Library land used for constructing premium apartments in Mumbai | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Library land used for constructing premium apartments in Mumbai

mumbai Updated: Jan 13, 2011 02:56 IST
Sachin Dave

Premium apartments are set to come up on half of a four-acre plot Mumbai University had transferred to the Maharashtra government to get a central library built.

HT has learnt that the university transferred the land — part of its campus in Kalina, northeast Mumbai — for free in 1986 on condition that the government would build the library across the four acres. Now, the government has handed over the plot — which market sources value at Rs 500 crore — to a private builder, who has permission to build and sell high-end flats on half the land in return for building a library on the other half.

Under the agreement, the government has given two acres to Indiabulls on a 99-year lease to build the apartments after constructing the library. Indiabulls Real Estate said the 23,438-square-metre, six-storeyed library will cost R300 crore. It will have a built-up area of 16,164 sqm, and a 7,240 sqm two-level parking lot.

"We’re working towards construction of the central library, which will add to the infrastructure available for the adjoining university,” said Vipul Bansal, CEO, Indiabulls Real Estate.

PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal said: “A proposal to construct the library had come to the (PWD) committee. We invited bids but I don’t have track of who won and what the exact status of the project is.”

“Under the terms of agreement, Indiabulls has to first construct the library on two acres. Once that is done, it can start building residential apartments on the remaining two acres leased out in lieu of the library work,” said a source.

Indiabulls has deposited Rs 165 crore as performance bank guarantee and work has begun on leveling the site. It plans to finish the library in three years.

Tender for the project was opened on July 6, 2009 with four bidders — Indiabulls, Kumar Developers, Ahluwalia Developers and Dhrushti Realtors. Indiabulls won the bid and entered an agreement with the PWD and Mumbai University.

Asked what kind of returns a developer could expect in this kind of a deal, a top executive with an international real estate consultancy said: “For every square foot, construction cost comes to Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000. At today’s prices, apartments can sell at around Rs 12,000 to Rs 20,000 per sq ft depending on the project.”