If you were a resident of Kolkata in the 70′ and 80’s, you probably would not recognize the glitzy commercial and residential buildings dotting the skyline today. The initiative of real estate developers in Kolkata have infused the once-jaded look of the city with swank residential apartments and commercial spaces with a bold message that ‘Kolkata has truly arrived’.
Moreover, the state government is open to 100% foreign investment in real estate. The state’s urban development ministry has fixed a minimum area of 10 acres for developing housing plots, while 50, 000 square metres has been fixed for minimum built up area in construction development projects.
The Kolkata West International City across the River Hooghly in Howrah, the first venture funded by foreign capital, is spread over 390 acres that will offer 5500 bungalows on free hold land by 2009. With the best lifestyle accessories to boot, the township is a zip drive from the business district.
South City promises to be a landmark edifice as the the Emami, Sureka, Shrachi, JB. and Merlin Group of companies have come together for 3 residential-commercial projects on Prince Anwar Shah Road, B.L.Shah Road, and Alipore. Standing 35 storeys tall, South City will also house the city’s largest mall and an international school.
The city is stretching its limits towards Dankuni with another multi-use township on 5000 acres available for development. National and international bidders are in the fray for this coveted project.
On the commercial property front, 13.3 million square feet will be available in Sector V, Salt Lake and Rajarhat, the city’s IT hub. Retail spaces are also expected to grow to 1.5 million sq. ft of space – from 3 malls to 12 in the next few years, international brands will make their presence felt in the city, as incomes rise and lifestyles get more ‘stylized’. Two real estate projects in the 7-star category were launched in early 2007 to meet the aspiration for global brands amongst the elite of the city.
Jones Lang LaSalle, the world’s largest integrated real estate and investment management firm, finds Kolkata an attractive business destination, and worthy of figuring on the company’s list of ’emerging winners’. Inexpensive rentals, a successful private-public partnership model, incentives from the state government, political stability, a fair playing field for all real estate developers are factors very strongly in Kolkata’s favor.
In fact the West Bengal government’s initiative in tying up with private builders has facilitated opening up vast stretches of land which the existing urban land ceiling laws would never have made possible. The West Bengal government has created a cross-subsidy model for real estate developers in Kolkata, allowing them to make profits on high income housing provided middle income groups are sold flats at a no-profit, no-loss basis, and to the lower income groups at a lower than cost price.
The IT sector is growing at twice the national rate at 70% in Kolkata. The demand for 6 lakh sq.ft of commercial space has been expressed by foreign investors, MNCs and banks in the city. In fact, of all the foreign investors looking for investment opportunities in India, 40% of these are focusing on Kolkata.
Experts are of the view that ready commercial spaces available at short notice would make Kolkata a more attaractive destination for major corporations which are now looking for facilitites in the city. The time taken to sanction building plans would considerably cut down construction time by 3-6 months.
Source: NRI Realty News