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Essel Group to build ‘Bollywood’ theme park in Mumbai

Essel Group to build ‘Bollywood’ theme park in Mumbai
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First Published: Thu, Jan 21 2010. 09 42 PM IST
Updated: Thu, Jan 21 2010. 09 42 PM IST
Bangalore: The development of a 250-acre property near Mumbai is back on track after Essel Infraprojects Pvt. Ltd, which runs two amusement parks in the city, proposed to build a theme park there on Thursday at a rate 143% higher than its base price.
Property consultants said the response to the auction of the Kharghar project showed money was flowing back into the sector after a year of slowdown, and big projects were making a return.
The team of Future City Projects Pvt. Ltd, which includes Essel Infra and Bhushan Power and Steel Ltd, submitted a bid of Rs1,530 crore—the amount that has to be paid upfront for the Rs8,000 crore project.
They beat competition from two other short listed bidders. Indiabulls Real Estate Ltd bid Rs1,059 crore, and a team led by Hindustan Construction Co. Ltd (HCC) and GVK Industries Ltd made a bid of Rs808 crore.
“We are overwhelmed by the response,” said D.L.N. Murthy, general manager of special projects and information technology at City and Industrial Development Corp. (Cidco), which had initiated the bidding in mid-2008.
Cidco and Future City will form a special purpose vehicle, in which the former will be a 26% equity partner. “We should be able to hand over the project contract to the winning bidder by February,” added Murthy.
Future City has proposed to develop the property in Kharghar, some 40km from South Mumbai, around a “Bollywood” theme. It will include an eco park, a large amusement park, 5-star hotels, restaurants, film studios and multiplexes.
The first phase of the project, which involves about 100 acres, is to be completed by 2013. Property consultants said the project’s Navi Mumbai location would also attract visitors from Pune.
Emails and phone calls to Essel Infra by Mint on Thursday went unanswered.
Cidco officials said they were confident that Future City—which pioneered the concept of amusement and water parks in India by building Essel World and Water Kingdom more than a decade ago—would pull it off.
Senior Cidco officials said HCC-GVK had proposed an amusement and leisure-theme, and Indiabulls a knowledge city.
Sanjay Dutt, chief executive of property advisers Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj, said big projects are on their way back, but not at a pace on a par with 2006-07, when the property market was at its peak.
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First Published: Thu, Jan 21 2010. 09 42 PM IST