75% of port land allotted for open spaces, roads

As much as 75% of the 858 acres (390 hectares) of Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) land will be a green zone and earmarked for open spaces and streets, according to a draft plan prepared by the consultant. Last November, a consortium of HCP Design, Planning and Management, Price water Coopers and Unity Consultancy won the bid to prepare the master plan for the revamp of port land. Of the 1,586 acres (721 hectares) of port land, around 440 acres is for port and allied activities.

“The draft plan will be discussed with stakeholders before it can be finalized. We hope to come up with the final master plan in six months and thereafter, work can begin in phases and completed in two to three years,“ said MbPT chairman Sanjay Bhatia said. The revamp will be carried out on 858 acres (390 hectares) of land of which 220 acres (100 hectares) is in ready possession.

Source: The Times of India, Saturday 1 April 2017

State amends town planning law to regularize illegal bldgs

Both the Houses of the state legislature on Saturday amended the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning (MRTP) Act to enable regularization of unauthorised constructions carried out till December 31, 2015. Those seeking to regularize structures will have to pay compounding charges, infrastructure charges and a premium. However, only structures in conformity with the Development Control Regulations can be regularized.

The amendment also allows doing away with the need to get previous sanctions for prosecution of unauthorized constructions on plots over 10,000 sq ft. The move will come as a relief for over 50,000 buildings in Mumbai which do not have occupation certificates and about 2.5 lakh in Thane. Over the past couple of years, citizens have been at loggerheads with the state government over illegal constructions, as in the case of Worli’s Campa Cola and in Digha in Navi Mumbai.

Source: The Times of India, Sunday 2 April 2017

RR rates hiked, buying home in city set to get costlier

Buying and selling property in Mumbai is set to become costlier with the state government on Saturday declaring the Ready Reckoner rates with an average increase of 3.95%. However, this is the lowest increase for Mumbai since 2010. The average increase for the state is 5.86%. RR rates are market values of properties determined by the government for payment of stamp duty.

The highest land rates and flat rates in the city are at Napean Sea Road and Malabar Hill, while Nariman Point, Lower Parel and BKC have the highest rates for office spaces. Ramesh Prabhu, chairman of the Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association, said that buying a house is likely to get more costly in Mumbai with the increase in reckoner rates.

Source: The Times of India, Sunday 2 April 2017

PE Investment in Office Assets to Grow 4-fold, Hit $3.5 b in ’17

Private equity investments in India’s office assets this year will surge fourfold to $3.5 billion beating the 2014 peak, international property consultant Cushman & Wakefield (C&W) estimated, testifying to the unabated interest of global as well as domestic institutional investors in commercial real estate.

Buoyed by stability in the commercial office sector as well as the potential to list under REITs, institutional investors have been keen to plough in funds in leased office assets. Some large office deals currently underway include DLF’s rental arm stake sale to GIC, K Raheja Corp’s commercial portfolio stake sale to Blackstone Group and Hiranandani Group’s office portfolio stake sale to Brookfield.

Source: The Economic Times, Monday 3 April 2017

Taking up new office spaces: Mumbai ranks second in India

Mumbai accounted for 18% of office space absorption the second highest in the country in the first quarter of 2017, said a report from real estate consultancy CBRE. While this was on a par with Bengaluru, the National Capital Region (NCR) ranked first, accounting for 19% of all transactions. According to the report, January to March this year was one of the stronger quarters observed in the recent years for the office market, with close to 8 million square feet of space taken up across key cities.

In line with the recent trend, this absorption was mostly from small and medium-sized deals, but the share of large transactions also rose. Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Chennai dominated the large sized deal closures, said the report, mostly from information technology, banking, financial services, insurance, and engineering and manufacturing sectors.

Source: The Indian Express, Saturday 8 April 2017

Demolish buildings flouting height norms: HC

The Bombay High Court yesterday ordered the Directorate General of Civil Aviation(DGCA) and other agencies to demolish or reduce the height of over 100 buildings that are in violation of norms near the city airport within two months. A division bench headed by Justice V M Kanade said violators must be dealt with “ruthlessly” as their buildings pose a major security threat and obstruct flight path.

“There is no point feeling bad for the developers of these buildings or its residents. The authorities cannot just sit and wait for an accident to occur,” Justice Kanade said. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) are among the other authorities which will have to comply by the high court order. The Mumbai International Airport Ltd. (MIAL) had in a survey conducted between 2010 and 2011 identified 110 structures as obstacles. While the DGCA issued notice to the owners of such buildings or structures, it is yet to communicate its final order on the demolition / deduction of height of such structures.

Source: Mid-Day, Thursday 13 April 2017

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