BKC-Chunabhatti Flyover's Opening to Boost Growth of Office Market

Karan Singh Sodi
The elevated connector is expected to decongest traffic in the Sion-Dharavi area, reducing the travel time by 30 minutes between BKC and Chunabhatti

Karan Singh Sodi, Managing Director, Mumbai - JLL

The opening of Bandra Kurla Complex- Chunabhatti Flyover will change the contour of the city's business district BKC. The flyover will originate from G Block, near MMRDA Building, in Bandra-Kurla Complex, and culminate near Somaiya Grounds at Eastern Express Highway (EEH). Once opened, it is expected to have a significant impact... improving connectivity and reducing commute time for many, who come to the business district for work. This, in fact, will prove to be a big boost to office and residential markets in the region.

Improved connectivity: The BKC-EEH Bridge will decongest the landlocked BKC District, Mumbai's most important CBD, by connecting it to the Eastern Suburbs along EEH and Eastern Freeway, especially, Wadala, Chembur, Sewri, which house Mumbai's growing workforce. It will also connect BKC to South Mumbai which continues to house the promoters, leaders and C-Suite of Mumbai's majority businesses and industries.

Reduced commute time: The Rs 155-crore elevated connector from BKC to EEH is expected to decongest traffic in the Sion-Dharavi area, reducing the travel time by 30 minutes.

People who stay along the Eastern Expressway stand to benefit. The project will be a major boon as traffic on EEH and LBS Marg, between Kurla and Sion, is expected to ease. Apart from ensuring better road connectivity between BKC and EEH, the project will ease traffic on Sion-Dharavi Link Road and Santacruz-Chembur Link Road (SCLR). Both links are used by motorists to reach BKC, and all this while there has been no alternative. With a lot of construction and metro work going on, the SCLR has become congested.

At present motorists take more than 30 minutes to reach BKC from Chunabhatti due to heavy traffic near Sion Circle and on the Sion-Dharavi Link Road. The flyover changes that and gives people another alternative to reach BKC. This in a way will decongest traffic in and out of BKC.

The office market: With such rapid growth, BKC office market has been facing a shortage with absorption outstripping supply since 2016. In 2018, the supply was not there, while the net absorption was 0.8 mn sq ft.

BKC Office Market

BKC Office MarketSource: JLL Research

The story has not changed much in H1 2019. With no supply the net absorption remained at 0.2 mn sq ft. The BKC Fringe areas (which include Santacruz, Bandra, Kalina, Kurla, Kalanagar and CST Road) did not have much demand due to issues related to connectivity and heavy traffic. If this traffic is decongested, there is a likelihood that the fringe areas of BKC will see more demand.

BKC's peripheral office market

BKC Peripheral Office MarketSource: JLL Research

With the new flyover, BKC's periphery gets added supply of 2.5 mn sft of Grade-A offices within 10 minutes of drive time. Locations such as Wadala, will then be officially integrated as a part of BKC fringe or BKC micro -m arket, thereby positioning itself as an alternate front office destination. The new flyover will thus also address the issue of shortage of prime office space to a large extent.

Increased residential demand

As the commute to Eastern Suburbs gets reduced by 30-40 minutes, the quality integrated-amenities developments of Eastern Mumbai can expect a growth in demand from the BKC employee base. This will not lead to emergence o f newer markets on the residential front, because all these are old and established markets.

Chembur has already received sufficient boost because of metro rail and mono rail. So this will act as soft factor and not have a very strong impact. However, with connectivity to BKC developers will have a better value proposition. It is likely to have an impact on Wadala, which might receive a significant boost because of a direct connectivity. It can cater to the upper mid and high-end segment with senior management employees living there.

The new flyover will now be of significant strategic importance to BKC and areas around it.

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