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08 December 2010

Marine Drive Skyscraper to retain Art Deco ethos

Redevelopment of Vasant Sagar building at Marine Drive will in no way harm the Art Deco character of the Marine Drive precinct, the developers have assured.

Our structure is going to be in tune with the character of the area. We are equally sensitive to the environment and we will ensure to do nothing that will take away beauty from our promenade,” explained Pujit Aggarwal, Managing Director and CEO of Orbit Corporation that has undertaken the construction. He said that the height of the redeveloped building was not going to be extra-ordinary. “Ambassador Hotel, that touches our plot boundary, is a 12 storey building. We have sought a similar height for the building that will have a few floors for parking and a few floors that will be habitable. One must understand that the city needs space badly, which makes the redevelopment of cessed and dangerous buildings absolutely necessary. Keeping this in mind, the law has offered a few provisions that are enshrined in the Development Control rules. This means that if one is developing properties in precincts, the height shall be granted on a practical basis and the decision for the same lies with the authorities,” Aggarwal said. He further added that even the cities like Miami that have Art Deco buildings and elevations had high-rises and were up to 20-storeys in the precincts. “We need to be more practical on this. A handful of residents have complained on the basis of newspaper articles which were not based on facts. Lots of residents from this area want to redevelop buildings here, but can’t do them as it is not financially viable. With no relaxation on height, the society can’t consume the entire FSI that is available to them. How will they then be redeveloped? After all, every structure has a life and most of them in the precincts have outlived theirs,” he said. “At Orbit, we have always been sensitive to the city, its heritage and its character.We have developed buildings in the past that had approval from MHCC. That should illustrate our commitment,” he concluded.

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