‘Oshi­wara biz district comes just in time’

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Estates - - FRONT PAGE - Ashutosh Li­maye ht­spe­cial­pro­jects The au­thor is Na­tional Di­rec­tor – Re­search JLL In­dia

More than four decades af­ter com­ple­tion of the city’s last planned district cen­tre – Ban­dra-Kurla Com­plex – comes a new kid on the block in north­ern Mum­bai: Oshi­wara District Cen­tre (ODC).

Even as the po­ten­tial of BKC to pro­vide fur­ther of­fice space nears ex­haus­tion, ODC has been set up by the Mum­bai Met­ro­pol­i­tan Re­gion De­vel­op­ment Author­ity (MMRDA) to help the ever-grow­ing busi­nesses in In­dia’s fi­nan­cial cap­i­tal.

As the city ex­panded north­wards in phases over the last cen­tury, the lack of in­fra­struc­ture has led to a poor qual­ity of life for cit­i­zens who make their homes in the newly es­tab­lished sub­urbs and ex­tended en­claves

Among the many dif­fi­cul­ties they face is the long travel time and poor qual­ity of pub­lic trans­port from their res­i­dences to work­places.

The choice is usu­ally ei­ther an ar­du­ous road jour­ney that may take any­where from 90 to 120 min­utes or a ride on the over-stretched sub­ur­ban rail­way sys­tem that sees over­crowd­ing lev­els of­ten de­scribed as in­hu­man.

A com­pro­mised qual­ity of life for its cit­i­zens has an im­plicit cost for a city — and the coun­try. Al­though hard to quan­tify and mea­sure, the pro­duc­tiv­ity loss has se­ri­ous reper­cus­sions on the com­pet­i­tive­ness of the city’s econ­omy and weak­ens its rep­u­ta­tion as an eco­nomic pow­er­house.

There­fore, it makes sense to have more sub­ur­ban of­fice districts in the city. Given this need, MMRDA de­cided to plan ODC as the next clus­ter de­vel­op­ment as it had all the re­quired as­pects to make it a suc­cess­ful district cen­tre.

More­over, ex­ist­ing com­mer­cial de­vel­op­ments in Gore­gaon and Malad such as NESCO, Nir­lon and Mindspace are very suc­cess­ful and have high oc­cu­pancy lev­els along with a very good ten­ant pro­file.

This also in­di­cates a gap in de­mand and sup­ply of qual­ity com­mer­cial space within th­ese precincts. While the eastern sub­urbs al­ready have a bigscale clus­ter de­vel­op­ment in Powai, their western coun­ter­parts so far lacked a sim­i­lar land­mark.

Em­ploy­ees pre­fer to work in a lo­ca­tion where there is avail­abil­ity of rel­a­tively af­ford­able hous­ing op­tions so that they can just walk to work.

This is pos­si­ble in ODC given its catch­ment area as well as the res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment planned within the district by MMRDA.

The Oshi­wara District Cen­tre has been con­cep­tu­alised and zoned as a new mixed-use de­vel­op­ment com­pris­ing com­mer­cial and res­i­den­tial projects.

And while there are var­i­ous fac­tors that gen­er­ally make a com­mer­cial node suc­cess­ful – the type of de­vel­op­ment, vi­sion of or­ga­nized real es­tate de­vel­op­ers and phys­i­cal as well as so­cial in­fra­struc­ture, to name a few – the ODC al­ready pos­sesses ba­sic fea­tures that can lead to a wellplanned district cen­tre.

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