Facebook expands office space with new lease, renewals in Mumbai’s BKC – ET RealEstate

Social networking major Facebook has picked up 90,000 sq ft office space at commercial tower One BKC in Mumbai’s business district Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) through renewal and new lease agreements with Blackstone Group, several persons with direct knowledge of the development, said.

The office space is being expanded while the company is planning a cautious return-to-offices for its employees. Several large companies are expanding office spaces to make social distancing adjustments.

Facebook, which has over 330 million active users in India, had initially leased over 20,000 sq ft in this tower in 2015 to set up its corporate office.

Following this, the company has been leasing additional space in this office building controlled by Blackstone Group-entity Nucleus Office Parks.

Interestingly, Facebook has renewed its existing agreements and leased new space at over Rs 320 per sq ft as against earlier rentals of around Rs 275 per sq ft.

“Both the deals including addition of new space and renewal have been concluded over the last few days and the deals have already been registered,” said one of the persons mentioned above.

This address is one of Facebook’s corporate offices in India and its FB Creator Studio is also housed here. FB Creator Studio is the backbone of all business monetisation at Facebook. The top management, operations and ideation team sits at this office in One BKC in Mumbai.

“We are indeed embarking on an effort to significantly expand our offices in Mumbai and NCR/Gurgaon. Our commitment to India is for the long term and the office expansion is in line with all the exciting work that is going on across our products in India. These spaces are being expanded even as we plan a cautious return to our offices in line with Facebook’s global return-to-work guidelines, Indian government’s regulations, and the evolving local environment,” said a Facebook spokesperson.

Nucleus Office Parks declined to comment for the story.

In one of the largest commercial property deals, Blackstone Group acquired 7 lakh sq ft office space that is part One BKC project for Rs 2,500 crore from Radius Group in 2019.

In addition to buying out One BKC’s entire A wing with 6.50 lakh sq ft, Blackstone also acquired an additional 50,000 sq ft in B wing of the project.
While the developer had leased the entire A wing, it had strata-sold B and C wing earlier. The total project has 1.5 million sq ft office space.

Facebook’s existing and additional office space is in A wing of the project. The office block already counts Bank of America, Trafigura Group, Amazon, Cisco and ICICI Prudential as its key tenants.

Facebook opened its first India office in Hyderabad 2010 with a total 20 employees. Since then, the company has grown rapidly in the country and now has five offices in Hyderabad, Delhi, Gurgaon, Bengaluru and Mumbai.



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Rail Land Development Authority to redevelop Mumbai’s Supari Baug Colony – ET RealEstate

The Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) will redevelop the Supari Baug Colony at Parel, Mumbai. The authority has invited e-bids for engaging architectural and real estate consultancy for the site, which is located in South Mumbai in the vicinity of corporate hubs such as Nariman Point, BKC and possesses excellent connectivity to the prominent landmarks of the city.

The objective of the redevelopment is to enhance the living quotient and boost real estate prospects in the vicinity. The consultant will be mandated to study the site, prepare Master Plan as per existing building by-laws, road layout preparation to utilise maximum FAR/ FSI in the plot, its approval from local authorities and obtain the necessary approval.

The colony spans 21,300 sq metre and falls under the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminal Railway Station, Mumbai.

The consultant will be selected through a single-stage, single packets bid system. It will be mandated to seek approval of the layout plan from the local development authority with the planning of development of the project on the land use, as decided by RLDA, including the updating of revenue records, the title of the railway land from the revenue authorities or the local bodies.

RLDA is a statutory authority under the Ministry of Railways for the development of Railway land. It has four key mandates as a part of its development plan, namely leasing of commercial sites, colony redevelopment, station redevelopment and multi-functional complexes.

Indian Railways has approximately 43,000 hectares of vacant land across India. RLDA is currently handling 84 railway colony redevelopment projects and has recently leased out a railway colony in Guwahati for redevelopment.



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Mumbai: Sunteck Realty & residents at war over Signia Pearl society formation – ET RealEstate

MUMBAI: Residents of a plush new Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) tower, Signia Pearl, and the builder, Sunteck Realty, are at daggers drawn over the formation of a housing society. The dispute escalated earlier last week with bouncers stationed outside the 18-storey tower with the two sides accusing each other of arm-twisting.

