Redevelopment can feel like winning a lottery, if all goes according to plan. Your old home is replaced by a bigger one, your dry patch of compound gets a lush garden, if not a swimming pool or club house too. It feels like you’ve moved, without the hassle of having to relocate.
In a city with virtually no undeveloped space left and one that still has such a low ceiling for vertical growth, redevelopment offers a mutually beneficial way out by giving existing residents a new space and allowing the builders who create the new space to sell the extra flats they build on the open market, for a profit. So what does it feel like to move into your dream home, right where your old home used to be?
SPACE AND AMENITIES
Computer engineer Salil Naik’s building, Shreepati Castle, in Grant Road, opted for redevelopment in 2005 and work was completed in 2014.
“We are quite happy with the redevelopment. The new flat has more space. Earlier, our was a 1BHK but now we have two bedrooms and a separate storage area too. The flooring and wiring are also much better now,” says Naik, 27.
“The biggest benefit is that we now have a bathroom in each flat. Earlier, there were two shared bathrooms on each floor. This was a huge problem.”
Naik’s neighbour Mallika Mhapsekar, 29, a PhD student, agrees. “Earlier, there were open drains around and the area would stink all the time. After redevelopment, life is much better,” she says.
Businessman Anil Ghuge’s Gautam Housing Cooperative Society in Borivali (West) was almost 25 years old. The walls had developed cracks and the pipes were leaking, so the residents opted for redevelopment.
“We wanted a modern look for our houses but not everyone in the building could bear the expense. So we roped in a builder. Work started in 2013 and we got possession this year. We are very happy with the work,” says Ghuge, 39. “We now have a 2BHK and better ventilation with big sliding windows in the new flat. Most importantly, we have a lift and parking space.”
“We have a lot more parking space. Shortage of parking space was a major problem. Many new amenities such as a gym and party hall have been introduced,” he says. “My children are very happy with the new house. Having a gym in the building is a big benefit.”
Work on his building started in 2013 and was completed in 2015. The society decided to go in for redevelopment because the residents wanted larger houses, Gandhi says.
Redevelopment has given a new identity to many old and obscure buildings.
Consultant Anil Pande’s building, Nav Chetna in Ghatkopar (East), was 40 years old and there were many cracks in it. Water leakage was another problem. “Also, the design of the building was old-fashioned. Today, after redevelopment, the building is considered a landmark in our area and has been renamed Mayfair Mystic,” he says.
“My flat, which I had purchased in 2000, was in very poor condition. The redevelopment started in 2005 and we got possession this September.”
There have been many benefits, Pande says. “Our apartment, which was earlier a 1BHK, now has two bedrooms. Two lifts have been added and a fully air-conditioned reception area with proper seating arrangement has been built. There were problems in the old flat but we did not want to leave the locality or the house where we have lived for years, so redevelopment was the only solution. Everybody in the building is happy now,” he adds.
While the building was being redeveloped, the society members had arranged for alternative accommodations but the rent was paid by the builders.
Nalin Sheth, 73, a retired professional is happy that he got his redevelopment house really fast.
“Our building, Navjyoti in Kandivali (West), went in for redevelopment in 2014 and was ready by 2016. Our new flat is bigger and the flooring has been improved and more windows added. Also, two lifts have added which is very good for senior citizens like me.”
The redevelopment process may not always be perfect, so it’s important to be involved and communicate well with your builder to ensure all terms are met on both sides.
“After redevelopment, we were not allotted parking spaces,” says Naik from Grant Road.
“Also, we do not have a terrace now. The terraces have been broken and the space has been used to build a swimming pool, which is being used by residents of a nearby 47-storey building.”
Deepa Gahlot, a theatre critic whose building in Santacruz (West) went in for redevelopment in 2014, says she was happy their new homes were handed over on time. “There is also additional space. But we are not satisfied in terms of comfort and convenience. My earlier apartment had higher ceilings, a bigger kitchen and a balcony, which we used for drying clothes and as a storage space,” she adds. “In the redeveloped home, there is no balcony. This is a huge drawback. Instead, we now have glass walls. The kitchen is also smaller. One good thing is that the building now has a lift.”
Utkarsh Jani, a project management consultant with builder Edifice Erection, says most societies opt for redevelopment is that residents want more space in their houses.
“A large number of buildings in the city are in a bad state. This is because either these buildings are very old or have suffered damages due to weather conditions. Redevelopment is the best option for such buildings. This will enable the families to enjoy modern amenities while living in the warmth of their old locality,” he says.
“Many buildings in Mumbai were constructed in 1980s and ‘90s and so they need to be redeveloped now,” says Pranav Ashar, 32, executive director, Pranav Construction Pvt Ltd. “During redevelopment, various amenities such as parking spaces, lifts, gyms, community halls etc are added to old buildings. This is a great benefit. Also, as per the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, the redeveloped buildings have to be earthquake resistant. This is another benefit for those living in old houses.”