In Bengaluru, Builders enjoy the midas touch of Namma Metro

Don’t let the ravaged-looking trail of the Namma Metro mislead you on what it’s doing to the land around it. As the project gets ready to complete its first circuit of the city, the reality lies in the realty rates.

As the Floor Area Ratio, or FAR, (also called floor space index) is set to be increased on either side of the Metro corridor up to 500 m, big property developers have found an opportunity, especially so because in Bengaluru, going vertical is not that easy.

The FAR governs how much construction you do on a plot of land, based on the development plans and zoning laws of that state. It is a ratio of the total floor area of a building and the total plot area. Quite simply, the higher the FAR, the more you’re allowed to build — and pricer that piece of land. Earlier, Namma Metro Phase I offered an FAR of 4 for plots up to 150 m of the rail corridor. However, in 2012, when the state approved Phase II, it extended the higher FAR for properties within a 500 m radius. This applied for Phase I as well as II.

For this reason, not only are commercial ventures looking at opportunities around the Metro corridor, but also residential property builders, who’ve seen redevelopment lucrative. Developers are reportedly already in talks with a few residential colonies in the tony areas of Bengaluru – around MG Road, where the Metro traverses. Vittal Malya Road, which has Bengaluru‘s signature skyscraper, UB City, commands the highest guidance value. The stretch is dotted with a few apartments that are more than 25 years old. As this road falls within the 500 m radius of the Metro corridor, an A-list developer had approached apartment residents’ associations for redevelopment, and the discussions, Mirror came to know, were shaping up well.

No decision had been made yet, though. On Infantry Road, the comparatively-recent and one of the city’s earliest premium projects, Mantri Altius, is another property where the developer had evinced interest for redevelopment because of the higher FAR.

WHAT REALTORS SAY

According to sources in the realty industry, Mantri was keen to go in for a redevelopment but not all owners of Altius were on the same page. “The developer had approached us and was in talks. The plan was to demolish and rebuild to a greater size.

Majority of the owners had agreed but some [declined]. They were not sure about the completion of the project [and were wary of delays],” president of the Altius residents’ association Satish Chandra told media. Mantri Altius was one of Bengaluru‘s first super luxury projects and when launched in 2004, it created quite the buzz. Here, an apartment is upwards of 5,000 sq ft and was then sold at over Rs 3 crore.

The 17-storey building on an 85,000-sq-ft built-up area, was a ‘by invitation only’ project, where the developer selected the prospective buyers after a personal meeting. Each floor has just one exclusive apartment.

Credits Bangalore Mirror

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