Gurgaon: a city rises

ireo gurgaon

Click for details about Ireo’s innovate real estate projects in Gurgaon

The silhouette of the Golf Course Extension road will never be the same as Ireo projects rise to redefine the contours of Gurgaon. When complete, The Grand Arch, Ireo Victory Valley and Ireo Skyon will add iconic structures to the city’s skyline.

Working behind the scenes are some of the best architects, contractors and consultants from across the globe. Leading architectural firms have conceptualized Ireo’s new age homes. Some of the most respected names in the construction industry such as Larsen and Turbo (L&T) and B. E. Billimoria & Co. Ltd. are engineering the Ireo vision into reality.

Construction work is in full swing at The Grand Arch, Ireo Uptown, Ireo Victory Valley and Ireo Skyon sites. As the projects reach difference stages in construction, we bring you the latest from the construction sites.

Economy

IMF pegs FY14 GDP growth at 5.8%

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) today pegged the country’s gross domestic product growth at 5.8 per cent during the current financial year, against an estimated decadal-low of five per cent in 2012-13, and predicted it to be as high as 6.3 per cent in 2014-15.

The IMF’s growth forecast is lower than not only the Economic Survey’s projection of 6.1-6.7 per cent, but also that of its multi-lateral agency peer —World Bank — at 6.1 per cent for 2013-14.

“Through removing bottlenecks, the country can grow faster. It includes capacity constraints and slow pace of clearances. These capacity constraints have external ramifications, too, as exports cannot keep up with demand,” said Naoyuki Shinohara, deputy managing director of the IMF, addressing a Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry meet here

Read more: Business Standard

Supreme Court clears hurdles for FDI in retail says, ‘consumer is king’

The Supreme Court today cleared the hurdles for the implementation of FDI in multi-brand retail sector saying that the “consumer is king and if that is the philosophy working behind the policy then what is wrong”.

The apex court said the policy aimed at ‘throwing out’ middleman, who are ‘curse to Indian economy’ and who are ‘sucking’ it, has to be ‘welcomed’.

A bench headed by Justice R M Lodha said the policy does not suffer from any unconstitutionality or illegality requiring it to be quashed.

Read more: Financial Express

Private builders with SEZs set to get bonanza

The special economic zones (SEZ) may have been non-starters in Haryana but all is not lost for private developers with such notified projects. They seem to be in for a windfall with the “magnanimous” state government all set to allow them a “one-time opportunity” for grant of an industrial colony licence.

While those in the industrial and residential zones will automatically benefit from this move, the real largesse will go to private builders with SEZs in the “non-conforming zones”.

Sources said of the over 24 notified SEZs, nearly two-thirds of these, most of them located in Gurgaon, could be beneficiaries of this “generosity” once the Haryana Cabinet gives its nod to the agenda item at its meeting tomorrow.

Besides allowing the SEZ developers to avail themselves of this benefit, the government intends to further relax the norms for an industrial colony licence by allowing them 15 per cent plotting for a residential area instead of the existing 10 per cent.

This relaxation, however, comes with the rider that 3 per cent of the houses in the residential colony will be for the labour. This will be in addition to the nearly 2 per cent reservation for the economically weaker sections (EWS).

Sources said this one-time benefit was being given since the progress on development of SEZs had not been as envisaged owing to mid-course policy changes by the Centre, including the introduction of the minimum alternate tax in 2010-11 which made them “economically nonviable”.

Read more: The Tribune

Real Estate

Realtors turn office space into homes

housingA number of builders in Mumbai are converting their office projects into residential ones amid poor sales and falling rentals in the commercial space. In the backdrop of tight liquidity, builders are also finding it easier to work on housing projects, given the self-financing ability of residential projects through customer advances as against back-ended commercial developments. Among major developers, Oberoi Realty is now contemplating to convert its office space project Oberoi Splendor Commercial on Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road in Andheri, a suburb of Mumbai, into a residential project. Other builders such as Godrej Properties and Kohinoor have considered and executed such decisions in the past few months as existing ready commercial real estate spaces continue to see vacancy levels growing. “Most of the current office space deals are aimed at cost reduction and that does not necessarily mean demand growth. Therefore, it’s good to hedge your risk and go for more residential, which is relatively easy to sell than focusing on commercial space that may take long to get absorbed,” says Raja Seetharaman, managing director of property advisory firm Aperon Real Estate Services.