Residents said they had to call the police after the developer brought bouncers in front of the builder. The developer, though, accused the residents of threatening and preventing the staff of the tower’s facility management from leaving the premises on Saturday evening.

Signia Pearl, one of the most expensive residential properties in the commercial business district of BKC, was built by Sunteck Realty. Luxury flats were sold for Rs 20 crore to Rs 25 crore each. Families moved in a few years ago and the dispute started soon after over registration of the society.

Last August, the district deputy registrar of cooperative societies ordered the registration of the housing society. The developer, though, challenged the order before the divisional joint registrar, stating the Signia Pearl Condominium was already registered on September 16, 2020, two days before the deputy registrar’s order was received. A condominium agreement allows the builder to control the property even after flats are sold and the building occupied. It also allows it to control its future development benefits. On the other hand, registration of a society gives the entire control of the building to flat owners.

A Sunteck spokesperson told TOI the agreement of sale clearly mentioned the building will have a condominium of flat owners, not a housing society.

Amarpal Sethi, one of the flat owners leading the fight, alleged the builder now also wants to add six more floors on top of the already-occupied tower.

The developer, though, said the residents were aware of plans to build the tower till 24 floors with 96 flats. The building currently has 18 floors with 80 flats. “We already have FSI for the additional floors but were unable to build because of aviation height restrictions. Recently, the civil aviation ministry relaxed these restrictions and we can now build those additional floors,” said the Sunteck spokesperson.

In its appeal before the joint registrar, the developer said the deputy registrar hastily issued the registration certificate for the formation of the society without verifying the proposal and documents on record. It accused the chief promoter of the society of submitting an incomplete registration proposal. The developer claimed the criterion of minimum members needed to form a society was not fulfilled.

It accused flat buyers of using the order and registration certificate in an “illegal and mala fide” way to “illegally” and “unlawfully” usurp the maintenance of the building taken care of by the developer along with Jones Lang LaSalle and Clarissa Facility Management.

The divisional joint registrar, in his order, though, ruled in favour of the flat owners, stating the builder was already in a high court-appointed mediation process in respect of registration of the society. The order said the condominium was formed after the society had already been formed by the flat owners.

“We will challenge this order,” said the Sunteck spokesperson.



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Reliance Nippon Life Insurance leases 40,000 sq ft at Adani Inspire in BKC – ET RealEstate

MUMBAI: Reliance Nippon Life Insurance (RNLI) has taken a 40,000 sq ft space on a five-year lease at an Adani Realty project in the BKC business district to house its corporate headquarters, officials said on Wednesday.

Rental details of the transaction, one of the largest in recent times, were not immediately available.

“RNLI has signed up to have 40,000 sq ft in Bandra Kurla Complex‘s (BKC) Adani Inspire for five years,” a source said.

When contacted, RNLI’s chief executive and managing director Ashish Vohra confirmed the development while officials at Adani Realty were not available for comment.

“Corporate office relocations are a matter of long term commitment and the recovered business sentiment regarding the value of life insurance product gives us the confidence to make this decision. BKC is a prominent and centrally-located business district,” Vohra told PTI.

This is the second big deal clinched by Adani Realty for the 8 lakh sq ft project in BKC, after Japanese lender MUFG took 30,000 sq ft in the commercial property on a ten-year lease. A slew of banks, finance companies and insurance players have their head offices in the BKC business district.

The city’s realty market had been impacted because of oversupply and high prices, which only aggravated because of the economic impact of the pandemic. However, policy measures like a halving of duties for a limited period and interest rates being at 15-year lows have led to some revival.

The pandemic and the ensuing shift to work from home models because of the lockdowns had resulted in concerns for the commercial realty market, as there is a view that demand for space may be hit as companies may not require space to house staff.

RNLI will be moving to the space from Reliance Centre in nearby Santacruz, whose possession has been taken over by Yes Bank for non-payment of loans.



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