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Realtyplus Team  
Indian Real Estate: Growth, Prospects & Global Interest

Significant declarations, relevant discussions and an interesting exhibition marked the International Real Estate Development Summit 2005, the second such event in succession, organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and the Union Ministry of Urban Development in New Delhi on November 11 and 12.

The summit highlighted the scope for investment in real estate sector and initiated talks on reforms that can accelerate its growth. Besides, the occasion brought together all the stakeholders of the realty segment on a common platform to share views on the developments taking place in India and the global market. The summit broadly concentrated on analyzing the growth rates and future projections in Indian real estate, comparing FDI policy in India with that of competing markets, assessing the perspectives of foreign participants on their standpoint on India as an investment destination, showcasing new opportunities, projects for global investors and developers, identifying innovative means of real estate financing and creating linkages between the Indian and global realty markets.

The sessions had discussions on (a) trends and emerging opportunities in Indian realty comprising housing, office and commercial, hospitality, retail, IT and industrial parks and special economic zones; (b) investment opportunities in development of real estate and FDI in Indian states; (c) FDI in real estate, with a special feature on the perspectives of international investors like those in Dubai, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and USA; (d) FDI inflows and development experience in realty sector in other Asian countries; and (e) new ideas on real estate financing in the form of lending norms and special funding instruments to increase the credit flow, fund managers’ perspectives and new options such as REITs and REMF in India.

Those who attended the two-day event included builders and promoters, housing finance institutions and banks, development authorities, ministries and government departments, real estate consultants, producers and suppliers of construction equipment, providers of building interiors, service systems and products, and overseas delegates. They benefited by sharing their experiences and learning the latest trends in the industry.

A special feature of the summit was an exhibition which gave the firms furnishing the real estate sector an opportunity to display their products, services, catalogues and accessories to a large number of builders and developers.

Cross River Mall: Over To Retailers

Spread over 2.5-lakh sq.ft, Cross River Mall, the longest and a dream project of Suncity Projects (P) Ltd. in Shahdara, East Delhi, is all set to be occupied by the retailers. The company made a formal announcement of the hand-over at a small gathering in the complex where the retailers, investors and brokers were present. The event marked a statement on timely delivery and on the trust that the company has earned over the years with its business partners.

The Rs. 130-crore mall will be functional in the first quarter of 2006 and be the source of a complete leisure experience for 4.5-million-strong urban population of the area and the surrounding colonies. Some of the esteemed brands to adorn the place will be Pantaloon, Action, McDonald, Nike, Reebok, Ritu Kumar, Baskin 31 Robbins, Allen Solly, Van Huesen, Louis Phillips, Archies, Citizen, Woodland and Pepe Jeans.

Located in central business district, Shahdra, the colossal project is a 15-minute drive from Connaught Place. The 2.5-lakh sq.ft shopping mall flows across 800 feet in sleek lines coupled with landscaping and lighting. A 150-feet wide road on the front and an 800-feet common frontage lends the plot a distinct locational advantage.

Ashok Bansal, Director, Suncity Projects, declared “we are indeed proud to have been able to complete the building in a record time of 15 months. Our endeavor is to provide a state-of-the-art infrastructure, classy amenities and services, top-of-the line brands, sound infrastructure planning and efficient facilities management.”

The four-floored mall would have a four-screen, 1200-seater multiplex, spread across 30,000 sq. ft. on the third floor, in association with Fun Republic. The second floor contains a 25,000 sq. ft. food court comprising specialty restaurants and fast food joints. The multi-height centrally air conditioned Atrium serves not only as a rest area but also opens out into wide walkways and corridors connected by state-of-the-art escalators and glass capsule elevators. Over 500 vehicles can be accommodated in the two-level basement parking area in the surface and basement parking.

MAPIC 2005 Tells A Tale Of Growth

Palais des Festivals at Cannes (France) demonstrated on November 15 and 16 how MAPIC, the International Market for Retail Real Estate, has grown. At its 11th event, there were 7,208 professionals, more than 12% the figure last year, from 68 countries denoting 68% foreign participation. With nearly 788 exhibiting companies, MAPIC 2005 saw a major increase in the number of firms from the Middle East and Central and Eastern Europe.

A total of 1,588 retailers discovered a full range of local and international sites available in shopping and town centres.

Entities from the Middle East doubled their presence at MAPIC 2005, with the region's largest developers and investors taking stands, including Majid Al Futtaim Investments, Dubai Festival City, Dubai Properties, Ilyas & Mustafa Galadari Group, Dubai Outlet City and United Development Company – The Pearl (Qatar).

Scandinavia also made a notable impact, premiering with a dedicated pavilion. Organised by the Nordic Council of Shopping Centers (NCSC), the stand brought together the region's major developers and investors such as Centrum Kompaniet i Stockholm AB (Sweden), Centrum Utveckling Hakan Karlsson AB (Sweden), Steen & Ström (Denmark, Sweden, Norway), Braaten & Pederson (Denmark), ReTeam, retail consultants from Denmark, the LVF Group, Sweden's civilian airport operator, and Aberdeen Property Investors.

The occasion also underscored the opening up of the Baltic and Ukraine markets to international retailers with new exhibiting companies such as AB Vilniaus Akropolis and Ogmios Centras AB, the Lithuanian developers, and the Ukrainian firms Nest Hanner and JSC "Concern AVEC and Co", two shopping centre developers.

Another emerging trend was the growing number of investors – 966 international investors were present, representing a 9% increase. These included Allianz Immobilien (Germany), Corio (France), Foruminvest BV (The Netherlands), Rodamco Europe (Netherlands), Deka Immobilien Invest (Germany), Axa Reim (France), CB Richard Ellis Investors (France), Aguirre Newman (Spain), Ballymore Properties (Czech Republic), and Geni Polska (Poland).

Cities also came in higher numbers this time with newcomers such as Lisbon (Ambelis - the Lisbon development agency), Washington DC, Rome, Stockholm, cities from the UK including Sheffield, Cardiff and Bradford, the Polish cities of Warsaw and Lodz and the Hague in the Netherlands. The Brussels Capital Region (Belgium) and the city of Barcelona (Spain) returned to the exhibition area this year.

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