GMR Plans Realty Play in Hyderabad

Hyderabad, India (PressExposure) April 19, 2008 -- The GMR Group known for its infrastructure businesses may soon become a huge player in the real estate sector as well, diversifying into the sector with a Rs 3,300-crore deal. The group, which has built the new airport at Hyderabad, has sought government’s permission to develop 60 acres available at the old airport, located in the heart of the southern city.

The old airport occupies about 790 acres out of which 60 acres could become available once all commercial operations shift to the new airport. GMR, with the backing of the Andhra Pradesh government, is lobbying with the Centre to lease the airport land. According to real estate consulting firm CB Richard Ellis, the 60-acre land at the existing airport may fetch a price of about Rs 3,300 crore.

“GMR Group had some time back sent us a formal proposal asking for airport land which they intend to develop commercially, besides building a station for the proposed high-speed train service. They have sought the land on lease. But we are yet to look into their plans,” said a senior official in the ministry of civil aviation.

The Andhra Pradesh government had appointed DMRC as consultant to suggest ways for improving connectivity in Hyderabad. DMRC, in its report submitted to the state government, recommended highspeed train in the city as long-term solution for connectivity.

“Subsequently, the state government submitted a proposal to build a rail network from the old airport to the new airport. We have been pushing for this proposal with the civil aviation ministry. The project would require about 56-60 acres at the airport,” a top official of the GMR Group told ET.

“The high-speed rail network would require an investment of about Rs 4,000 crore,” he added. As the Centre has said that the old airport would continue to be operational though not for commercial operations, the land developer may not be allowed to build multiple-floor buildings at the airport.

“As per the plan, the existing terminal building will be converted into a railway station which will also house a marketing complex. The proposed plan would not be an obstacle to aircraft movement at the airport,” the GMR official said.

The Centre is soon expected to issue notification for closure of commercial operations at the existing airport. Meanwhile, it’s understood that GMR is also pursuing the project with urban development ministry and the Planning Commission.

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Press Release Submitted On: March 28, 2008 at 2:26 am
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