The Future of Bandra Kurla Complex

In 1977, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) was appointed as the Special Planning Authority that was to envision and develop the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC). The Bandra Kurla Complex was made to create an alternate commercial area in order to halt the growth of office complexes and commercial districts in South Mumbai. Bandra Kurla Complex covers 370 hectares of land on either side of the Mithi River, Vakola Nalla and Mahim Creek. The rivers were channelized in order to reduce pollution in the area. There is over 8 million square feet of stock office space featuring 2.5 million square feet in addition which was developed around 2012 and furthermore space earmarked for the future of Bandra Kurla Complex. MMRDA has developed 19 hectares of land in the ‘E’ Block of BKC. Around 16% of the BKC complex is vacant.

“During 2010 and 2011, there was a certain uneasiness amongst tenants due to terrorist activity as well as the economic slowdown. However, with the economy picking up, business has gone back to its booming usual and even today there have been massive inclusions into the BKC as Deutsche Bank and First Rand Bank have also made large deals for office space in the complex for development in 2013 and 2014” says Kamal Ketan, owner of Sunteck Realty which has tie ups with Disney and has substantial projects underway in BKC. The Bandra Kurla complex has long been the center for economic prowess and along with Dalal Street remains few of the most iconic commercial districts in Mumbai.

Conditions in BKC shifted from favoring tenants to favoring landlords in 2013. Rent correction and slight increments in rent from previous quarters have shown that the market has bottomed out. Short term tenants always have opportunities however long term spaces and rental options have dwindled towards the end of 2012 and the start of 2013. Few tenants have chosen to move to lower priced markets such as Lower Parel. This mini exodus or shift of favor towards the lower priced markets has prompted questions regarding the future of the Bandra Kurla Complex. Larger firms are taking advantage of their leverage in terms of capital to consolidate holdings in the complex and smaller firms are finding it difficult to find profitable office spaces at a decent rent bracket. ‘The Complex has become a sort of elite corporate sub center. Perhaps there are only going to be large firms and multi-national companies having offices here. It is becoming too expensive and only the really big fish can swim here. Kamal Khetan is very sure of his company, Sunteck Realty serving elite clients via its premium BKC projects – Signia Isles, Signature Island and Signia Pearl.

 

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