© Vandana Ramnani Raymond Realty forays into commercial real estate, plans to launch premium residential units spread across 1 mn sq ft
Raymond Realty on October 5 announced its foray into the development of ‘Grade A’ commercial and high street retail space at Thane land spread across 9.5 acres. The company also plans to build premium residential units comprising of 3 and 4 BHK units spread across a million square feet subject to requisite approvals.
The company, which de-merged from the textile major parent and has a sizeable land parcel in Thane, will build one million square feet of commercial space as part of the first phase. It will include over 8 lakh sq ft of premium space to be rented out to companies, while the remainder will be a high street shopping space, the company said.
With the construction going on at a breakneck speed and completion of its first three towers tower structure in a record time, Raymond Realty will be delivering its first unit ahead of 24 months of the RERA deadlines.
“Two years ago when we came into the business everybody said what is Raymond doing in the real estate business and what do they understand about the business. I think the biggest advantage we had coming into this business was that we understood nothing about it. And we rewrote the rules of the book to be able to craft our own journey and write the book to say that this is the way it should be done,” Gautam Hari Singhania, Chairman and Managing Director of Raymond told reporters.
“Many firsts here – people said will they actually construct these buildings? Well, they are up. As a company, we have been the fastest real estate site in the company and that too through the pandemic. We have put up a slab every seven days. This is the first thing that is different,” he told reporters.
“On December 10, 2022, at 10 am we will hand over the keys to the first apartment. This is a big statement, a big brand reinforcement. As a company, we are cognizant of the pandemic and we are emphatic to our customers. We have taken a decision that any customer whose money has been forfeited, has 24 months to come back to us and we will give him credit for every rupee that he has paid us,” he said.
He said the real estate business has become a significant vertical for the Raymond Group. “This is just the beginning. We have demerged this business with the approval of the board. And the idea is to take this business for its humble beginnings to a completely different level,” he added.
In addition to Housing and Commercial projects in Thane, Raymond Realty is also evaluating numerous options through Joint Development Agreement without land acquisition in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.
There are various proposals currently under evaluation across MMR and the business is on course to attain significant value creation.
“The current project has given us enough confidence now to expand our horizons beyond Thane and our venture into real estate is not limited to land monetization only,” he said, adding “We are exploring various options of joint development without land acquisition outside Thane,” he said.
The company plans to carve out a subsidiary for its real estate business.
“We are creating a subsidiary for the real estate business. All projects will be transferred into the subsidiary. It will be a pure-play real estate entity that will, going forward, manage its own funding, raise its own funds, and then work on the expansion. Going forward, we will focus on joint development and not buy any fresh land. We already have a land bank in Thane which is adequate for us for many years to come,” said Harmohan H Sahni, CEO, Raymond Realty.
As for expansion, the company is currently planning to focus on MMR, he said, adding, this is “because we believe that is a big market and a lot can be done and we are already entrenched in that market.”
The company has also announced that customers who have been unable to make payments and had to get their unit forfeited due to financial challenges because of the pandemic, can now get the forfeited amount adjusted till 24 months in case they would like to book a flat again.
“During the pandemic year, there were some customers who faced financial difficulties. And because of that some of the payments did not come on time and we had to cancel those apartments. The money had to be forfeited as per RERA. As a humanitarian gesture going forward, for all those customers for whom the money has been forfeited, we are giving them 24 months’ time starting from the cancellation date, so that if their financial situation improves or some of them who lost their job, find employment or are able to surmount some other difficulty, they can come forward and book another apartment and we can give them full credit of the money that was forfeited,” he said.
Raymond Realty has so far sold over 70% of the total inventory of the around 2,350 units launched to date. With over 100-acre land parcels in the heart of Thane city, Raymond forayed into the real estate space in 2019 with its maiden project ’10X’, which is spread over 14 acres. This is a township comprising 42 storeyed towers of over 3,000 smart-sized homes of 1 and 2 BHK units.