Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Realty firms cash in on land near upcoming SEZs

Real estate companies are rushing in on the opportunities galore around the two SEZs promoted by Reliance Industries - Maha Mumbai SEZ and Navi Mumbai SEZ, which it has started in JV with CIDCO.

Both SEZs are located in Raigarh district and will cover a land area of 14,000 hectares.

According to industry sources, many individuals have also bought land in the Mandwa and Alibag region on the hopes of escalating prices due to proposed SEZs and Rewas-Aware seaport.

To start with, city-based construction firm Samira Habitats is planning to set up a services SEZ in Poynad, Poynad is 6 km from the MMSEZ. It has already appointed Meghraj SP Corporate Finance to scout for private equity partners for the venture.

Real estate major Hiranandani Constructions has also bought 200 acres of land in Nagaon near Alibaug, which is nearly 24 km from MMSEZ. The company is in the initial stages of development plans, a company official said.

Out of the 200-acre land bank the company has with it, it would use 25-40 acres for the SEZ and the rest for the health farms, medical facilities, a international educational institution, a three-star hotel around the SEZ. It has envisaged a investment of more than Rs 100 crore for the venture.

Sameer A Nerurkar claims that the services SEZ would compliment the MMSEZ and NMSEZ. "We want to explore the opportunities spilled out from these SEZs. We are not in competition with the existing SEZs, but to compliment them with auxillary services".

"In the next four to five years, Alibag will not remain as a gateaway destination but will become a suburb to the SEZs. With the world-class infrastructure, well-paying jobs and hi-if lifestyles, the surrounding areas will get great demand.With the upcoming SEZs, a lot of rich and famous are buying land in the areas surrounding SEZs." says Nerurkar.

Apart from the SEZ plan, the company is also planning to foray into medical tourism with a US-based company to set up a JV.

Nerurkar says that his firm was aiming to tap the large chunk of European and US tourists availing medical services in the South East Asian countries and to build upon the union government's target to achieve a business of $1 billion by 2010 by promoting medical tourism in the country.

Samira has a land bank of 600 acres in Alibag and surrounding areas and Panvel. It buys land near the upcoming SEZ, port and potential areas of development.

In Alibag, it is building 'gated community projects', which are cantonment-like projects and building super-luxury villas with an investment of Rs 300 crore, in which it plans construct 50 villas in the first phase and 100 villas in the second phase.

On the North end of the SEZs, the firm has 150 acre of land in Nerual, where it plans to build a mixture of mass housing and villas.

"We are buying land to lock both end of SEZs - villas in Alibag area and mass housing in Panvel," Nerurkar adds.

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