Mumbai looks to be getting another project with at least one -- possibly more than one -- supertall. And we are not talking about the previously anncounced India International Trade Center
(see details on this project below), but the Mumbai International Finance Centre
. First read the article and check out my comments below the article that follows.
Govt shortlists 3 sites for financial hub
[21 Apr, 2007 l 0147 hrs ISTlTIMES NEWS NETWORK]
MUMBAI: The International Financial Centre (IFC) in the city, a 10-year-old project dogged by delays, may come up about sooner rather than later.
State government officials are already scouting around for a suitable site in which to house the complex and are considering sites at Dadar, CST and another on Bombay Port Trust land.
Officials said three sites were being considered: Rashtriya Textile Mill site owned by National Textile at Dadar, a plot within Bombay Port Trust land and a site off P D'Mello Road near CST on railway land. All are located in south Mumbai.
The IFC has been discussed for over a decade in the city for better international financial services and boost economic opportunities in the metropolis. However, the plan has never moved beyond the discussion stage. Of late though, it has acquired momentum following the release of a Union ministry of finance report, which looked at the framework needed to be put in place for Mumbai to be promoted as an global destination for commerce.
Secretary for special projects in the city, Sanjay Ubale, admitted that government was keen on going ahead with the project. FM P Chidambaram's visit to the city later this month is expected to give the project a further boost.
The model being considered for the plan is the Hong Kong International Financial Centre complex which has two tall buildings housing such a centre. Officials said the Hong Kong IFC has "a signature building" which is the tallest in the territory and the fourth tallest in the world with 88 storeys.
Ok, let's put down what we know about these two projects...
The facts we know about the India International Trade Tower (IITC)
• The NTC's IITT will be 1050 feet/72 storeys in height
• It will be is located on the 11.96-acre India United Mill No. 6 at Pravhadevi
• The cost
of the tower's construction will be around Rs. 700 crore
(approx $170.5 million USD)
• NTC has officially confirmed
that the tower will be built.
The facts we know about the Mumbai International Financial Centre (IFC)
• The project apparently has been 10 years in the making. However, it recently got impetus due to the recent High Powered Expert Committee (HPEC)'s report
detailing steps to take to make Mumbai an International Financial Centre (MIFC).
• It seems that this project is supported by city, state and national governments
and will be implemented soon. We will likely get more word on what this project is when will come when India's Finance Minister P. Chidambaram visits the city.
• There 3 possible sites under consideration
for the project:
- NTC's Rashtriya Textile Mill
, in the Mill Lands -- where I guess it will complement all the other towers being built on other NTC mill lands by private developers.
- a plot in Bombay Port Trust land
-- perhaps finally opening up the huge, prime, seafront land to skyscraper (commerical/CBD/docklands?) development?
- a site off P D'Mello Road near CST
on railway lands -- right the hell downtown. Perhaps someone can correct me, but I don't think there is much room here for other skycrapers to be built, as it is in a historic district. Unless the raillways want to release more land for development, I doubt there will be potential for major future skyscraper clustering a la a proper CBD.
• It is to be a major commercial center modeled on HK's International Finance Center complex
, which consists of a major mall, three towers (88 storeys, 40 storeys and 39 storeys), one of them the signature One IFC, one of them a hotel. One IFC is HK's tallest building.
- This modeling business implies that surely there will be a signature tower, most likely a supertall
. I'm guessing that at least a major mall would be built as well (pure speculation.) If it is modeled on the HK IFC, perhaps a complementary building (a Two IFC) will also be built? From this view, possibly a cluster of Trade Centre buildings
will be built.
- To show some of the possibility of the scale of the project, check out HK's IFC:
Comparing the Two Towers
• OK, now the the National Textile Corporation is a Central Public Sector Enterprise
which is building the IITC on funds earned
through the sale of the mill lands to major developers.
• This International Finance Center seems to be a government funded project
, though skimming through the HPEC's report, this project is likely to be a public-private venture
• The IITC is to be 72 stories
and will be located in an area anchoring the current Parel/Back Bay skyline and the future Dharavi redevelopment skyline
. The IFC will be located on either the Port Lands, the Mills or by CST
, the former two are two future sites of skyscraper development
. In each, it will serve to anchor the skyline. If it is to be located in the Port Lands, it may finally open this area to development sooner than expected.
• Both the IITC and the IFC are designed to be catalysts for business, trade and commercial skyscraper development
. By signing off on these two projects, the government has made a very public and visible green light on encouraging commercial skyscraper construction in Mumbai
. Commercial skyscrapers are not only taller, but more costly and inherantly of better quality than residental towers, which all but a handful of Mumbai's major projects are.
• The seeming drive to suddenly crash modernize Mumbai's infrastructure
(metro, freeways, sea-links, rail) probably got moved to the front burner due to the recommendations this report, and underscores Mumbai is trying to develop the infra that can sustain such huge commercial projects
(which are more of a strain on transport than purely residential towers are; consider the large numbers of office workers that will be commuting to and from work)