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GURGAON, INDIA-A 30-story, 860,000-sf office tower will be the centerpiece of a 2.5-million-sf project here by US-based Hines and DLF, one of India’s most enduring real estate concerns. The master-planned complex on 15 acres will reunite Hines with Robert A.M. Stern Architects, the internationally known design firm that has previously worked for the Houston developer in Brazil and Mexico, as well as in the US.

“DLF, Hines and Robert Stern share a vision that this should be the best-conceived and best-executed project in Northern India,” says Daniel MacEachron, managing director of Hines India Real Estate, a division headquartered in New Delhi. “Our goal is to create a truly unique complex,” seconds DLF vice chairman Rajiv Singh, with Stern retained to master-plan the site and the inaugural phase, including the office tower.

The still-unnamed project envisions a hotel, luxury apartments, retail and high-end restaurants, plus a possible second office tower. DLF already has a presence in the neighborhood, owning a golf course across the street and an adjacent residential enclave. Established in 1946, DLF today has properties in 31 cities throughout India after crafting a total footprint exceeding 220 million sf.

As befits a developer established in one of the world’s fastest growing economies, DLF has an ambitious platform encompassing 660 million sf of planned projects. Gurgaon represents the first foray into India for both Stern and Hines, although the latter entity has a presence in 15 countries and 96 cities globally. The Hines portfolio has more than 950 properties and approximately 380 million sf of space valued at approximately $16 billion. Based in New York City, Robert A.M. Stern is a 300-person firm experienced in commercial, institutional and residential design. Senior staffers leading the Gurgaon assignment are Graham Wyatt and Meghan McDermott.

A city of one million people anchoring the state of Haryana, Gurgaon has become a haven for outsourcing. The one-time center for automobile manufacturing still bears remnants of that industry, but also has lured the likes of Alcatel, Bain & Co., Ciena Corp. and IBM Corp to propel the modern economy. The employment surge has led to new hotels, malls and restaurants, and the complex planned by the US/India partnership anticipates further demand. “When completed, we feel this will be the heart of Gurgaon, commercially and as a social-gathering destination,” offers the DLF principal.

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