Tuesday, August 11, 2009

DLF revives commercial plans

DLF revives commercial plans

DLF, India's biggest real estate company, seems to have forgotten its recent troubles. With some funding available to it, it has now decided to stay in some of the business that it had considered peripheral -- hospitality included.
DLF is gearing up for a second innings in the commercial space, thanks to an eased liquidity situation that has pumped some confidence in the real estate sector.
The company has now revived its commercial projects, which were on hold for the last one year or so.

NDTV learnt from sources that DLF's commercial expansion will be mainly centered around hospitality and retail, with an investment
of Rs 4,000 crore to be funded through long term debt. Stake sale, if any, would be at project specific only.
The company will initially focus on Delhi and plans to launch about 3 hotels and 7 malls in Delhi over the next couple of quarters.
An office project is in the offing in West Delhi, adjacent to its proposed housing complex at Swatantra Bharat Mills.

Anshuman Magazine, chairman of CBRE India, said, “The rental market has shown some recovery in the last few months. Things have somewhat started to look up. The country's largest realtor earmarking expansion plans in the commercial space will further help boost sentiment.”
Experts opine that DLF's approach seems to be much more subdued this time on. So, instead of the mega plans of 25,000 keys by 2010, it is now talking about a mere 350 keys across 3 properties in Delhi.

D K Agarwal, MD of SMC Global, said, “We will still be more cautious on our outlook for commercial and hospitality. The past experience has not been very positive.”

Although DLF has decided to revisit commercial projects, the company insiders say that residential projects, mainly affordable housing will continue to be the key growth driver, at least for the next few quarters.

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