Slower economic growth has led to decline in expansion by companies due to prevailing cautious sentiments and the market saddled with higher inventory isn’t showing any bright recovery promise soon. Total net office space absorption across top eight Indian cities was down 37 percent from a year ago at 3.6 million sq ft in the first quarter of 2013, showed a recent report from property consultant Cushman & Wakefield. However, fresh supply continued to rise 18 percent to 7.9 million sq ft with 3 percent increase in vacancy rates to 19.6 percent. Residential property market, however, is relatively well placed and experts see more developers trending towards it as customer advances is a much better option than going in for expensive loans or private equity partner induction. “In residential market, latent demand is getting converted at right price point. Cash flow situation is much better in this segment than commercial. Residential projects work on negative working capital and therefore it makes more sense for a developer to focus on this segment now,” says Ambar Maheshwari, managing director, corporate finance at Jones Lang LaSalle India.

Read more: The Economic Times

Policy

RICS to address inconsistencies in property measurement rule

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and 15 other global property organisations have joined hands to address the issue of inconsistencies in the methods of property measurement across the world. RICS, a global body for setting standards in property sector, is convening the first meeting of the International Property Measurement Standards Coalition (IPMSC), which is meeting today at the World Bank in Washington. The meeting has been organised to launch an initiative aimed at developing a consistent international property measurement standard, RICS said in a statement. The coalition includes International Monetary Fund (IMF), International Consortium of Real Estate Associations (ICREA), International Facility Management Association (IFMA), International Federation of Surveyors (FIG), International Valuation Standards Council (IVSC), among others. From India, Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI) is participating in the meeting. “An example of current inconsistency is the way in which floor space is calculated,” RICS South Asia Managing Director Sachin Sandhir said in the statement.

Read more: The Economic Times

Infrastructure

City ill prepared, buildings unsafe

That Delhi is vulnerable to earthquakes is no secret. But is it prepared to face even a moderately intense earthquake? The answer is no. Every year, civic agencies approve thousands of construction plans. But though it is mandatory to get a structural stability certificate from a structural engineer, sources say it is a mere formality as most building owners don’t apply for completion certificate from civic agencies. “Certificate for structural safety is submitted twice-—first at the time of getting the plan sanctioned and next when the building is completed. But just five percent of completion certificates are issued annually,” said a senior official with South Delhi Municipal Corporation. There are just 80 structural engineers registered with the three corporations.

Read more: The Times of India

Metro may link Delhi airport terminals

delhi_metroThe Delhi metro may now connect the domestic and international terminals of the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is carrying out a feasibility study on metro connectivity between Terminals 1 and 3 of IGI and has sought details of peak-hour traffic data between the two terminals from the aviation ministry and Delhi International Airport Limited (Dial) — the private operator of the Delhi airport. A meeting was recently held at the aviation ministry on the issue where DMRC sought details of projected passenger, employee and visitor movement between the two terminals up to 2021-22 and details of long-term master plan showing traffic circulation between T1 and T3 and TI and other future terminals. It also sought to know from Dial whether T1 would be functional till 2021. T1 handles 12.5 million passengers annually and the passenger traffic is expected to grow 8-19 percent annually over the next 15 years.

Read more: Hindustan Times

Hospitality

Hilton set to bring Waldorf Astoria to Delhi or Mumbai

waldorf_astroia

The iconic Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City

The iconic Waldorf Astoria is on its way to India. Hilton Worldwide, the world’s second largest group of hotels with Waldorf as its ultra luxe brand, is looking at Delhi and Mumbai as the possible destination for it. The group has spoken to two big developers and will zero in on the best possible location for the project. “We would love to have the Waldorf Astoria in India. It could be in either Delhi or Mumbai as a suitable market is needed to sustain it. These two cities are in the league of New York, London, Tokyo and Shanghai where the brand exists,” Hilton Worldwide VP (operations, India) Guy Hutchison said. Hutchinson moved to India five months back from China where he was closely involved with the launch of the Shanghai Waldorf and was responsible for design of the Beijing Waldorf that will open next year. “Location is critical for finalizing the site of a Waldorf. Hilton has been very selective in wherever it has opened a Waldorf. The one in India will also have to be a continuation of that experience,” he said, while declining to give a time frame by when India will get its first Waldorf.

Read more: The Times of India

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