Mahindra Lifespaces eyes half a dozen stressed projects in three cities

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Mahindra Lifespaces, real estate development arm of Mahindra Group, is evaluating half a dozen stressed and redevelopment projects in Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru, said a senior executive of the company.

Around 200 projects, with a cumulative 170,000 units, are stuck in the top seven cities, according to Anarock Property Consultants.

“Today, land owners are willing to sit at the table and willing to negotiate on payment terms. Earlier, they were not willing to negotiate,” said Sangeeta Prasad, MD, Mahindra Lifespaces. She says they are careful about partner risk in joint development projects. “If we do a joint development and do revenue sharem and the partner happens to go to the NCLT (the insolvency tribunal), how do we claim our share?” “We prefer greenfield (new) or IToR (industrial to residential land),” she said. Adding that many manufacturing companies like to monetise their land parcels and deal with corporates such as Mahindra Group.

Though the frm has yet to launch any projects this financial year, it is looking to do so at Kalyan near Mumbai, Chandivali in the city, and in Pune, in the second half of the year. “If we launch new projects in the tbhird or fourth quarters, it will be a big deal for us,” she said.

Prasad said the company was also in talks with sovereign funds and fund managers to float joint investment platforms for developing of new projects. It already has such platforms with HDFC Capital for affordable housing, with UK-based Actis for mid-premium projects and with IFC for industrial projects.

"Sovereign funds want to do large scale projects in terms of size and long gestation projects," she said.

With HDFC Capital, it has launched an affordable housing project in Palghar (a distant Mumbai suburb) under the brand of 'Happinest'. And, looking to launch one in Kalyan. "We are looking to do more with HDFC Capital," she said. 

With Actis, it has developed projects in Gurgaon and Bengaluru.

Prasad said the company would scale up business, take debt selectively and float more platforms.

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