Mumbai

BEST floats tender to lease 19 of its commercial properties

Reaching out: A banner at electric house in Colaba declaring that the space is for rent. BEST has put up similar posters on all properties it wants to let out.

Reaching out: A banner at electric house in Colaba declaring that the space is for rent. BEST has put up similar posters on all properties it wants to let out.  

‘Several properties lying vacant, occupied ones not giving going rates of rent’

The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking aims to lease 19 properties across the city as a way to ramp up its revenues and has taken steps to ease the process of bidding for the potential tenants. The properties for which the undertaking has floated tenders are either part of their staff quarters or their bus depots.

In a bid to attract potential tenants and reach more people, BEST has put up posters on all the properties it wants to let out with numbers of BEST officials who will be the point of contact for potential bidders. “We have received feedback that the entire process of bidding is cumbersome and many don’t know how to go about it. The process alienates a lot of potential bidders who normally find it simple to go through brokers,” a BEST official said. The official added that the contact persons will also be following up with persons who call to seek information to ensure they haven’t got stuck anywhere.

The properties are of varying sizes and spread across the city, with the largest being their 6,374-sq.ft. commercial property at the Mulund Check Naka bus stop. As part of their efforts to make the properties more accessible, the BEST administration has decided to keep the keys with the security department instead of the estate department. “So often potential clients would want to see the property on a weekend, when engineers from the department would be on leave. This way, anyone can come at any time to inspect these properties,” A senior BEST official said.

The undertaking’s transport division has also been in talks with large real estate management firms such as Knight Frank and Jones Lang Lasalle to help them attract a larger base of potential tenants. “Several of the properties are lying vacant and the ones which are currently occupied are not giving the going rates of rent. Some of the tenants at properties of our BEST headquarters are paying around ₹175 per sq.ft., for shop fronts facing Colaba Causeway. We found the market rate was over ₹300 per sq.ft. It’s to bridge these anomalies that this tender has been floated,” a senior BEST official said.

The BEST’s financial condition has been worsening over the years due to a burgeoning deficit. The undertaking presented budget estimates for the year 2020-21 showing a net deficit of ₹2,249.74 crore. The large deficit, which is nearly three times the revised estimate of 2019-20, is largely due to the traffic department, which is expected to have a deficit of ₹2,349.47 crore.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 1:00:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/best-floats-tender-to-lease-19-of-its-commercial-properties/article30324572.ece

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