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MUMBAI, INDIA-Building to scale in one of the world’s most populated regions means super-sizing, and the imposing Panvel Township is no exception, with 18 million sf of construction envisioned for the 280-acre master-planned community. Now the venture is getting a big-time financial boost and experienced partner in Hirco PLC, a homegrown real estate developer and investment group funneling nearly $140 million into the concept.

“The Panvel development will certainly be one of the foremost communities in Mumbai and the country,” proclaims Hirco PLC CEO Priya Hiranandani-Vandrevela in revealing the commitment. Among the elements being incorporated are academic buildings, community centers, a hospital, and facilities for entertainment, retail and sporting uses. There will be multiple housing types, including flats, townhomes and villas. The self-inclusive enclave will have its own bus terminal and plentiful parking as well, and offers close access to a second airport being constructed to service the Greater Mumbai metropolitan region of 16 million people.

While Panvel Township does have an ambitious footprint, Hiranandani-Vandrevela notes that the company specializes in such ground-up initiatives, with Hirco PLC a subsidiary of Hiranandani, India’s premier developer of mixed-use townships. A lack of infrastructure in many parts of the emerging country mandates taking such a full-scale approach, Hiranandani-Vandrevela explains. “We continue to bring together talent, experience, relationships and reputation to deliver communities and high-quality infrastructure in picturesque settings,” says the Hirco principal, describing the concept as one “where luxury meets convenience.”

Demand for new communities is being driven by the expanding Indian middle class, and Mumbai is considered especially attractive for capturing growth due to its position as India’s financial capital. Hirco is already familiar with the market, having earlier this year bought into Commercial Township, another mixed-use community that abuts Panvel Township and one that is being designed to allow the two to interact. The area covering the projects was recently designated as a special economic zone, providing tax advantages.

Another common feature of both townships will be in the environmental sensibilities, says Hiranandani-Vandrevela. Beyond generous swaths of open space and a pedestrian-friendly layout, the developments will pursue best-practice sustainability in building construction, engineering and support systems. The townships will have a backup power substation, water storage capabilities and their own wastewater treatment centers.

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