DEVELOPERS constructing luxury commercial spaces in Mumbai, the country’s most expensive real estate market, are set to cash in on a series of steps outlined in the draft Development Plan 2014-34 being prepared by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.
After permitting higher FSI up to five times the plot size for certain categories of commercial buildings, the revised Development Control regulations have now allowed more construction over and above the permissible built-up space (or FSI) in such commercial towers.
Existing regulations permit such premises to build extra area to the extent of 20 per cent of the permissible FSI on payment of a premium.
The revised guidelines increase this by another 10 per cent for commercial buildings, malls and multiplexes.
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Further, the premium payable for this extra FSI — or fungible FSI — has been reduced from 100 per cent of the government-determined market value of the plot to 80 per cent for commercial uses.
Sources confirmed that influential developers had been lobbying with the government for permitting additional built-up area for both commercial and residential projects.
While city officials turned down the demand for exempting such areas from FSI computation, the increase in fungible FSI permitted to commercial establishments has been incorporated in the draft regulations. Earlier, the revised regulations draft had announced an FSI of up to five or five times the plot size for IT and biotechnology parks and hotels. Now the permission to avail extra areas up to 30 per cent in effect raises the total buildable space or FSI for such establishments to 6.5.
For other commercial categories on independent plots, the permissible buildable area, following the hike in fungible FSI, will become 2.6 times the plot size, a senior civic official said.
There is, however, a rider.
The BMC has ruled that the additional 10 per cent sop was only applicable for buildings that were fully commercial, and that this additional area can be utilised only for providing more width to corridors and passages. Sources, however, said the fears of misuse of additional area persist.
In another sop, the municipality has also relaxed restrictions regarding the height of a floor for office spaces and IT parks, permitting builders to construct taller floor areas without losing out on any additional built-up area or FSI. The revised development control regulations permit the floor areas for office spaces and IT parks to rise up 4.2 metre from the current cap of 3.9 metre.
Currently, for floor areas constructed beyond the permissible height, the municipality counts an additional 50 per cent over the built-up floor area, presuming that a mezzanine will be constructed. A special permission from the civic commissioner will be required for the additional height.
Similarly, in the case of exhibition-cum-convention facilities and indoor sporting facilities such as badminton, volleyball, and squash courts, this has been further relaxed to 8.8 metre.
Norms for natural light and ventilation for all non-residential air conditioned facilities have also been relaxed. For all high-rises beyond 70 metre, the commissioner has reserved discretionary power to waive height restrictions for the service floors.
“It is our stated policy that commercial activities must be promoted to boost employment in the city,” civic commissioner Ajoy Mehta said.