A London and Mumbai-based architects’ firm has been appointed to design and deliver two new towers located on the Western Express Highway - the main arterial route through Goregaon in Mumbai, India.
White Red Architects will be responsible for the look and feel of the mixed-use scheme, including residential, commercial and office space, four cinema screens and a rooftop café area across two separate towers, which has now been given planning permission and is expected to start on site in the summer.
The client, a Mumbai-based developer, was looking for an architect with experience designing ambitious, complex yet functional mixed-use schemes on prime sites.
Satyam Towers will be ‘their most exceptional project to date’, given its location and high visibility along the Western Express Highway, as well as ‘the overarching objective to improve the current housing stock in the city’.
White Red Architects and its client are working closely with the Mumbai housing authorities and end users to ensure that existing social housing tenants on the plot will be rehoused to new flats with upgraded facilities on the site once the project is completed.
Developers in Mumbai, which is categorised as a megacity and home to around 12.4 million people, are encouraged to use this programme in return for extra buildable area.
Those behind the project say the social housing tenants are heavily involved with the redevelopment project and were able to select the development they wanted, as well as the developer to deliver it. The chosen scheme is for two 70m high towers - one residential, one commercial.
The commercial tower will include retail space, four cinema screens, office floors and a rooftop café, and faces the Western Express Way, shielding the residential tower behind it.
Jesus Jimenez, director at White Red Architects, said: “The team at White Red Architects is excited to see our proposals for this challenging redevelopment project reach the next stage. We have been working closely with key stakeholders to create a scheme which is attractive and playful – a striking addition along one of the main transport routes through the city – and which is also practical and most importantly, enjoyed by the people who will be living and working in the buildings.”
The client, Je&Vee, added: “We are very pleased to be working with White Red Architects on one of our most ambitious projects to date. Their local knowledge and international design expertise are greatly valued and have resulted in a set of proposals which have already attracted businesses to the area, as well as winning the support of the tenants on the existing site. We look forward to seeing the project develop over the coming months and years and establishing a thriving new hub in the city of Mumbai.”
How is Mumbai’s property market performing?
Mumbai is India’s most populous city, the capital city of the state of Maharashtra and a key financial and investment centre.
It’s also home to a thriving property market, if recent figures are anything to go by. According to Anarock Property Consultants, home sales in Mumbai jumped to their highest level in four years at the end of 2019 as property developers switched focus to building cheaper apartments.
Sales in Mumbai grew by 22% in 2019, despite a persistent credit crunch and economic slowdown curtailing recovery in India’s housing sales across its top seven cities.
“One of the major factors that helped Mumbai become the showstopper in 2019 was the developers’ conscious decision to bridge the demand-supply gap,” Anuj Puri, Anarock’s chairman, said. “The region saw maximum supply in the affordable category – something unusual for this market.”
Mumbai is India’s costliest property market and, in the third quarter of 2019, it was the 28th fastest-growing prime residential market in the world, according to Knight Frank.
In the past ten years, the city has seen a 12.7% growth in prime residential properties, with luxury homes now much more of a feature of the Mumbai skyline.
However, news stories from the beginning of this year paint a less promising picture, with talk of Mumbai real estate being on its deathbed thanks to slow sales and stagnant house prices.
Meanwhile, others point to Mumbai’s housing conundrum, with unsold houses and sky-high prices leaving many flats in the city empty. Anarock estimates that more than 2,16,603 houses, mainly targeted at higher income buyers and investors, in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region remained unsold in 2019 out of the total 6.48 lakhs of unsold houses across India’s top seven cities.
Looking ahead to this year, Knight Frank, in its recent Prime Global Forecast 2020 report, analysed how the world’s top prime housing markets will perform in the next year. When it came to Mumbai, the research said buyers are expected to be ‘cautious’ in 2020 after the economic slowdown in 2019 and an increase in stamp duty tax.
Knight Frank anticipates that prime real estate prices will shrink by 1% in the year ahead.