Bengaluru: Byculla, once home to many cotton textile mills and gangsters of the notorious ‘Byculla Company’, is fast emerging as a tony residential area in Mumbai.
Over the past few months, several top real estate developers in the city have announced residential projects in this area, which used to be dotted with mill workers’ quarters, low-rise buildings and small commercial units.
The new projects include plans to build an Amazon forest-themed gated community and 60-70 storeyed skyscrapers.
Last week, a joint venture between developers Adani Realty and Marathon Group launched Monte South, more than a decade after buying the land. The plan is to build a 62-storey tower, with homes priced in the range of Rs.3.8-5.75 crore.
Monte South will come up on a 13-acre plot in the heart of Byculla on which stood Khatau Mill, one of Mumbai’s oldest textile mills. It was one of 60 textile mills located across Mumbai that includes prime real estate areas such as Dadar, Parel, Lower Parel, Byculla and Sewri.
“We believe that Byculla will be considered as a new phase and the beginning of south Mumbai in the next 20 years, considering the amount of residential development coming up, its connectivity and strategic location,” said Mayur Shah, managing director, Marathon Group.
An Adani Realty spokesperson was unavailable for comment.
Located in south-east Mumbai, Byculla also has the 48-acre Jijamata Udyan, complete with a zoo and a botanical garden. The central railway line passes through it.
Like Lower Parel that has in the last decade or so transformed from defunct mill land to an area packed with high-street retailers, luxury hotels, office towers and branded residences, Byculla is set to see a similar change.
On a seven-acre land parcel in Byculla that Piramal Realty, the real estate development arm of the Ajay Piramal Group, bought from textile firm Mafatlal Industries, the firm pre-launched a luxury project Piramal Aranya in March that is selling apartments at a 10% to 15% premium over other offerings in the area.
Overlooking the Jijamata Udyan to the west and the harbour on the east, the project inventory released for sale was valued upwards of Rs.10 crore an apartment.
“The company sold 15% of its luxury inventory within a month of its pre-launch. Overall, we met with a good response and post the initial bookings, we have taken a price increase of up to 4% on our pre-launch prices,” said Anand Piramal, executive director, Piramal Group.
Property analysts believe that the projects in Byculla will compete not just with each other but also with those in Lower Parel and surrounding areas.
“Pricing of the projects in Byculla enjoy a certain premium because there are many prominent builders who have started constructing there. It can be called an aspirational destination that is located between south Mumbai and central Mumbai areas of Lower Parel. However, it will take a while for it to be fully developed into a residential destination because there are still a number of low-rise buildings and quarters that exist in Byculla,” said Mudassir Zaidi, national director-residential at Knight Frank India, a property consultant.
In February, Godrej Properties Ltd launched 146 apartments in its new project Godrej Sky in Byculla, where prices start at Rs.21,500 a sq. ft. A two-bedroom home will cost around Rs.3.99 crore and a four-bedroom unit about Rs.10.56 crore.
“Byculla is in the heart of Mumbai and offers residents a location with an outstanding combination of connectivity to all parts of the city, a history and character that gives it a unique identity, abundant green spaces, and views of the most interesting part of the city’s skyline,” said Pirojsha Godrej, managing director and chief executive of Godrej Properties.
There are many more projects in the pipeline.
Peninsula Land Ltd, an Ashok Piramal Group firm, is planning to launch its project Ashok Serenity this year, on the premises of the now defunct New Great Eastern Spinning & Weaving Mill. The realty firm bought the five-acre property in an auction from Mahindra Lifespace Developers Ltd and the Kanoria family for about Rs.650 crore in 2013.
About a kilometre away, the Bhendi Bazaar redevelopment project, spearheaded by the Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust, is also under way. It is one of the largest cluster development projects in the city that promises to transform about 17 acres into a planned neighbourhood with infrastructure and amenities. The project received civic clearances by the end of last year.