15 years of continuous real estate development in Powai has made it a well-known suburb in Mumbai.
- Hiranandani Gardens, Powai.
Hiranandani Group championed the art of ‘walk to work’ in Mumbai. In the late 90’s when the work started here, probably it was the first time such a concept was being tested in Mumbai. Powai, thanks to developments by Hiranandani, is the most systematically planned and laid-out area in Mumbai. The popularity of this mini-township, has further allowed for the real estate market to develop in the surrounding areas as well.
Growth of Powai in the last two decades is due to the fact that it grew along with an emerging India, slowly waking up and leaving behind the shackles of abject policy failures, amidst a huge number of middle-class households migrating constantly to cities and in between cities and looking for affordable housing that cater to their needs for settling down. Powai was a sleepy suburb once, lush green and barren, popular for a handful of sites such as being a romantic gateway to Powai Lake, The Renaissance Hotel overlooking the lake from just outside of Aarey Milk Colony, and IIT-Bombay campus which was set up in the outskirts of erstwhile Bombay. For others, Powai mattered less as a suburb because of its location which was considered then to be outside of the main city. Also a lack of proper connectivity and infrastructure prevented larger urbanization here.
- Towards High Street and Old Hiranandani.
Late 90’s & throughout 2000’s, a surge in construction by Hiranandani developers, and subsequent investment & construction by others in it’s surrounding areas made Powai a highly sought-after locality. Large business parks, shopping centers, and high-streets allowed for a lot of commerce, and that investment-driven real estate boom helped shape the consumer-based economy of Powai. It witnessed a huge influx of people, and that added wings to growth in the real estate market of this area. Today, it boasts of great restaurants and popular chains, big brands and big marts, and now, it’s a big hub for entrepreneurial activity. The properties itself are unique in terms of – designs, layouts, courtyards, balconies, panoramic views and what not, making it quite a departure from the pigeon-hole apartments that were largely owned by Mumbai’s middle-class.
But ‘growth’ too comes at a cost. Powai has over the years gotten increasingly out of reach for an average middle-class professional living in the city. This is when the areas around its vicinity started to develop, but relatively on more affordable prices to cater to the unmet demand. Chandivali is one such locality close to Powai. It started to take shape in early 2000s. Chandivali benefited immensely from this situation of high demand and predictable supply. We did write earlier that Powai is firming up its position as the area of choice for young entrepreneurs, and this heightened role of entrepreneurial activity is making Powai and it’s surrounding localities more attractive amongst the relatively younger lot and risk takers. Chandivali is feeding off this buzz. Nahar, Raheja, and several other developer groups built mini-townships here, primarily for residential zones with many amenities. There are a few well-built, multi-storied properties of smaller sizes as well, ones that have come up or would be coming up on smaller plots due to a lack of availability of land.
A consistent factor in the real estate sector of Bombay suburbs is that many new townships have been and are being conceptualized and implemented by private developers. This kind of residential property is being developed to give the residents a small habitable ecosystem within a certain area of land. Henceforth, it generally tends to have a school, clubhouse, medical center, business center, shopping street and retail store property, and well-laid out roads around and along the vicinity.
HFS (Hiranandani Foundation School), Bombay Scottish School, Podar International School, Gopal Sharma Memorial School, S.M Shetty School, Kendriya Vidyalaya at IIT and Bhandup are some of the schools in this area.
Dr L H Hiranandani Hospital and Powai Hospital are a few prominent ones while many medical centers, nursing homes and clinics exist such as Nahar Medical Center in Chandivali. Many clubhouses and gyms exist in the area that work independently such as the infamous Gold’s Gym, but a few others give major perks to residents of respected townships.
Now, when urban land is being distributed in a manner that allows for developers to compete for customers, as in the case of Chandivali between Raheja and Nahar, who built similar flats and facilities, it is good competition. The roads around these areas are well laid out, except for small patches at the end of the road of a mini-township where the surrounding land belongs to none or undeveloped or untouched.
Having lived here since 2002, I have noticed the growth of properties and the pace of work that defines the speed of completion. Hiranandani has been particularly aggressive as their speed of completion has been much faster than what is the case in the adjacent corridor of Chandivali. However, those differences could be due to various other impediments including workforce, property demand and supply, etc.
Nahar Group still have half a decade left by observable estimation, at least for completion of all its projects around the current residential sector within the township. Subsequently, the other areas at the end of Nahar Road, we can see shops on one line unilaterally built by the developer group, or the area near Lok Milan which is an old residential complex, are plots that will see activity much later. There were also talks, plans, and rumors about a proposed mall being erected here in the near future since Powai specifically lacks that for all it’s worth. Although, a few of Raheja’s projects are still ongoing, they started much before, and thus, it won’t be wrong in saying that the development has been slow.
Emerald Isle, is a new project under construction by L&T Realty, located right off JVLR on Saki Vihar road, and looks set to be an exciting prospect. It is a premium project and some classifieds quote the rates at Rs. 22,000 per sq. ft.
While another new project, near Chandivali Farm road along Turbhe Road, called Shapoorji Pallonji Vicinia, is under construction.
It’s at Turbhe Road, which is a narrow road of about 200 meters with lots of barren land on one side and a few residential towers on the other. It leads to Nahar’s Amrit Shakti and is well connected to Lake Homes and Hiranandani through the other side of the road.
Being equidistant to both the Eastern and Western Express Highway, Powai and nearby areas don’t really feel that far from suburban railway stations. The newly-made metro rail caters to people between Ghatkopar and Versova. It provides the residents of Powai and Chandivali, the closest metro station at Saki Naka. The most remarkable aspect is the ease with which one can reach the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport by road, since it’s at a very close distance.
Western suburbs of Goregaon, Malad, Kandivali and beyond are not far away, either through JVLR and WEH or through the Aarey Milk colony road near L&T that cuts down the distance and traffic. Business hubs and SEZ’s of SEEPZ in Andheri via JVLR or Saki Naka, and BKC in Bandra via Kurla, are also not far away, although commuting can be a nightmare due to traffic at Saki Naka and Andheri-Kurla road.
To summarize the areas of Powai and Chandivali, most part of the township-based projects have been developed, a few properties are upcoming, and roads are well laid-out, except for a few ‘kaccha’ stretches at the peripheries of these projects. Smaller plots of land will see projects being developed in time, as land availability decreases, and real estate demand and supply come into effect.
Hence, it goes without saying that the zone is a much sought-after location, for emerging entrepreneurs and upcoming businesses, and especially buyers looking to avoid city chaos, infuse the beauty of nature and settle at a quiet yet vibrant neighborhood.
An exciting center of businesses, middle-class residences, and innovation all clubbed together, makes it one of the highly recommended zones for potential buyers.