Ambuja Realty to unveil three projects this year despite slowdownMarch 9th, 2009 - 12:28 pm ICT by IANS
By Aparajita Gupta
Kolkata, March 9 (IANS) Notwithstanding the slowdown, city-based developer Ambuja Realty plans to unveil three new real estate projects in West Bengal this year, a top company official says.
The projects comprise a 150-room hotel, a mall and an IT park at Rajarhat on the northeastern fringes of the city.
“We will invest Rs.250 crore (Rs.2.5 billion) for building the hotel and the mall, and Rs.300 crore (Rs.3 billion) for Ecospace,” Ambuja Realty chairman Harshavardhan Neotia told IANS.
The construction work for the mall and the hotel started in 2006 and for the IT park, called Ecospace, in 2007. The IT park is being built in association with Bangalore-based corporate real estate developer RMZ Corp.
“All these projects will be ready in another four to five months,” Neotia said.
Asked how the company is planning to beat the current global economic slowdown, he said: “Metaphorically, by working hard. That’s the only thing one can do. There is no formula. There is no prior knowledge of how things will turn out.”
However, though the company is not dropping any project on account of the economic slowdown, it will go slow on new and upcoming projects, he said.
“We can’t drop any project that is already under way. It will be suicidal. We have decided certainly not to do new projects till the downturn fades.”
The company has put on hold plans for building three luxury hotels in the northern part of the state at Makaibari in Kurseong, Siliguri (both in Darjeeling district) and in Gorumara forest of neighbouring Jalpaiguri district.
“Now, the projects are on hold for two reasons. There are some political problems in the hills and also due to the economic crisis,” Neotia said.
The hills are witnessing a political movement for a separate Gorkhaland state to be carved out of Darjeeling district besides parts of Jalpaiguri district.
“The projects are on hold till we get a better sense of how the hill problems will be. As soon as we have a little clarity, we will take stock and proceed in that direction.”
Ambuja Realty is engaged in construction in residential and commercial sectors, which includes IT parks, retail malls, special economic zones, theme parks, hotels and banquets, and education and healthcare centres.
Apart from these, Neotia said there are at least three projects - an IT park and hotels - for which the company has got the land clearances from the government.
Regarding the long-term investment plans, which the company earlier put at Rs.5,000 crore (Rs.50 billion) for the coming five years, he said long-term investment plans would be reviewed.
“As real estate and property prices have fallen, what was earlier targeted at Rs.5,000 crore may come down to Rs.4,000 crore (Rs.40 billion) now,” he said.
The company is also building a retail and residential complex at Raipur in Chhattisgarh, townships in Amritsar and Mohali in Punjab, and near Nagpur in Maharashtra.
(Aparajita Gupta can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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