Friday, 29 January 2016


With three real estate exhibitions lined up across the first month of 2016, January offers a lot of promise for real estate development and growth in Mumbai and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). Regardless of how good the number of walk-ins are at the real estate expos – (i) BANM, (ii) MCHI-CREDAI Thane and (iii) MCHI-CREDAI Kalyan – Dombivali, the one aspect which will have a positive impact on residential real estate across Mumbai and the MMR has to do with commercial real estate.

In a trend that has been growing across 2015, across Mumbai and the MMR, “consolidation” and “relocation” have been the buzz words when it comes to commercial real estate. Companies which had more than one office, housed in different locations, are now looking at consolidating the same into one campus. Since existing work spaces do not offer availability of large spaces to house such consolidated spaces, the only solution is to relocate. In this quest for the ideal location to consolidate and relocate, Thane seems to have become the present-day preferred choice for such transactions, with Ghodbunder Road (GB Road) and Wagle Estate leading the ‘preferred list’. Effectively, this has resulted in increased demand for homes in Thane – and this is just the beginning. The spill-over effect will be felt in Kalyan – Dombivali as also in Navi Mumbai, but the present-day ‘centre of action’ remains Thane.

This movement in commercial real estate across Mumbai and the MMR is also in sync with the positive sentiments in Indian commercial real estate, reflected by similar trends across India: with increase in demand for commercial real estate pointing to signs of visible recovery over 2015, going into a even better 2016.

The ‘Sentiment Index’ from Knight Frank India, for July to September 2015, shows the supply side stakeholders as being ‘reasonably optimistic’ about the office spaces market, there is an expectation  that leasing volumes will improve at the back of limited supply.

What makes Thane important in present-day for corporate relocation? The location is important to Mumbai and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). It is an ideal place for residential real estate and an ideal location for office spaces. This aspect dove-tails perfectly with the increased demand for residential real estate in Thane. This ‘being in sync’ aspect of corporate moving into Thane and residential real estate registering increase in enquiries and serious site visits have proved to be the latest trend in real estate. The demand for homes in Thane is being driven by a work-force that is re-settling in Thane, be they from work-spaces in BFSI or IT & ITeS sectors.

Thane has emerged as one of key office markets in Mumbai with various companies setting up or moving their operations there. Various infrastructure developments over the last few years have been responsible for the growth of Thane as a prominent business hub, and within Thane, Ghodbunder Road is by far, the mixed-use realty hot-spot in a win-win situation, being the linkage that offers excellent connectivity, linking Mumbai’s central and western express highways. Ghodbunder Road also links Thane to commercial cities like Pune, Nashik, Vapi, Surat and beyond. In terms of suburban travel, for work-force of companies which relocate to Thane, suburban train connectivity to Mumbai CST, Navi Mumbai, Kalyan-Karjat-Kasara is a given. Ghodbunder Road’s western end connects through Mira Road and Bhayandar stations to the Western Railway’s suburban network. Effectively, the workforce of any corporate, residing in the MMR, will have smooth and easy access to Thane.

Thane offers the integrated  townships, which as a model, has been a success. Thane’s real estate will witness development including residential and commercial realty with social infrastructure in sync with the mixed-use development. It offers work spaces as also residential real estate. For the corporate entities who set up work spaces here as also the families which make Thane ‘home’, this mixed-use, integrated township projects offer all major lifestyle amenities and facilities, including academics, healthcare, retail and entertainment facilities.

As the current-day ideal location to consolidate and relocate, Thane seems to have become the preferred choice. The future growth potential, however, points to Navi Mumbai’s Panvel region.

Panvel has the advantage of being located between two IT and ITeS hubs, Mumbai and Pune, which makes it the future ‘corporate relocation and consolidation’ location in the MMR. Panvel has the potential to become the ‘next big happening location’ in MMR. It is positioned ‘just right’, when  one looks at not just commercial as also a residential real estate destination. It offers the potential of planned connectivity linkages, which include the Sewree Nhava trans harbour link; the railway passenger terminus at Panvel station; starting of passenger traffic on the Karjat – Panvel section of the Central Railway as also the Navi Mumbai international airport,  these make  Panvel, as part of the Navi Mumbai region, a ‘future perfect’ real estate destination.

In the Navi Mumbai region, Panvel seems to be the ideal, the future for corporate relocation and consolidation across the MMR. The planned work space options in Navi Mumbai’s Panvel region will be best suited to the new age Indian, one who has a global perspective and aspires to work and live a truly global life in a real estate location with fantastic growth potential. Gardens, play areas, entertainment clusters which will include schools, food and beverage options, convenience stores and health centres will offer in Panvel, within the Navi Mumbai region, a stress-busting environment for those who will, in the near future, work and reside in this region. Present-day, corporate relocations and consolidation of different office spaces is a growing trend within the MMR, with ‘advantage Thane’ while the near future would seems to point towards Panvel in the Navi Mumbai region all set to be ‘the relocation and consolidation space of the future’.

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