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The twin wonder


By combining a business park with a 4-star hotel within the same layout, Kanakia’s twin project will address two important business needs. Niranjan Mudholkar visits this trend setter project’s site to check out the work in progress. Photographs by Sandeep Patil

Bang on the Andheri-Kurla road in Mumbai – closer to Andheri – Kanakia Spaces is developing a twin project on a land plot bearing city survey (CTS) number 215. Dotted by several office spaces and some hotel properties, this road (also called Sir MV Road) with its connectivity to both the airports and two national highways  (Western Express & Eastern Express) is always charged with traffic that’s almost legendary.

It has become something of a tradition with Kanakia Spaces to name its projects after the CTS number – part of the twin project is called 215 Atrium. (Kanakia’s main office is called 349 for the same reason). 215 Atrium, when ready, will have contemporary office spaces. The huge 100 feet atrium that’s shaping up is supposed to be magnificent and the developers decided to use the word atrium while naming the development. The elevation looks quite impressive and offers a good glimpse of what’s shaping up in brick and mortar.

The other part of the twin project that’s coming up simultaneously within the same layout is a 300-key four star property, Courtyard Marriott. It marks Kanakia’s foray into the hospitality sector.

“Hospitality is one sector which always sees demand despite any ups and downs. We have chosen to make a hotel because of the location advantage it offers. International and domestic airports are in close vicinity and Andheri-Kurla road is one of the most prominent commercial hub,” says Subhash Pillai, A.V.P, sales & marketing, Kanakia Spaces.

Although he did not reveal the the value of Courtyard Marriott, Kanakia claims to have kept the overall costs quite low. “Our expertise in the real estate industry has helped us to keep down the project costs thus making this venture viable,” says Pillai. The cost of only the 215 Atrium development is estimated to be roughly around Rs70-80 crore.

When asked about the impact of the ongoing financial downturn, Pillai said there had been no effect of the crisis on the project. And this was evident considering the ongoing construction work at the site.

“That’s because we have sold 75% of the project two months before so the current financial downturn has had no impact,” says Pillai. Cushman & Wakefield has been the transaction manager on this project. The total built-up area of 215 Atrium is about 3,00,000 sq ft and that of Courtyard Marriott is 3,34,000 sq.

Given the scale of the project, the site is abuzz with construction activity even late in the evening. Work on the project started almost a year ago and the project is said to be running as per schedule. Pillai did not give the date of completion. Looking at the progress, it is likely that 215 Atrium may be ready earlier than the Courtyard Marriott. Talking about Kanakia’s entry into the hospitality segment, Pillai says: “We expect the global markets to start booming in next couple of years which means there will be a boom in the hospitality sector when our project will be operational.”

Kanakia is also developing another hotel under the Courtyard Marriott brand. It will be combined with its retail brand, Eternity Mall coming up in Lucknow, UP.

Both strategic locations (in Mumbai and Lucknow) will be part of the projects’ USP. The Mumbai location with its proximity to the airports is likely to make it a hit. True, the traffic situation on the Andheri-Kurla route isn’t ideal but with the Metro One coming up on the same line things may improve to a great extent.

What’s noteworthy about the twin project is that it addresses two important business needs under one umbrella. Mumbai frequently has business visitors from all over who usually stay at 5-star or 4-star properties. This twin project can definitely be a boon for business visitors and other developers may soon follow suit given the
double utility.

Who’s doing what   

Architecture                            Ajit Jhaveri
Interiors                                    Daniel
Landscape architecture       Vikas Ghoseka
Structural Engineering          PT Gala
Construction contract           PT Gala
Legal Advisors                        Paresh Bhansali, Wadia Gandhi
Electrical contract                 Design Bearue
Plumbing                                  Design Bearue

Construction specifications

Structure                                                  RCC frame with Post Tension slab
Cladding                                                   Aluminium composite panel
Glazing                                                      Spider glazing (double)
No. of floors                                             Basement + Ground + 10
Average floor plate (Approximately) 35,000 sq ft
Ceiling height                                           3.35 mts
Column grid                                              8.0 mts
Efficiency (approximately)                    70% (Complete floor)
Car parking ratio                                     1 per 1000 sq ft
Elevators                                                   9 ThyssenKrupp Elevators (only for the 215 Atrium)
Fire-fighting system                               As per Mumbai CFO norms

Awareness about onsite safety

One observation made by this writer during the site visit was the reluctance shown by some workers to wear safety helmets. It was only after being reprimanded by the supervisors that they would wear the safety gear and not without grumbling.

This highlights the fact that there is a serious need to educate the workers at our construction sites about the importance of wearing basic safety equipment.

They need to be made aware of the fact that wearing helmets is a matter of safety and not convenience. Incidentally, Kanakia has been quite strict in its adherence to safety norms. “We are going to emphasise on levying penalty on contractors as per our clause mentioned in the agreement; already all the workers at the site are insured,” Pillai informed.

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May 2020
11 May 2020