of the FICCI-Ernst & Young Real Estate Report.

The survey reveals that a vast section of respondents is inclined to venture into affordable housing, if certain enablers like government support, basic infrastructure and low-cost land are made available. Almost 35 per cent of the developers define the capital value of affordable housing in the range of rupees 1 to 1.5 million, followed by another 35 per cent of developers who define the value in the range of rupees 1.5 to 2.5 million. 70 per cent of the respondents indicated an inclination to expand beyond the ‘obvious eight' cities, viz, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Pune and Ahmedabad.

Dr Amit Mitra, secretary general, FICCI, said, "The release of this report at the FICCI International Real Estate Summit will fuel ideas and opportunities while addressing industry challenges and showing the way forward to take the real estate sector to greater heights."Ganesh Raj, partner and leader, Real Estate Practice, Ernst & Young said, "This report is an attempt to bring forth the views and common beliefs of industry stakeholders, while making an attempt to mitigate their concerns. The temporal slowdown in the market will be followed by sustained activity as a result of innovative formats, new geographies and flexible pricing / delivery mechanisms."

The report, to be released at FICCI's International Real Estate Summit in Mumbai on September 10, 2008, underlines the survey respondents' belief that genuine end-users have ‘taken over' from investors and account for 80 to 90 per cent of sales in their current projects.The respondents expressed mixed reaction with regard to land valuation. Most of them seem to be reaching the consensus that land values are likely to see stability over the short to mid-term period and may not witness any appreciation over the next 12 months.In fact, in some of the cities further price correction is expected owing to the changing economics. The present asset class focus for developers continues to be residential, as stated by 70 per cent to 80 per cent of the respondents, followed by commercial and retail. However, going forward, several ‘neo-assets' like ware-housing, healthcare infrastructure and logistics will emerge as an integral part of the developers' future portfolio.

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PBEL India To Build 1200 Cr Township Project In Hyderabad

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Hyderabad-based real estate developer PBEL India plans to build a township in the city at a cost of Rs 1,200 crore. Christened PBEL City, the township will comprise of 13 residential and two commercial towers. PBEL City, a joint venture between PBC and Electra Real Estate, both from Israel, and Incor from India, will come up in Rajendranagar on the outskirts of Hyderabad. Addressing the media, project executive director Anand Reddy said that PBEL City was the company's first offering in Hyderabad. It has spent about Rs 200 crore on the project for purchasing the land and creating infrastructure.

The company will raise the funds from internal sources and through banks. In the first phase, to be completed in 18 months, the project will have 500 units with a built-up area of 1,050-1,600 sft. While the second phase will be ready in 24 months, the third phase will be completed in 36 months. The units will be priced between Rs 40 lakh and Rs 55 lakh each, Reddy said. The company is planning mega projects across the city and in other parts of the country. Over the last couple of months, PBEL had bought about 110 acre worth Rs 500 crore across various cities. Currently, it is focusing on Hyderabad, Chennai and Mysore, and plans to spend about Rs 4,700 crore over the next three years.

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Andhra Pradesh Sanctions Land To Private B-Schools

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Premier private management schools are keen to set up campuses in Andhra Pradesh. The Andhra Pradesh government is understood to have allotted land to three private B-schools to set up campuses in Hyderabad. The B-schools include the Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Ghaziabad.IMT, which already has a centre in Nagpur other than Ghaziabad, is planning to open its third centre in India. It has been allotted 30 acres of land near the new international airport in Shamshadabad. The institute intends to invest over Rs 35 crore in setting up its campus, which will be operational in 2010. The campus will start with a strength of about 120 students in each batch. The faculty number will be around 20.

Anwar Ali, director, IMT, Nagpur, said: "The Andhra Pradesh government had extended invitation to many private B-school in the state following which we had evinced interest. We have got the land last week and will soon start building up the required infrastructure for the campus." He said a centre inHyderabad will give the institute a base in South India.IMT also plans to open a campus in Karnataka. Considering the high real-estate prices in Bangalore, Mysore is being considered.The investment required for the IMT Hyderabad campus will be funded by the institute from internal accruals. If required, the institute is also thinking of raising funds through bank loans. In 2004, IMT opened its second centre in India, in Nagpur. The centre, located in 26 acres, has intake capacity of 300 students.

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Luxury Homes Continue To Dazzle On Robust Demand

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Even in the midst of low sentiments haunting the real estate sector, there is one segment that is totally unfazed by it all. Luxury homes continue to dazzle in the face of robust demand and keen investor interest in the segment. Royal offerings doled out one after the other by real estate developers show that at least one buyer category has remained as loyal as before, the luxe home buyer.SundayET commissioned a survey to global real estate consultancy Cushman and Wakefield (C&W) to find out some top-of-the-line luxury offerings coming up in the five major cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai.

And here's what we found. While the new luxury apartments in Delhi-NCR were valued at over Rs 10 crore, in Mumbai it easily crossed the 20 crore mark for a 4 BHK. It also found that among the new constructions around the National Capital Region (NCR), properties in Gurgaon commanded a premium, while sea-facing locations in the financial hub attracted the richie rich.Lavelle Road in Central Bangalore was much sought after as a luxury buy. And while Spanish villas in Hyderabad made an opulent statement, it were the spacious independent houses in Chennai that were the new luxury abode. In the survey, we included both projects which have been announced recently or the ones which though announced earlier were only getting ready now.

Delhi NCR, in itself has at least seven extremely high-end projects. Top corporate honchos, expatriates and high networth individuals (HNIs) dominate DLF's Magnolias located in DLF Phase V, Gurgaon. The apartments, which will be ready in 1-2 years can go up to a whopping Rs 10 crore with the average size of an apartment at roughly 5,500-10 ,000 sq ft.Attractive rental potential and substantial increase in capital values since 2005, the locational advantage of the golf course and improved connectivity via the operational Delhi-Jaipur 8-lane super expressway are some of the USPs of this project. Says Rajeev Talwar, executive group director, "Luxury apartments are taken up by actual users so demand will always remain.... Anyone who is buying such an apartment does so keeping a variety of factors in mind. Moreover, these are bought by those who have a surplus."

Another project in Gurgaon, Ambience Group's upscale Caitriona project, located in Ambi City NH-8 Gurgaon, will be coming up in 2-3 years and is priced at a royal 8 crore plus tag. Boasting of sevenstar living, it is located amidst the 150-acre Ambience Island premium integrated township.Caitriona offers limited condominiums for a select few. A great golf course view, super premium international designing and complete furnishing for a ready-to-live-in condominium, Caitriona flaunts snob value all the way.Vipin Agrawal, executive director of Omaxe, feels that the current market scenario will have little effect on this segment. "Luxury homes are always in demand. Top CEOs and businessmen are the main occupants here. Hence, whatever be the market dynamics, there will always be an active demand for such projects." The realtor has a luxury project, The Forest, adjoining the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway, which sold for Rs 6,500/sq ft.

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