Mumbai: L&T agrees to resume work on Naigaum BDD redevelopment – ET RealEstate

MUMBAI: In a major turnaround, construction major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has once again agreed to take up the Naigaum BDD chawl redevelopment project. A letter from the company withdrawing its termination notice and agreeing to resume work was submitted to the chief officer, Mumbai Board, Yogesh Mhase, on Monday. Mhase confirmed the development.

Housing minister Jitendra Awhad said he had been informed by the housing secretary that L&T had decided to take on the project again. “We will now be holding talks with them. They have not put any conditions for restarting the work,” he said.

Mumbai city guardian minister Aslam Shaikh said it was an important decision. “At a time when the Worli and N M Joshi Marg BDD chawl redevelopment project is moving ahead it would have been unfortunate for this important project in central Mumbai to be stalled. This is good news,” he said.

L&T bagged the Rs 2,900-cr Naigaum project in 2017 and was the first to build a 500 sqft sample flat. But political opposition resulted in a stalemate. Mhada, the nodal agency for the project, was unable to carry out a survey to identify eligible tenants. Those eligible were to be shifted out in phases for the project to be started. -Clara Lewis



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Mindtree vacates 50,000 sq ft in TRIL Infopark, Chennai – ET RealEstate

BENGALURU: Mid-tier IT services provider Mindtree has vacated 50,000 square feet of office space in Chennai, two people aware of the development told ET.

Many mid-size IT firms, including startups, have given up real estate spaces across major cities after the Covid-19 outbreak forced them to downsize and take a relook at real estate costs.

The company, part of the Larsen & Toubro group, occupies a total of 500,000 sq ft in Hardy Tower and Neville Tower in TRIL Infopark in Ramanujan IT City, and had signed a long-term lease during 2014-15.

“As part of cost restructuring, Mindtree had given up the space in Neville tower as the lock-in expired. They had an option to either release it or surrender,” the people said.

Mindtree has a major presence across Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai and occupies around 1.8 million sq ft of office space in various locations, including in Pune and Bhubaneswar.

“The firm has around 4,500 employees seating out of the Chennai facilities and has retained the remaining space,” said one of the people.

“Mindtree has made several strategic investments in multiple cities in India. The office space realignment in Chennai is part of routine infrastructure rationalization efforts. Mindtree continues to grow in Chennai and remains committed to the region,” the Bengaluru-based software services exporter said.

Mindtree currently has over 21,000 employees and delivers digital transformation and technology services to 2,000 clients across the world.

According to property consultancy JLL, increased office space consolidation and optimisation strategies of corporate occupiers resulted in subdued net absorption levels, which could not keep pace with new completions. This resulted in overall vacancy increasing from 13.1% in the second quarter of calendar year 2020 to 13.5% in the third quarter.



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L&T Realty forays into Chennai commercial market – ET RealEstate

BENGALURU: L&T Realty is betting on the southern commercial market, as the real estate unit of engineering conglomerate Larsen & Toubro plans to launch its maiden office project in Chennai.

The 6.85 million sq ft project will be developed in four-five phases, two people aware of the matter said. “In the first phase, L&T Realty will develop around 1.2 million sq ft that is expected to be completed by 2022,” said one of them.

The project will also have a million sq ft of residential development space.

The project is coming up on a 40-acre plot in the IT hub of Chennai that was owned by group company, L&T Valves, which was shut down a few years ago.

L&T Realty has received pre-leasing enquiries from global IT firms, the people said.

“In the Chennai market, Grade A Space is completely leased out. The L&T management is also extremely bullish on their Chennai project as it is strategically located at Porur with good availability of IT talent,” said the second person.

L&T Realty is present in West, South and North India with many residential, commercial and retail projects.

Commercial property market in Chennai, mainly occupied by IT and BFSI firms, has seen top builders like TRIL, Embassy, Brigade, RMZ, K Raheja and DLF expanding their office portfolio to tap the growing demand for Grade-A space.

Despite the overall economic slowdown, Chennai’s commercial real estate remained resilient in 2020.

Recently, Walmart Labs leased 250,000 sq ft in Chennai. BNY Mellon, which took 600,000 of sq ft, was another company that recently leased office space in the city.



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Naigaum BDD residents want L&T to revive redevelopment project – ET RealEstate

MUMBAI: A section of residents of Naigaum’s BDD chawls passed a resolution on Monday to request Mhada to get Larsen & Toubro (L&T) to withdraw its termination notice.

The meeting was called by the local Naigaum Bhavani Mata Mitra Mandal, and the plea was to set aside political ideologies and restart the project, said Bhai Kamble of Akhil BDD Chawl Hakk Sanrakshan Samiti.

Mhada officials said Mumbai housing board CEO Radhakrishnan B, who was recently transferred, had already held a meeting with L&T officials requesting them to withdraw the notice and stay with the project for at least a year. “The company representatives were told that they cannot issue a unilateral termination notice,” said a Mhada official.

The notice has been forwarded to the state housing department. The decision on whether to accept or reject it will be taken by the empowered committee of secretaries, said state officials.

The housing department is worried the Worli and N M Joshi Marg BDD chawl redevelopment projects may meet with a similar fate as there too no construction has started yet.

In case of N M Joshi Marg, though, 10 chawls that are to be taken up for redevelopment have been surveyed and 607 tenants have been found to be eligible; the process is underway for the others.

“Around 269 residents have also been shifted to transit tenements in the nearby mill areas,” said a Mhada official.

Sources said they have received massive cooperation from tenants of the Worli BDD chawls. “So far, we have surveyed 1,120 tenants and found 762 eligible. We were to sign agreements for transit tenements but it has been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” said an official.

Local activist Raju Waghmare said Mhada should take up construction under 33(5) of the Development Control Rules applicable to Mhada buildings as the land has already been handed over to it. “If that is done, then residents will get homes measuring as much as 680 square feet,” he said.

Mhada officials alleged residents are being instigated to oppose the public project as there is a certain section that wants private developers to take over the project. “A majority of the tenants are in favour of the project. They must come together and openly support it. We are providing tenants 500-sq-ft homes as against the current 160-sq-ft tenements, besides other amenities. The project will become economically unviable if tenants keep making unfeasible demands.”



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