Airoli

Airoli is located on the outskirts of the city of Thane and forms the northern entrance to Navi Mumbai. Many IT firms, attracted by this node’s good connectivity, land availability and lower rentals than Mumbai, opened their centres here. The Thane-Belapur road connects the node to Thane, Kopar Khairane and Vashi, the Airoli Knowledge Park road houses many IT firms as well as major upcoming housing complexes in the area. Airoli also lies on the Thane-Vashi section of the suburban Harbour railway line, through which residents can travel to other parts of Navi Mumbai.

Airoli, Navi Mumbai – Where connectivity brought a housing boom

Last updated on January 26, 2017 by Manish Kumar

Airoli is the northernmost node of Navi Mumbai, which was for long considered to be just a suburb of Thane and not in the same league as the more popular areas (nodes) of Vashi, Nerul or CBD Belapur. The node did not see much traction initially as a real estate destination, in spite of it lying on a major road and rail link. However, the year 1999 saw the tide turn for this node, with the opening of a bridge connecting Airoli to Mulund, which vastly improved connectivity from the island city of Mumbai to this node. Airoli has not looked back since, with a boom in both residential and commercial real estate. This node has developed immensely in all spheres and is today, one of the most sought after destinations in Navi Mumbai. We assess what has led to this transformation and how does Airoli fare against various parameters, …

Airoli, Navi Mumbai – Where connectivity brought a housing boom

Airoli is the northernmost node of Navi Mumbai, which was for long considered to be just a suburb of Thane and not in the same league as the more popular areas (nodes) of Vashi, Nerul or CBD Belapur. The node did not see much traction initially as a real estate destination, in spite of it lying on a major road and rail link. However, the year 1999 saw the tide turn for this node, with the opening of a bridge connecting Airoli to Mulund, which vastly improved connectivity from the island city of Mumbai to this node.

Airoli has not looked back since, with a boom in both residential and commercial real estate. This node has developed immensely in all spheres and is today, one of the most sought after destinations in Navi Mumbai. We assess what has led to this transformation and how does Airoli fare against various parameters, which a real estate customer considers.

Location

Airoli is located on the outskirts of the city of Thane and forms the northern entrance to Navi Mumbai. It is bound by the Thane Creek from the west, which separates it from Mumbai and by the node of Ghansoli at its southern end. Airoli and Rabale next to it were predominantly industrial hubs. The industries are still there, but have now been augmented by an Information Technology (IT) boom in the area. Many IT firms, attracted by this node’s good connectivity, land availability and lower rentals than Mumbai, opened their centers here, including biggies such as IBM, Accenture, Wipro, Capgemini and Cognizant. The major IT parks here include Mindspace Airoli (West), Mindspace Airoli (East) and Reliable Tech Park, with more on the way, including the under-construction Empire Tower.

Among the major non-IT firms based here are media giants Hindustan Times and Times of India along with others such as Dow Chemicals, Philips and Siemens. In addition, other major industrial hubs such as Thane, Kopar Khairane, Mahape and Turbhe are within close proximity of Airoli, as are the business districts of Vashi and CBD Belapur. The plethora of employment opportunities available in the neighbourhood has driven and continues to drive heavy demand for housing here.

Connectivity

Airoli has three major roads: the Thane-Belapur Road, the Mulund-Airoli road and the Airoli Knowledge Park road and each of these have been instrumental in the node’s progress. While the Thane-Belapur road connects the node to Thane, Kopar Khairane and Vashi, the Airoli Knowledge Park road houses many IT firms as well as major upcoming housing complexes in the area.

Airoli Knowledge Park Road
Airoli Knowledge Park Road

However, the real game-changer was the Mulund-Airoli road, which by constructing the aforementioned bridge spanning the Thane Creek, brought down travel time to Mumbai’s central suburbs of Mulund and Bhandup to around 15 minutes. This road connects the Eastern Express Highway and Nahur railway station, from which one can travel to all parts of Mumbai. A toll needs to be paid for using this bridge and there tend to be traffic jams at the toll plaza, particularly during peak hours.

