Mumbai: Prestige Estates to complete Shivshahi society redevelopment project

August 2, 2022
Mumbai: Prestige Estates to complete Shivshahi society redevelopment project

MUMBAI: The 192 families of Worli‘s Shivshahi cooperative housing society have decided to appoint yet another builder to complete their jinxed Rs 3,000-crore redevelopment project, languishing for almost a decade now.

The prime 3-acre plot is located opposite the Glaxo property in Worli.

Eight years after they vacated their buildings, society members on Sunday unanimously decided to appoint Bengaluru-based developer Prestige Estates to complete the work. A little over a year ago, they had signed an agreement with Oberoi Realty, but that builder backed out because of subsequent disagreements with the society. “Oberoi did not want to take the liabilities created by the original builder,” said one of the members.

On Sunday, 141 of the 192 members who attended a special general body meeting, approved the decision to sign a development agreement with Prestige in the presence of the deputy registrar of cooperative societies. “We hope to finalise the agreement by next week,” an office bearer of the society told TOI. Some of the members justified the decision on the plea that if the project is not given to Prestige, “no other developer will take our project”.

The perils of redevelopment in Mumbai are exemplified by the travails of the Shivshahi society. The families lost their homes when their buildings were demolished by the original builder HBS Realtors (Wonder Value Realty), appointed to redevelop their properties. About three years ago, their rents for alternate accommodation paid for by the builder too stopped, leaving them high and dry.

The Shivshahi scheme was allotted to the builder a decade ago on the condition that the rehab tower will come up on vacant land available without disturbing the old buildings. They were repaired, money spent, and a structural stability certificate was obtained. The FSI rules changed and the decisions taken earlier were overturned too. Strengthened buildings were declared dangerous and demolished.

The buildings were demolished in 2014. In 2019, though, the builder, HBS, stopped paying their rents-displacement hardship allowance (Rs 70,000 to Rs 80,000 a month)-leaving these families in the lurch and forcing them to shift to far-off locations.

The society then terminated its earlier agreements with HBS Realtors and gave 100% consent to Oberoi to finish the project. The 3-acre plot has a saleable portion of almost 8 lakh sq ft.

Incidentally, in 2007-08, Oberoi had dragged the same society to court, accusing it of reneging on a memorandum of understanding signed with it for redevelopment. Oberoi had lost the case against the society, which had then appointed HBS Realtors and IL&FS.

The 3-acre land on which the Shivshahi society stands, was leased to Mhada by the municipal corporation for 999 years for building EWS tenements for industrial workers. The buildings came up in 1950.

Shivshahi is just one of the five societies in the 34,000 sq m (8.5 acres) Mhada layout. Of this, Shivshahi occupies about 12,325 sq m (3 acres).

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