Lock, stock and big storage surge RETAIL BOOM Developers that dealt only in residential, commercial spaces are building warehouses, logistics hubs Aishwaryalyer ... firstname.lastname@example.org etail and real estate are finding more meeting ground as developers venture into warehousing andindustriallogistics. Lodha, Shapoorji Pallonji, Raheja Universal and Hiranandani in Mumbai, and Brigade, Prestige Group and Assetz Property Groupin Bengaluruareamong the largest groups launching their own warehouse projects. Some are also collaborating with international warehousing firms. Theresidential sector, with huge inventory and relatively low demand, is pushing local developers towards this new sector, which isshowing growing demand, says Balbirsingh Khalsa, national director for industrial and warehousing asset services and branch director for Ahmedabad, at realty consultancy Knight Frank Imdia. State governmentsin Maharashtra, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Chhattisgarh arealsofocusingonthe warehousing and logistics sector,Khalsasays. The status of industrial and infrastructure development is now given to these sectors. The Make in India pushis another key reason for growthin this segment. Banks have also opened up funding for this sector at attractiverateofinterests, after the implementation of GST. Funding is easier to obtain for this segment than for residentialand commercial projects. This industry has a wide scopeamid sustained growthin organisedretail, and improving transportinfrastructure which provideslast-mile connectivity as governments, says NiranjanHiranandani, chiefmanaging director of Hiranandani Communities. Governments are also easing regulations to attract more foreign investment.Hiranandani forayed intologisticsin December, with a warehousing facility called Green Base. The group currently holds vast parcels of land in Maharashtra, including 250 acres in Pune, 75acresin Nashik and 115 acres in Chennai, which they plantodevelopas warehousing hubs. Land is also being acquired in Gurugram, Bhiwandiand Bengaluru, for more such hubs, as the group anticie pates growing demand from the e-commerce, retail and apparel, FMCG and light engineering segments. In 2015, meanwhile, Prestige Group began work on its first logistics centre, in Kolar district, Karnataka. The project was completedin May 2018 and partofithasbeenleased to Flipkart and Dhoot Transmission. We want to capitalise on the potential of this sector, says Nandakumar OP, vice-president of leasing at Prestige Group. UP & UP The number of developers investing in this sector will go up further in the next two to three years, says Jasmine Singh, senior executive director for advisory and transaction services at realty advisory CBRE. Ase-commerce grows, demand for efficient supply chain systems has been growingtoo. Withrevised GST, there isan increase in the number of renowned developers entering thisspace, and they are backed by institutional funding, which has become easier to acquire, Singh says. Even developers like the Raheja Universal (nottobe confused with the K Raheja Group), which have traditionally focused exclusively on residentialandcommercialreal-estate, say they do not want to be left behind. We have set up a 5.5-lakh-sq-ft warehouse and industrial logistics facility in Juinagar,in NaviMumbai,and a second phase is now under construction, says Anita Kataria, senior vice-president of sales at Raheja Universal. Our target industries will be textiles, apparel, engineering andelectricals,as well asindustriallogisticsservice providers who deal in transport and sea freight services. ISTOCK Among the new models emerging as realty developers getinto the warehousingspace arejoint ventures and partnerships with international warehousing chains. Bengalurws residential developer Assetz Property Group, for instance, partnered with the Australian warehousing and logistics company Logos in 2017. Their joint venture aims at developing warehouse and logistics spaces in Chennaiand Hyderabad.