DLF aims to add more rental income

From Business Standard

DLF, the country’s largest real estate company, is aiming to increase its office and retail supply to 36-40 million sq ft in the next two to three years. Currently, its office and retail space covers around 31 mn sq ft, of which two mn is vacant.

It plans four mn sq ft of new office space in Gurgaon and Chennai in the next two to three years. It has also started evaluating projects in Pune and Hyderabad, to add another three mn sq ft. DLF’s target is to increase rental revenues from Rs 2,400 crore now to Rs 3,000 crore by the end of the next financial year.

Sriram Khattar, chief executive of DLF’s rental business, said: “We are continuously upgrading our office buildings and infrastructure to offer the best experience to tenants.”

Other big players in office spaces include Bengaluru‘s RMZ Corp and The Embassy Group. RMZ, backed by Qatar Investment Authority, owns 13 mn sq ft office space and plans to take this to 20 mn by 2017 and 80 mn sq ft by 2021, through developing, buying and aggregating. Embassy has about 30 mn sq ft of offices and plans to add 12 mn in the next three years.

Construction at DLF projects in Gurgaon and Chennai are expected to start soon and  get complete in 24-36 months. In Pune and Hyderabad, construction could start in the next six to eight months. Two new retail destinations — The Mall of India in Noida and The Chanakya in South Delhi— will also open soon. Marketing of the Cyber Park in Gurgaon will start around April, it is learnt.

DLF’s Cyber City in Gurgaon, one of the biggest office -cum-retail destinations across India, can be expanded by another 2-2.5 mn sq ft, sources said. A decision on this is to be taken.

Recently, about 25 global institutional investors expressed interest in bidding for the proposed sale of DLF promoters’ 40 per cent stake in the company’s rental arm, DLF Cyber City Developers Ltd. According to estimates, the deal could be around Rs 12,000 crore. DLF has high debt of Rs 21,000 crore and has been selling non-core assets such as hotels and land lots to pare debt and focus on the core business of real estate.

With renewed demand in the office segment from e-commerce companies and other start-ups, the market is expected to revive in the next couple of quarters, say analysts. Also, as the housing market is going through a slow phase, many developers are banking on commercial businesses, such as retail and office space, to boost business.

According to real estate consultancy company CBRE, the top seven cities saw absorption of 38 mn sq ft office space in 2015, highest in the past five years. Bengaluru led with 32 per cent share and the National Capital Region was second with 23 per cent.

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