Table of Contents
Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) will soon have to reposition itself in Mumbai’s psyche, from being a premium business district, to a luxury residential address as well. Driving this transition is BKC’s special planning agency, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), which will unlock a part of its land bank in the area for luxury housing.
MMRDA joint project director, Dilip Kawathkar, says, “At present, more than 2.5 lakh people are working in the area. Keeping in mind the increasing demand and growth of the area, the authority has decided to explore a more mixed-use development on all vacant plots in the business district by adding more residential development.”
What drives BKC’s growth
BKC was created to direct the growth of commercial properties away from a crowded South Mumbai. The area has since evolved into a premium commercial and financial hub, which includes the corporate offices of international banks and financial institutions, the National Stock Exchange, top-end hospitals, international schools and five-star hotels and restaurants.
Sushil Raheja, CEO, Raheja Homes Builders & Developers, says, “Today, BKC doesn’t have only prime corporate offices but it also luxury hotels like The Trident and Sofitel, thus, making it a preferred place to stay for businessmen. The location offers premium office space and has some luxury residential projects lined up as well.”
Dictating the nature of the proposed residential development is the large concentration of mid- to top-end management executives that work in BKC. These are professionals who have the purchasing power to afford luxury apartments and the aspirational drive to own them, states a 2015 Cushman & Wakefield report on BKC. Neighbourhoods close to BKC, such as Kurla, Kalina, Ghatkopar and Bandra (East) are largely middle-class and although they are being redeveloped, do not offer home buyers top-end housing.
Land for residential projects
MMRDA owns 370 hectares of vacant land in BKC, some of which will be earmarked for housing projects. The ever-increasing demand for corporate space will increase the number of working professionals in the area, further fuelling the need for residential development in the locality.
Hiral Sheth, director, marketing, Sheth Creators, says, “Development of high-end properties will bring a sigh of relief to the business crowd, which commutes daily from South Mumbai and other parts of Mumbai. They will prefer to invest in close proximity to the office space. Investing in ultra-luxurious properties will offer them a comfortable lifestyle, without having to travel for long hours.”
The demand for more corporate space will encourage development in adjoining areas as well. Vipul Shah, managing director, Parinee Group, points out, “Due to an increase in employment opportunities in the area, many young couples are targeting the new housing projects coming up in areas like Bandra (East), Kalina, Kurla and Santacruz (East), which have seen a lot of residential development in the last five years.”
Property rates in BKC
Property rates here have remained high over the years, with 1-BHK apartments starting at Rs 1 crore. However, the current property prices in BKC, between Rs 40,000 and Rs 45,000 per sq ft, are expected to rise, thanks to redevelopment schemes underway in nearby areas.
Rohit Poddar, managing director, Poddar Housing and Development Ltd, applauds MMRDA for its foresight. “The planning authorities have done an excellent job of master planning this area. As a consequence, there is good infrastructure that has led to planned development. Civic amenities are appropriate and hence, real estate developers can cater to the existing industrial, commercial and residential development.”
Add to that well-planned roads, excellent traffic control, ample greenery, international schools in the vicinity, top hospitals like Wockhardt, Asian Heart Institute and Lilavati close by, recreational facilities through malls like Phoenix Market City in Kurla, and superlative connectivity with the central and eastern suburbs via the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road, and BKC has everything going for it as a residential destination.