A handful of high-end real estate developers in Mumbai have hit upon a new strategy to try and beat the grim market mood and sell their luxury residential projects at a premium. They have started coining swanky and hip-sounding names for places where their projects are coming up in order to lure buyers.
As a result there are addresses like Upper Worli, Upper Juhu, BKC Annex, BKC Extension and New Cuffe Parade, which neither have a pin code nor find mention in the administrative records of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. They are also yet to find space in the postal department’s directory.
Ramesh Nair, chief operating officer, business, at Jones Lang LaSalle, said developers are resorting to such unique moves in the backdrop of the overall slowdown in the real estate market, depressed demand, negative sentiment and a liquidity crunch.
“When they re-position areas to market their project, they command a 10 to 15 per cent premium over the existing prices of the locality. This is something that I am yet to see in other Indian cities. Of all the major cities, Mumbai is a city where people like to show off about where they stay. If a person lives in Khar, he generally tends to say he lives in Bandra. Even in south Mumbai, anyone living on Napean Sea Road is considered to be more affluent than in other areas. Developers are targeting this perception,” Nair said.
For instance, in 2010, realty major Lodha Group had announced its plans of constructing the tallest residential tower, World One, at a height of 1,450 feet with 117 floors in Mumbai. Although the project is underway at the defunct 17-acre Shrinivas Mill plot at Lower Parel, the Lodha Group refrained from using the ‘Lower Parel’ address and instead branded the location as Upper Worli. Worli is about 3.5 km from the project site.
Similarly, Lodha has branded a luxury housing project in Wadala, close to the newly opened Eastern Freeway, spread over 23 acres as ‘New Cuffe Parade’, widely advertising that the time taken to drive from Fort to Cuffe Parade is 20 minutes, and that from Fort to New Cuffe Parade is even less.
“We take this approach only for select marquee developments that are similar to landmarks that change the face