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Sahar biz complex sells for Rs 900 crore

Housing Development & Infrastructure Ltd has set a new benchmark by making a 350% profit on the sale of a high-end commercial complex built on a slum land at Sahar Road, reports Lalatendu Mishra.
By Lalatendu Mishra | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
UPDATED ON FEB 22, 2008 01:13 AM IST

Building homes for slumdwellers has always been a profitable business proposition for developers, but Housing Development & Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL) set a new benchmark by making a 350 per cent profit on the sale of a high-end commercial complex it built on a slum land at Sahar Road, Andheri (east).

The real estate company on Thursday made a profit of Rs 700 crore by selling the 4.5 lakh sq ft office space at Rs 900 crore to a little-known firm, Mack Star Marketing Pvt Ltd. “Money has changed hands and we have made a profit of Rs 700 crore, which will reflect in this quarter’s results,” confirmed an official, requesting anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media. “We had spent Rs 200 crore, which includes the rehabilitation of slumdwellers and developing the commercial complex.”

The demand for commercial property is at its peak in Mumbai, and rising real estate prices are prompting businesses to lap up what’s available. Last week, Cushman & Wakefield, a global real estate consultancy firm, rated Nariman Point as the fifth most expensive office location in the world.

According to this report, property in Mumbai’s central business districts is more expensive than in the most exclusive office areas in New York, Washington DC, San Francisco, Rome, Zurich, Shanghai, Dubai and Frankfurt.

HDIL sold the property — Kaledonia — at Rs 20,000 per sq ft; the current rate for commercial property in the area is Rs 22,000 per sq ft. “We sold it at competitive rates as the company was buying the entire property,” revealed the official.

“Normally, such big properties are sold to different buyers in bits and prices.”

Kaledonia — an eight-storey building with an aluminium-glass façade — was built in 18 months after HDIL rehabilitated slumdwellers. The complex is ready for possession.

The firm bagged the slum rehabilitation project four years ago. It took 30 months to provide housing for all the slumdwellers.

Recently, HDIL bagged the project to rehabilitate slumdwellers on or around the airport. The slums are spread across 276 acres of the 1,400 acres that belongs to the Mumbai airport.

Despite repeated attempts, HDIL’s Managing Director Sarang Wadhawan did not answer calls.

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