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MUMBAI'S LIFELINE - 19th April, 2007. ET Realty (Economics Times)

The Western Express Highway is the most important road in the city

Sanjeet Narain

With the Central and state government supporting infrastructure in the country, we can look forward to smaller cities and towns getting closer to the major metros.
The building of new highways, flyovers, Metro rail and airports, are bringing India closer to its goal of being a leading global player.
This pro-infrastructure policy has also helped Mumbai city get better wider roads, flyovers, proposed metro rail, the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, etc.
The most important road in Mumbai is the Western Express Highway (WEH).
The WEH stretches from Bandra to Dahisar and soon the road will further extend to Worli, with the Bandra-Worli sea link.
With direct access into the domestic airport and close proximity to the international airport the demand for real estate along the WEH in Mumbai is very high.
In the next seven years the entire skyline along the WEH and surrounding areas will change with so much construction happening.
For example, in Goregaon the surrounding areas along the WEH are getting developed on a large scale. Oberoi Constructions has constructed one of the tallest commercial buildings in Mumbai with commercial offices up to the 18th floor and the rest of the floors above will be occupied by a premium American Hotel. This is perhaps the only building in India of its kind. There are a few more commercial buildings proposed along with a Garden Lake residential complex along the lines of Dubai Marina. Apart from this, just off the WEH towards Film City Raheja Constructions have started one of the largest IT parks in Mumbai. This area under development spreads across 200 acres approximately. This massive commercial construction will in turn generate a lot of residential requirement in the surrounding area, just like Mindspace in Malad. Further north towards Kandivali and Borivali, where empty plots, old factories, etc. are still available for sale, we will witness a lot of construction activity of both residential and commercial.
Down towards south in Vile Parle HSBC Bank has leased an independent commercial building touching the WEH.
The area surrounding Vakola and Kalina will witness approximately 1 million sq. ft. of new commercial construction from a few private developers.
Bandra-Kurla Complex will get its most awaited premium commercial project by the Maker Group in the next few months. The rates of lease will be around Rs.350 plus.
The project will comprise 0.65 million sq. ft. of commercial offices and the rest of the area will be divided for a shopping and entertainment centre along with a five-star hotel.
Besides this there will be a supply of 1.5 million sq.ft. in Bandra-Kurla Complex in the next three years. Most of these offices will be available only on lease. Bandra-Kurla Complex will also house the American Consulate in the near future.
Amongst all the locations along WEH, Bandra-Kurla Complex is of strategic importance. It is well connected with all major arterial roads like those going towards Chembur and Pune
or Dadar and CST, towards Worli and south Mumbai and towards eastern Mumbai through Kurla or western suburbs of Bandra and Santacruz.
The Western Express Highway is the lifeline of Mumbai just like the Mumbai Rail. FOCAL POINT The Western Express Highway stretches from Bandra to Dahisar and soon will further extend to Worli, with the Bandra-Worli sea link. With direct access into the domestic airport and close proximity to the international airport the demand for real estate here is very high. With so much construction happening here, the skyline of the area is all set to change Sanjeet Narain is Managing Director, Narains Corp.