Integrated townships are the next big thing in the Indian real estate sector; it seems, with a quiet growth in the number of planned projects that blend in a lot of things to make ambitious projects realty successful and sustainable. As land prices peak in key cities and basic infrastructure lagging to cope up with rising population, developers are building cities away from the city to provide quality lifestyles. These are being aided by the government's policy that allows foreign direct investment (FDI) in such townships.
Almost all major developers under- stand the huge potential of this concept and are investing heavily with intent of emerging as big asset managers in the coming years
Rakindo Developers, a joint venture between RAKEEN, a Joint Stock Global Business Company promoted by the Government of Ras Al Khaimah, UAE and Chennai-based mineral conglomerate Trimex Group is launching an integrated township at Coimbatore towards the end of 2008.
Gulf-based ETA Star and Mumbai-based Normal Lifestyle are among those setting up integrated townships. There are several townships already under way, including those by Bangalore-based Prestige Constructions in Whitefield on the city's suburbs and L&T South City's project on the Old Mahabalipuram Road near Chennai. Hyderabad and Pune are other cities where similar projects are in the works. The $1.5 billion (Rs 6,000 crore) 'Kovai Hills' project will be developed over 1,000 acres with an 18-hole golf course as the centrepiece. Rakindo said exclusive villas at this theme- based town- ship would be offered to buyers on 'Own by Invitation Only.' The project will have about 22 million square feet of constructed space.
Prasad Koneru, Managing Director, Rakindo Developers said, "Our vision is to create modern theme-based townships which will offer holistic lifestyle and world class amenities".
Rakindo is committed to investing $5 billion in India over the next five years and plans to build about 50 million square feet, on a conservative estimate. The company will in the course of the next 12 months announce a slew of new projects in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
Similarly Dubai based ETA Star's Indian subsidiary is also developing integrated large townships in the south and recently announced plans to enter the northern Indian markets of NCR Delhi and Jaipur as well.
Mumbai-based real estate company Nirmal Lifestyle has announced plans to set up five integrated townships including three near Mumbai within the next three years. This is the part of the company's long term plans to set up 20 integrated cities across India. In the first phase, the company would invest Rs 20,000 crore.
"We are targeting house buyers in the bracket of Rs 20 lakh to Rs 1 crore who otherwise find it difficult to buy a house in Mumbai," said Dharmesh Jain, Chairman & Managing Director, Nirmal Lifestyle. Each township called "Lifestyle Cities" will be located on 300-1,000 acres of land with 30 minutes traveling distance from the nearest existing main city.
Mumbai-based Oberoi Constructions, which is not connected with the hotel chain of the same name, after having developed Oberoi City in Mumbai's western suburb of Goregaon, is planning to set up similar cities in other parts of the country "We want to develop cities within cities which will cater to all the requirement of the residents and they need not have to move out unless required. These cities will provide high class living for the residents," said company official Vikas Oberoi.
Courtesy: - HT, dtd: - 12th May 2008