Airoli also lies on the Thane-Vashi section of the suburban Harbour railway line, through which residents can travel to other parts of Navi Mumbai. To travel outstation, however, residents need to either get to Thane (~10 minutes) or change trains from there to get to Kalyan or Kurla, which are major railheads. Internal transportation here is by means of BEST and NMMT buses and by auto-rickshaws; the latter being the preferred option as buses are infrequent and don’t cover some internal areas of the node.

Airoli is expected to benefit somewhat from the spillover demand, created by the upcoming projects of the Navi Mumbai International Airport, Trans-Harbour Link and Navi Mumbai Airport Influence Notified Area (NAINA) megacity. However, as these project are located at a fair distance from this node, the increase in demand and hence, in property prices may not be as much as that of other, closer destinations.

Social Conveniences

Better connectivity and a housing boom in Airoli also attracted many quality service providers to this area to cater to the needs of residents. Airoli is well-endowed with a number of popular schools such as New Horizon Public School, Euro School, DAV Public School, Vibgyor High and St. Xavier’s High School, to name a few. Higher educational institutions, however are fewer, the most notable being Datta Meghe College of Engineering and JVM Mehta Degree College. More and better options are available in Thane, Mumbai and other parts of Navi Mumbai.

Euro School in Airoli
Euro School in Airoli

This node does not lack in healthcare providers, which include Mody Hospital, National Burns Centre, Avadhoot Hospital and Parulekar Hospital. When it comes to shopping options, residents can patronize the neighbourhood grocery stores and departmental stores such as D-Mart. Unlike other parts of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), where malls are ubiquitous, Airoli doesn’t have any as of now, though neighbouring Thane has quite a few such as Viviana Mall and Korum Mall. More development in this area should see these gaps getting filled in due course.

Housing profile in Airoli

Airoli, like most other areas in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai, is dominated by multistory apartment complexes, with row houses and villas a rarity. Most complexes are single or 2 tower complexes, though some upcoming ones are larger, with more space for common activities and social interactions. Not surprisingly, due to its connectivity and the massive housing demand, residential real estate prices here are quite high. The average base price for a multistory apartment is ~Rs. 10,500/sq. ft., though one may have to pay up to Rs. 13,000/sq. ft., depending upon the project and location.

Rental rates here are also among the highest in Navi Mumbai, the average rate being Rs. 24/sq. ft., which is comparable to Nerul (where homes are significantly more expensive) and marginally lesser than Vashi. With more IT parks opening here and the aforementioned infrastructural projects on the anvil, prices are only likely to go up further. For an investor, investing in commercial rather than residential real estate offers greater promise of good returns.

Upcoming projects

As one approaches Airoli from Thane by the Thane-Belapur road or by rail, one cannot miss the under-construction Akshar Green World project by Akshar Developers. A large 11-tower project (unlike most projects in Navi Mumbai), with each tower having 22 residential levels, this project offers 1.5, 2, 2.5 and 3 BHK premium apartments. The large podium level will hold numerous amenities for residents including a health club, library cum study room, swimming and kids’ pool, jogging track and a party hall.

Akshar Green World complex in Airoli
Akshar Green World complex in Airoli

Shiv Shankar Heights by Shiv Shankar Builders and Developers is a long delayed luxury project (launched in 2010), coming up along the Airoli Knowledge Park Road. It offers spacious 2 BHK (1265 sq. ft.), 3 BHK (1565 sq. ft.) and 4 BHK (2800 sq. ft.) apartments, along with amenities such as a club house, gymnasium and multipurpose room.

Shiv Shankar Heights in Airoli
Shiv Shankar Heights in Airoli

Newa Technocity (India) Pvt. Ltd. are developing the Newa Bhakti Park project, opposite to Mindspace Airoli (West) IT Park. Comprising of 2 towers, it offers large 2 BHK (1410-1450 sq. ft.) and 3 BHK (2060-2080 sq. ft.) apartments, with a private garden/terrace and using designer Dado tiles in the kitchen and bathrooms. Amenities include a retail boulevard to meet residents’ shopping needs, an amphitheatre and outdoor tennis courts.

Conclusion

Airoli is proof of how improved connectivity and the influx of IT can completely transform a hitherto unremarkable suburb into a much in-demand housing and commercial destination within a short space of time. It is fast approaching saturation as a housing destination, but the prospects for commercial properties remain very good in the area. It is likely to remain a major employment magnet and push housing demand in its less exploited neighbourhood areas.




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