Bandra-Kurla Complex: From marshy land to a prime commercial hub

The Bandra-Kurla Complex in Mumbai is today ranked alongside the prime commercial hubs of Nariman Point and Cuffe Parade in south Mumbai, in terms of real estate prices and presence of large corporates

Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) in Mumbai, has been highly successful in limiting the further concentration of offices in south Mumbai and has emerged as one of the most noteworthy locations, vis-à-vis planned developments in Mumbai with a good amount of premium attached to properties in the Complex. However, things have not been easy for the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), the agency tasked with developing and promoting BKC as an alternative commercial hub that it has become today, in the financial capital of the country.


Property prices in BKC in the initial years

It was in 1977 that the MMRDA was chosen as the special planning authority for BKC, to develop about 370 hectares of low-lying land along the Mithi River. Some areas of the present-day BKC were alongside the Mahim Creek and Vakola Nalla also. These tracks of land lay between Bandra and Kurla and suffered from poor surface drainage. MMRDA began developing the area and making it apt for construction but did not achieve much success, with buyers offering only about Rs 3,000 per sq metre or about Rs 300 per sq ft, despite carrying out some land-compaction process for four to five years after 1977.

See also: Increasing connectivity to boost residential prospects of Bandra-Kurla Complex

However, with continued expansion of the commercial activities in the city and with banks looking at newer options to set up their operations, BKC started to get some traction and  property prices started to gradually climb up. By the 1990s, the prices went up to Rs 10,000 per sq metre and further to Rs 15,000 per sq metre.

By the beginning of the new millennium, quite a few corporates had moved to BKC and the prices had started touching Rs 45,000 per sq metre. The BKC got a shot in the arm, when the American Consulate moved here from Breach Candy. This made BKC a star-studded location, in terms of occupants and the property prices started to skyrocket, thereon.


Companies present in Bandra-Kurla Complex

A lot of companies began to take pride in establishing their base in BKC and with connectivity to BKC improving, various organisations established their head offices in the region. Even regulatory bodies like SEBI and various hospitality majors like Trident and Sofitel, started to make their presence here. To accommodate more and more corporates and institutions, the MMRDA had to increase the floor space index (FSI) to four from two, for commercial plots.

The prices in BKC are now touching Rs 3.5-3.8 lakhs per sq metre and the hub has the presence of almost all major banks including SBI, IDBI, Dena Bank, BOI, SIDBI, ING, PNB, NABARD, Citibank, IL&FS, UTI, ICICI, Canara Bank and Bank of Baroda.

In the last few years, BKC has overtaken Bombay Central, to become the third-most prominent business district in the whole of Maharashtra. Property experts widely expect that by 2030, BKC will become a more prominent commercial hub than Nariman Point and Cuffe Parade.


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