Wednesday, January 13, 2010

>Lavasa site visit (IDFC SSKI)

We recently visited Lavasa, as its Dasve Town Centre is ready to enter into the next phase as an operational town. Apart from the ~80 operational hotel rooms, 42 serviced apartments and several avenues for recreation, the Dasve Town Centre is also ready to hand over 200 apartments and 111 villas to buyers by end-January 2010. During our tour of Dasve town centre, Mugaon and Bhoini, the recently appointed City Manager of Lavasa shared with us the administrative challenges anticipated in this next phase as an operational hill station. We also took stock of the progress made in subsequent phases of Lavasa since our previous visit in February 2009. We returned impressed with the on-going pace of development and Lavasa’s initiatives in creating economic drivers for the creation of a fullfledged city going forward. We detail the key highlights of our visit below.

Out of the planned four access routes to Lavasa, two are operational and the other two under development. The first one (nearest from Pune), via Chandni Chowk exit from the Mumbai-Pune expressway, is an access-controlled toll road operated by Lavasa. The second route, via Hinjewadi exit (also from the expressway), is free access. The other two routes
– one from the Mumbai-Goa highway at Kolad, and another from Lonavala are under development. The government has granted permission to construct a tunnel on the route from Lonavala, which is expected to be ready for use in the next 12- 18 months. This route, which is the shortest distance (~170km) from Mumbai to Lavasa, would reduce travel time by approximately one hour. In terms of connectivity from Pune, the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) has started bus services from Swargate Bus Depot in Pune to Lavasa with seven trips a day.


• The ITC Fortune Select hotel (60 rooms) has been is fully functional since April 2009. Average occupancy at the hotel has been ~70% since commencement of operations. Ekaant, a 20-room resort is also fully operational.

• Waterfront Shaw service apartments (42 fully-equipped units) on the promenade have been operational since April 2009.

• Mercure – a budget hotel with capacity of 132 rooms – is in advanced stages of construction and expected to be operational within a month.

• The 256-room Pullman business hotel building is under construction and is expected to be completed within 12-18 months. The Novotel hotel (200 rooms) is also under construction and expected to be completed by July 2010.

To read the full report: LAVASA