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Inside the Citi of Joy

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With Phase I occupied, construction of Phase II & III are on at a fast clip at Nirmal Lifestyle’s Citi of Joy integrated township project at Mulund. Rajesh Kulkarni takes a closer look to find out what’s on offer for the 900 families that will live here by the end of 2009.

As one of Mumbai’s leading real estate developers, Nirmal Lifestyle has to its credit more than 50 lakh sq ft of residential and commercial developments over the last two decades.

The group has also been instrumental in transforming Mulund into one of the most sought after residential and commercial addresses on the eastern fringes of Mumbai with projects like Nirmal Lifestyle, its integrated township project.

Adding to its list of landmark projects at Mulund (West) is the Citi of Joy, the complete lifestyle city, spread over a mammoth area of landscaped greens dotted with calming water bodies. Located in close proximity to the railway station and the Western Express highway, the project from the outside presents a view of a cluster of sky high towers.

It’s only on entering the complex and taking a close look at the many amenities on offer (multi-level parking, kids’ arena, podium garden, health and fitness centre) that you realise that this gigantic residential complex is well equipped to support contemporary lifestyles.   

“It’s a housing complex designed to offer residents all the amenities needed to support a modern lifestyle,” says Rajeev Jain, director, Nirmal Lifestyle Ltd. “In addition to premium facilities like a huge podium garden and a jogging track, we have also ensured the availability of basic facilities such as ample parking space and complete security at the project.”

A closer look inside a sample flat for Phase II of the project (Phase I is sold out) reveals that the interiors match the exteriors in terms of the facilities provided. A wide view living room, granite flooring, anodised aluminium windows, black granite kitchen platform and bathrooms with premium fixtures are some of the main features on offer.

Quizzed about the size of the project, Jain reveals, “The total number of apartments is around 900 units ranging from a minimum 725 sq ft (carpet) going up to a maximum of 900 sq ft. Of this only about 140 units are available as part of the under-construction Phase II and III. We hope to complete the entire project by the end of next year.”

On Mulund’s stature as a viable destination for upmarket residential projects vis-à-vis the more highly-priced western suburbs like Bandra and Andheri, Jain says, “Mulund has established itself as a preferred destination for not only residential projects but commercial and retail as well.

Our very own Nirmal Lifestyle mall and the clutch of other commercial and retail developments along LBS Marg are examples of this. In terms of infrastructure development, Mulund is well connected to the Eastern Express highway and places like Vashi and Navi Mumbai.

Jain is also not perturbed about the demand slowdown and negative end user outlook with regard to under construction projects. He says, “Since our projects are under construction, customers and potential home buyers do not really have the fear of them not being completed. In the case of Citi of Joy, we have completed Phase I of the project which in turn has strengthened the faith of our customers in our company and projects.”

Commenting on his company’s strategy to combat the ongoing demand slump, Jain says, “In the current situation the best strategy would be not to initiate any new projects without prior planning and understanding their demand potential.”

As part of its expansion, Nirmal Lifestyle had earlier announced plans to create 20 world-class townships under the brand ‘Lifestyle City’ across India, with each city slated to be spread across 300-1000 acres of land.

Mumbai (2 nos), Pune, Indore and Panvel were slated to host five townships as part of Phase I at an estimated cost of US$5 billion, generating an expected revenue of US$10 billion.

Interestingly, in a first of its kind endeavour by an Indian developer, the company had also announced a tie-up with the iconic United States Tennis Association (USTA) to launch US Open branded real estate development as part of this mega project. Also on the anvil are a 3 million sq ft mall and a 1080-room hotel-cum-convention centre with France-based Accor Group.

The development will feature two Sofitel hotels, with 250 and 200 rooms each, a Novotel hotel with 250 rooms, “Grand Mercure Residence” a serviced apartment product with 180 units and an Ibis hotel with 200 rooms. There will also be a state-of-the-art convention centre with a capacity of 4000 people.

Other unique features of the hotel complex will be its proximity to a shopping mall and entertainment complex of over 3 mn sq ft, parking for over 2500 cars and a rooftop landscaped garden measuring over 7 acres. “This project promises one of the most sophisticated developments in the country,” says Jain. “The integrated malls, hotels and convention centers brings uniqueness, hence also complements the vision and direction of the country and the city in specific. This also complements our contribution to Mumbai’s vision of becoming a world class city.”

For Jain, initiating quality projects regardless of the overall market scenario remains a top priority. He says, “Real estate is all about touch and feel. Your work is what speaks for your brand. Nirmal Lifestyle has been very fortunate in the sense that people trust our brand. In the current scenario, we need our customers and potential buyers to continue
to have faith in our brand and our projects if we are to come out a winner.”

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