2016 has been quite an exciting year for the Prestige Group. This year we managed to deliver about 17 million square feet of total built area to thousands of happy homeowners. We’ve completed 14 projects during the year and launched 3 projects - Prestige Kew Gardens and Prestige Lakeridge in Bangalore and Prestige High Fields in Hyderabad. Prestige High Fields is Hyderabad’s first ever Disney-themed residence. We have also completed a couple of million square feet of IT office space this year.
As far as the industry is concerned, we have been facing certain challenges like the new TDR regulations. There’s also the RERA bill, which is likely to get notified very soon. The GST laws will get notified in the next few months as well. So the industry is looking at a series of new laws that need to be complied with. Apart from these, there is also the new National Green Tribunal (NGT) order that has come in. The NGT order includes new regulations for approval of plans of projects located near lakes and nalas.
While the industry was grappling with these new guidelines, the month of November witnessed one of the most disruptive moves made by the Government of India – the demonetization of the large denomination currencies. Though we fully endorse the move, its sudden announcement created both baseless rumours and panic among customers initially. This made them wary about investing in homes for some time. Fortunately, with things settling down, we are once again witnessing activity in the market, though it has yet to reach its full momentum. We, at Prestige, wholly endorse the move made by the Honourable Prime Minister. We believe that it is a single rare opportunity to clean the system and start a new regime altogether, and hence this move should be supported by all.
In 2017, we look forward to inaugurating 2 of our biggest hotel developments - the Sheraton Grand Whitefield Hotel and Convention Center in Prestige Shantiniketan, as well as The Conrad Hotel, Ulsoor, located right in the heart of Bangalore’s CDB area. Both these hotels should be ready by April. We are also very excited about opening the doors of our malls, both in Mysore as well as in Prestige Shantiniketan, Bangalore by early to mid 2017.
With the uncertainty over the new laws getting settled, and the entire team getting acclimatized to the new regulations, we are looking forward to much bigger and better launches in Chennai and Bangalore, as well as Goa. Hopefully we will be able to bounce back with bigger numbers. I foresee the housing market thriving once again, with a good demand for housing in 2017.
As far as retail is concerned, there is still a major requirement for good retail spaces and this sector will continue to do well.
With regard to office space, since the supply has dried up, there are no further vacancies. The new buildings that are ready are getting occupied instantly because there is limited supply available in the market currently.
Hospitality is a function of how the Government drives tourism and business in a city. I believe that with time, hospitality assets will perform better and better, year on year. Bangalore has the distinct advantage of being a preferred destination for both conventions and conferences. Hence, I see the hospitality industry thriving here.
Noteworthy among our upcoming projects is a piece of land in Pune that Prestige has set aside for developing an IT Park. We have also set aside properties for office buildings as well as an IT Park in both Ahmedabad and Kochi.
Finally, as we gear up to enter a brand New Year, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our patrons and friends for their continued support and wish everyone a wonderful and prosperous year ahead.
Photo Caption: Irfan Razack - CMD, Prestige Group