Bangalore: The entry of DLF Ltd, India’s largest real estate developer by market value, into Bangalore has been delayed. Its debut residential project in the city’s southern part—on an 80 acre plot on Banerghatta Road—that was to be launched by April will not take off before August.
Stalled project: DLF’s Gurgaon office. Its Bangalore project, which was to be launched in April, has now been delayed till August this year, the second time it is being postponed. (Photo: Rajeev Dabral / Mint)
S. Prakash, director (south), DLF Home Developers, said that the project launch is held up by various government sanctions. “The process to procure various clearances like building, fire and environment is still not complete. Land acquisition is time consuming, particularly the procedure of getting agricultural land converted. We are now aiming to launch the project by August,” said Prakash.
The New Delhi-based DLF had announced its Bangalore plans last June when it said the Banerghatta project would launch by late 2007, which was later postponed for a March-April launch.
DLF’s other mammoth project in Bidadi, on the city’s outskirts, is also far from taking off. The Rs24,000 crore Bidadi integrated township project (BITP), to come up on 9,170 acres, has been stuck as clarifications have been sought over the project agreement and over financial clauses with regard to delay in land acquisition.
Another DLF project, on a 15 acre plot of land in Whitefield in Bangalore, is also yet to take off. The company is believed to be still debating between a retail mall and commercial office buildings.
While the giant hoardings announcing the coming of DLF into Bangalore seem to have disappeared, property consultants here said that the Banerghatta project will further heat up the booming property scenario in the city.
Designed by Hafeez Contractor, the project will have 5,000 housing units in which two-bedroom apartments will be priced at at least Rs60-70 lakh, higher than the going rate of Rs3,500-3,900 per sq. ft in the area. The development will also have units with three and four bedrooms, town-houses and luxury villas.
During a time when local real estate players are struggling hard to offload their housing stock in Bangalore, the success of a national player such as DLF would depend on two factors, say experts—pricing and marketing strategy. “The project’s pricing would determine if they succeed in wooing real buyers and not just adopt an investor-driven strategy with a special price,” said Aditi Vijaykar, director (residential services) at real estate consulting firm Cushman and Wakefield India.
Pre-launch hype and brand recall are important before entering a new market, but it has to be backed up with a product that will be unique from the rest and yet bear a local flavour, according to property consultants.
In this case, the “mass” format of the project could contradict the high price band. “Why would I pay more than Rs1 crore and share my apartment or villa with 5,000 other families?” asked a property consultant, who did not wish to be identified.
The other pertinent question is if this is the right time to enter Bangalore? Rajeev Talwar, executive director, DLF, said it is. “If my product has quality, leaving plenty on the table for investors, it will be taken up,” he added. He claimed that the company’s recent debuts in Chennai, Kochi, Kolkata, Indore and Manesar have been through middle-class, affordable housing that has received a good response.