Embassy REIT expedites office property construction – ET RealEstate

Embassy REIT has said that large corporate clients have started soliciting request for proposals (RFPs) for 2023-24 and the company has expedited construction to meet future office space demand.

“This is the opportunity to build the product and keep it ready. We are constructing 57 lakh sq ft in Pune, Bengaluru and Noida with the investment of over Rs 2,000 crore and half of it was started in the middle of lockdown. We expedited the construction sensing opportunity in long term,” Vikaash Khdloya, Deputy CEO and COO of Embassy REIT told ET.

The company is also looking for acquisition of large scale brownfield office parks in Noida, Gurgaon, Hyderabad and Chennai. In Q3FY21, Embassy REIT net operating income was Rs 4,780 million and it distributed Rs 4,313 million or Rs 4.55 per unit to unitholders.

Embassy REIT, listed in April 2019 has a portfolio of eight infrastructure-like office parks and four city centre office buildings in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune, and the NCR.

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Fresh wave of coronavirus cases slows down office space leasing, firms put plans on hold – ET RealEstate

Corporates are again going to wait-and watch mode and putting the office space leasing decision on hold as the fresh wave of covid has created the uncertainty, according to property consultants.

Office space leasing has already been slow since the imposition of first lockdown and companies shifting to work from home for long term.

With the restriction in place in all the major markets, consultants feel this quarter will see limited activity

“Amidst the second wave in India – far more excruciating than the first – we are beginning to see IT companies again go into a wait-and watch mode and hold on to their real estate decisions. Leasing activity has tamed down,” said Prashant Thakur, Director and Head – Research, ANAROCK Property Consultants.

Developers and consultants feel the 2021 will be on the line of 2020 and office space leasing is expected to recover only in 2022. According to Anarock average vacancy levels in Grade A office space across the top 7 cities went up again in Q1 2021, breaching the 15% mark.

“Corporates are taking little more time in evaluating the deal with the fresh wave of covid cases bringing back the uncertainty. They are monitoring the situation and decision will be taken accordingly,” said Mudassir Zaidi , Executive Director – North, Knight Frank India.

Experts said that the partial lockdown in Maharashtra, and night curfew in Bangalore and three cities of NCR has forced the companies to move slow. Most of the pre-committed deals were closed in the quarter ending March.

“Individually, the rising Covid cases in cities like MMR and Bengaluru (the markets with highest commercial demand), followed by fear of another lockdown is a cause of concern and is likely to adversely impact commercial leasing activities in entire 2021 or until covid cases are reigned in,” Thakur said.

According to Thakur, the top four Indian IT/ITeS firms – TCS, Infosys, HCL and Wipro – alone hired approx. 42,000 employees in the first nine months of FY 2021. Also, multinational majors Cognizant and Capgemini hired nearly 39,500 employees in CY 2020, with bulk hiring plans for CY 2021.

“The IT/ITeS sectors are among the prime drivers of overall leasing activity in the top cities. Bulk hiring by these firms will influence the demand for large quality office spaces,” he said.

Despite increased flexibility and rostered work timings, firms will need to adopt de-densification measures to accommodate the new social distancing norms and increased health measures.

This is expected to increase per-employee space requirements from 80 sq. ft. space during pre-pandemic times to at least 120-130 sq. ft. per employee post COVID-19.

“Overall leasing in India will therefore remain lacklustre in 2021. The anticipation of a partial lockdown in some of the bigger cities will also cause commercial leasing to walk a tightrope this year,” said Thakur.



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Jaquar’s Rajesh & Ajay Mehra buy three farmhouses in South Delhi for Rs 235 crore – ET RealEstate

Brothers Rajesh Mehra and Ajay Mehra, directors of India’s premium sanitary ware company Jaquar, have bought three farmhouses in Delhi’s Westend Greens for around Rs 235 crore, three people aware of the deal said. The farmhouses bought by Mehras, who entered Forbes India’s rich list in 2019, are spread over 2.5 acres each.

Sprawling farmhouses in and around the national capital are in demand with wealthy businessmen and executives looking out for more open spaces after being home-bound during the Covid-19 disruption. Over 50 transactions for such properties were closed in the past six months, compared with an average of two to three deals a month before the Covid-19 outbreak, according to property brokers in New Delhi.

“People are looking for open spaces and all the amenities within it so that they don’t have to step out even for outdoor games,” said Amit Goyal, CEO-India at Sotheby’s International Realty. “They prefer wellness and that is why farmhouses have been in demand in the last 6-7 months. With the farmhouse, you get swimming pool, kids play area, space for yoga and other outdoor activities within the complex, while you may have to step outside for these things if you were living in a posh condominiums at a city centre.”

The Mehras did not respond to ET’s email query.

According to the brokers active in the region, about 300 farmhouses ranging from Rs 10 crore to Rs 150 crore are on sale in areas such as Westend Greens, Sultanpur, Pushpanjali, Vasant Kunj, DLF Chhattarpur, Radhey Mohan Drive and Ansal Satbari.

“Besides purchase, there has been demand for rental properties also, as a lot of people want to shift to a farmhouse temporarily. The rents range from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 15 lakh a month,” said Pradeep Prajapati, head of luxury residential service IQI India.

According to property consultants, the Green Development Area (GDA) Policy approved by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) will provide an integrated framework for ‘green-oriented’ development in the city and increase the supply of farmhouses in the capital.

The policy aims to regulate development in designated rural areas and green belts in the city.
Jaquar's Rajesh & Ajay Mehra buy three farmhouses in South Delhi for Rs 235 croreThe draft policy seeks to incorporate the low density residential areas (LDRA) of the capital where most of the farmhouses are located.

Encouraged by the growth in demand, many developers are planning to come up with gated colonies of farmhouses, where every need of buyer will be taken care of.

There are about 4,000 farmhouses in 18 villages in and around New Delhi, spread over half an acre to 2.5 acres.

Farmhouses come with more than just open spaces. They have facilities such as power backup, swimming pool, tennis court and space for other outdoor activities. Luxury farmhouses, such as those in Westend Greens, can cost as much as Rs 150 crore.

In satellite towns further from the Capital, there is an abundance of farmhouses and available farmland but due to the lack of credible developers, HNIs prefer to invest in Delhi.



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DDA gives preliminary nod to master plan-2041 for Delhi – ET RealEstate

NEW DELHI: The advisory council of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) on Tuesday gave its preliminary approval to the draft Master Plan for Delhi-2041. The draft will now be put in the public domain for inviting objections/suggestions from the people of Delhi, said a DDA spokesperson.

The DDA has prepared a draft MPD-2041, giving more emphasis to a strategic and enabling framework for the future growth of the national capital. The MPD-2041 will come into effect soon after the MPD-2021 plan expires.

Under MPD-2041, the DDA has emphasised on policies such as transit-oriented development (TOD) and land pooling policy of MPD-2021. With a view to encourage eco-friendly development, the DDA has also formulated to regulate infrastructure and other works in villages that are located in the green belt on Delhi’s periphery as well as the low-density residential areas (LDRA).

The MPD-2041 is divided into two volumes and comprises sector-wise policies in the key focus areas such as environment, economy, public space, heritage, mobility and social and physical infrastructure etc.

It also included land pooling areas, green development areas, regeneration of planned and unplanned areas and strategic regeneration etc.

“Implementation of the MPD-2041 is the collective responsibility of all the agencies involved in the development of Delhi, including the Centre and the Delhi government, service providers, land owning agencies, regulators and local bodies, among others,” the DDA said in an official statement.



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