Plan to develop Wadala as biz hub gathers pace

MMRDA's plan of making Wadala a second business district after the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) is now gaining momentum. It recently picked Edifice Consultants Pvt Ltd to prepare a detailed plan for utilising its sprawling tract of land in Wadala to create an international finance and business centre.

The city's development authority had invited expressions of interest from companies for the project in January last year and shortlisted 12 consultants.

"We are focusing on Wadala now. We are in the process of taking back some land we had licensed out there. We are offering the licensees built-up area at other places," said Rahul Asthana, metropolitan commissioner at MMRDA.

He added that the Wadala business district would be smaller than BKC. MMRDA owns 109 hectares in Wadala. However, the actual usable area is only 82 hectares; the rest is salt-pan land.

The Wadala business hub would be a mix of commercial and residential buildings as MMRDA plans to create a walk-to-work set-up.

About 10 hectares of usable land belongs to the Lodha Group, which had put in the highest bid and purchased the plot from MMRDA for Rs 4,050 crore. The developer is constructing a residential project on the land.

There are a few more existing licensees on another 25 hectares, which MMRDA will retain, but will exercise architectural control over the area.

MMRDA will auction the rest of the land parcel, where it will be able to use a global Floor Space Index of 4, provided it secures necessary height approvals from the civil aviation ministry due to Wadala's proximity to the airport.

"We are in touch with civil aviation authorities. We hope that they grant a height clearance for up to 150-160 metres. According to current norms, the height stipulation is 80-90 metres," said Asthana.

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