Sobha Developers Ltd, the Bangalore-based high-end luxury apartment and commercial property developer, is planning to bid for slum redevelopment projects in Mumbai.
The company, better known for high-profile office complexes for the likes of Infosys Technologies Ltd., plans to tieup with local partners in Mumbai to bid for properties to be developed under the slum rehabilitation scheme.
Mumbai, which has a population of around 20 million, is also home to Asia’s largest slum Dharavi.
Sobha is talking to other builders for partnerships as it seeks to bid for projects under Mumbai’s Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) scheme, according to J.C. Sharma, managing director of Sobha, who declined to name the potential partners.
“We are looking at developing land in and around Mumbai. We are looking at bidding for SRA as well. The additional floor space index (FSI) which you get under SRA is a good incentive,” says Sharma.
While Sobha has a presence in nine cities and is looking at expanding operations to another 5-6 cities, it does not qualify to bid for SRA projects here on its own as it has not worked on redeveloping slums anywhere in the country.
As per SRA rules, a developer must have successfully completed a minimum of one housing/township development project covering at least 400,000 sq. m and with a minimum built-up area of 70 lakh sq. ft.
“Since we don’t qualify on our own, we are talking to many companies to partner with,” says Sharma.
“The company we are looking at partnering with need not be a Mumbai-based company.”
“The only cost a builder has to bear is the construction,” says a realty stock analyst with Enam Financial Consultants Ltd, who did not wish to be identified.
“It does make eminent business sense, especially from the point of view of a luxury project development, such as the Dharavi redevelopment project that falls in a prime locality between Bandra Kurla complex and the Lower Parel mill district. Projects there will cater to high-end property buyers,” predicts Anuj Puri, chairman and country head of Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj.