Affordable Housing Keeps Residential Real Estate Performance Stable: Knight Frank

Knight Frank India released the 11th edition of its flagship half-yearly report on Indian real estate which presents a comprehensive analysis of the performance of both the residential and office markets across eight cities for the period January to June 2019. The highlight of this most-recent edition of the report has been the growth in affordable housing which has kept residential sales afloat despite a recovering market. On the office side the market has seen tremendous growth to reach an all-time high. The coworking segment has appropriated 15% of the share of this growth in office transaction volumes. Here are the quick highlights of the report:

Residential Performance Grows

Overall, the residential market performed well thanks to a stronger and more transparent regulatory environment. According to the report, launch of new units in H1 2019 rose by 21% YoY to 107,143 units while sales grew by a steady 4% YoY to 133,317 units. 51% of launches during H1 2019 occurred in the ticket sizes under INR 5 mn (INR 50 lakhs) and 78% under INR 10 mn (INR 1 Cr) thanks to developers’ focus on the affordable housing sector and lower ticket size offerings.

Residential Real Estate performance
Residential Real Estate performance (Source: Knight Frank)

While NCR and Kolkata saw a drop in unit launches, Hyderabad and Bengaluru grew by 47% and 34%, respectively. Prices have continued to stagnate and remained below the CPI across most markets. The weighted average prices in Mumbai, Pune and Chennai falling by a further 3%, 4% and 3% YoY, respectively.

In Mumbai, residential growth was mostly seen in the suburbs. Thane saw the largest quantum of new launches by some of the biggest corporates. The Peripheral Central Suburbs witnessed the highest sales growth in MMR of 9% YoY during H1 2019. Overall sales of housing units in Mumbai grew marginally by just 4%. Two factors affected the sales negatively – ambiguity around GST and the elections. In fact due to the ambiguity surrounding GST, most developers opted for the earlier GST regime with 12% ITC for on-going projects.

Gulam Zia, Executive Director– Valuation & Advisory, Retail & Hospitality said, “The mood of residential realty in Mumbai continues to be sombre and withdrawn. With more skeletons tumbling out of NBFC cupboards the shadows on Indian housing industry are getting longer. Affordable housing segment has emerged as a silver lining in these dark clouds.”

Office Market Performance Hits All-time High

The Indian office space sector reached a decadal high volume in supply and transactions in H1 2019. Office supply increased by 31% year-on-year (YoY) to 2.2 mn sq m (23.9 mn sq ft) in the current analysis period, the highest level achieved in this decade. Demand from the IT/ITeS (35%) and coworking (15%) segments have contributed heavily to the phenomenal growth of this sector.

Bengaluru achieved a historic high in transactions as well as supply during H1 2019 with transactions hitting 8.3 mn sq. m. while supply increased by over 100% at 7.6 mn sq. m. in H1 2019. Average rental values across the eight cities grew by 10% YoY during H1 2019 with Bengaluru topping at 13.5% YoY.

All India Office Market Performance
All India Office Market Performance (Source: Knight Frank)

Shishir Baijal, Chairman and Managing Director said, “The spurt in demand for higher end roles in the Artificial Intelligence and data security domains have led to a welcome and significant 59% YoY increase in demand from the IT/ITeS sector during H1 2019. Co-working spaces continue to drive transaction volumes and influence occupier demand”

In Mumbai, the transaction activity in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) office market was strong at 0.43 mn sq m (4.6 mn sq ft) in H1 2019 thus registering a growth of 61% YoY. The Peripheral business district (PBD), Suburban business district (SBD) Central and SBD West were the three business districts which added supply in H1 2019. The SBD Central market particularly has been gaining traction, witnessing 143% YoY growth in transactions in H1 2019. Central Mumbai witnessed the highest rental growth of 6% YoY during H1 2019, followed by BKC at 5% YoY and SBD Central at 5% YoY.

Infrastructure Boosts Real Estate

The India Real Estate report also focused on the role of infrastructure in lifting living standards and thus boosting real estate markets. A number of infrastructure projects across the country have spurred construction activity in various micro markets. Some of these are Metro rail projects in Pune, Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru and Chennai, new roads such as the Mumbai coastal road, NPR and SPR in Delhi-NCR, new airports in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, 100 smart cities, industrial corridors and the very first bullet train project. The report states that if the Indian economy needs to grow from a USD $5 trillion economy to USD $5 trillion by 2025, then the government needs to increase its spending on infrastructure.

Bengaluru Trumps Mumbai in Uptick of Residential Market

It may seem as if the lean period in Indian real estate market could be turning the corner. Based on Knight Frank’s ninth edition of its flagship half-yearly report on Indian Real Estate for the period January-June 2018 (H1), the residential real estate market seems to be making a comeback from the slowdown caused due to ‘testing triplets’ of demonetisation, RERA and GST.

Knight Frank, an independent property consultant which routinely releases its analysis of the real estate markets around the world and India released this report on July 25th, a day when the Maratha Kranti Morcha called for a state and city wide bandh to protest farmer deaths in the Marathwada region. Most retail establishment across Mumbai were shut for the day and roads were remarkably empty for a city that experiences traffic jams all day. Thankfully the bandh was called off by evening so that people could get home safely. However, the scenario sums up the developmental issues our country and leading cities face, in the backdrop of which the positive news of renewed growth in real estate and its ancillary sectors is a much needed balm.

According to Knight Frank report which analyses the 8 cities of Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, NCR and Pune, there was a 46% YoY increase in units launched during the H1 period, while the increase in units sold was at 3% YoY in the same period. This marks the highest level of launches and sales in the last 18 months since demonetisation was rolled out at 124,000 and 92,000 units respectively.

Mumbai saw a staggering 128% YoY rise in residential launches, accounting for 40% of the total launches across the 8 cities covered in the report. However, the sales grew just 1% casting a shadow on positive sentiments. By contrast, Bengaluru saw a modest but very positive 11% rise in launches and even better 22% increase in sales of residential units. Other markets such as Pune, NCR and Hyderabad also saw a boost in the percentage increase of launches.

Report of Indian residential market
Report of Indian residential market (Source: Knight Frank report)

The key contributor to Mumbai seeing launches to the tune of 35,974 units is the dumping ground reprieve in BMC region and the parallel launches of mega projects in the peripheral suburbs of the financial capital. Dr. Samantak Das, Chief Economist and National Director – Research at Knight Frank noted, “Most developers focused on reducing apartment sizes of their new launches. Accordingly, we have seen shrinkage of 12% in apartment sizes across MMR, with some premium markets witnessing reduction of as high as 31%.”

Some of the key takeaways of the report were:

  • Mumbai saw the most number of launches at 128% YoY while NCR and Pune witnessed more than 75% growth.
  • Most launches were in the lower ticket size range wherein Bengaluru and Mumbai witnessed significant supply of units priced under INR 50 lakh and 1 crore, respectively.
  • Average size of units in MMR shrink by 12% between 2013 and 2018.
  • Mumbai, Pune and Kolkata saw prices of residential units drop by 9%, 8% and 8% respectively. The effective price drop was 10-15% after factoring in developers’ sops such as waiver of GST and stamp duty, and no floor rise cost to customers.
  • Despite growth in launches, government reforms and reduction in prices, sales continue to stagnate across markets. Bengaluru’s positive growth however prevents a pan-India decline in sales.
  • The growth-resistant state of the sector until now has also resulted in a higher Project Life Cycle (PLC) as the Quarters-to-sell (QTS) inventory remains stagnant at around 11.2 or 3 years.

Despite the encouraging numbers across most markets, the analysts at Knight Frank remained circumspect of the future growth of the sector owing to the continuing uncertainty in the market, high inflation and rising interest rates as well as the upcoming general elections.

Shishir Baijal, Chairman and MD, Knight Frank India wrapped up, “It could perhaps still be a rocky way ahead for the real estate industry and we all continue to look ahead for the impetus that is required for the industry to revive.”

Why Can’t We Have Bullet Trains in India?

India has major infrastructural problems. This truth is too overwhelming to ignore and was brought into sharp focus on September 29 2017 when the stampede on the Elphinstone Road bridge led to 23 people needlessly losing their lives. The blame game is still on and the enquiry report completely sidesteps the fact that the bridge was simply inadequate to support the thousands of commuters who use it daily. Instead the report suggests that travelling with heavy baggage during the peak hours should be discouraged along with vendors carrying large baskets!

In all of India’s major cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai, the current infrastructure is creaking and sagging under the weight of the burgeoning population. In Mumbai, the metro line between Versova and Ghatkopar which was initially considered unnecessary, is already inadequate for the lakhs of commuters using it daily. Various newly inaugurated highways, metro lines, rail rakes and airports in urban centres are quickly facing a similar fate, questioning the urban planning and forecasting numbers that our planners are actually working with.

Shinkansen Bullet Trains
Shinkansen Bullet Trains in Japan have provided impetus to the Japanese economy (Source: Indiatoday.in)

Following the Elphinstone Road bridge tragedy, television debates, newspaper columns and radio chats loudly questioned the lack of responsibility and accountability from the Railways and the incumbent state Government. For years the rail budget included an amount set aside for widening the bridge, but this was simply postponed until tragedy struck. At the same time, these pundits stridently questioned the need for the much publicised bullet trains project connecting Mumbai to Ahmedabad which was inaugurated on September 14th, just a fortnight earlier. When we can barely maintain the infrastructure we have, why should we build a $17 billion High Speed Rail corridor which will benefit only the rich?

Infrastructure is one of the main focus areas of the Global Competitive Survey compiled by the World Economic Forum. The Survey looks at the financial health and risks of countries around the world. Efficient and reliable infrastructure is a major driver of successful economies. USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Japan, Germany among other countries that regularly feature at the top of this survey boast a wealth of connectivity supported by a competent public transport system, and extensive rail, road and air travel networks. Efficient transport systems and infrastructure also contributes to improved standards of living for residents.

India’s first High Speed Rail (HSR) or bullet train project is feted by the government and its supporters as a vital step towards bringing about a paradigm shift in the country’s transport infrastructure. Let’s look at the major criticisms of this much critiqued project.

  • $17 billion (Rs 1.1 lakh crore) is the estimated cost of constructing the 508 km HSR project, this works out to $27.44 million per km.
  • China constructed its HSR at $17-21 million per km, making ours $3.2 billion costlier.
  • India’s budget allocation for education and health has decreased while we allocate money we don’t have for a luxury HSR project
  • USA, Singapore, Japan, China all had GDPs higher than India’s when they launched their HSR projects.
  • Japan is providing a Rs. 88,000 crore loan payable at 0.1% interest over the next 50 years. The government calls this virtually free. Critics point out the fact that the yen has appreciated 64% against the rupee in the last ten years, implying hidden inflated costs.
  • Mumbai to Ahmedabad by air, currently, is Rs. 2500 to 3000. In 2022, the bullet train tickets will cost Rs. 3000 to 5000.
  • The flight time is 1.15 hours. Bullet trains are expected to cut the current rail travel time from 8 hours to 2.10 hours.
  • At a time when Oil prices are expected to remain stable if not reduce further, thus reducing air fares, should the government not focus on enabling more air travel by expanding the number of airports and players?
  • The number of fliers has increased corresponding to a proportionate decrease in train travellers. Where is the economics in introducing a new mode of train transport, even if faster?
  • A spate of train accidents, derailments and related incidents beg for commitment of government funding towards overhauling or boosting existing rail infrastructure. Yet we are spending $17 billion on a brand new bullet train project!

Indian and Japanese PMs at the laying of the foundation stone
Indian and Japanese PMs at the laying of the foundation stone (Source: The Guardian)

This list is definitely not exhaustive and couch critics as well as experts will have more to add in the years leading up to the completion of the project and the first run of the bullet train. Yet, could there possibly be a case for this much-maligned project?

  1. Economic Bridge: The HSR system made the Japanese economy more inclusive and equitable by connecting major industrial and commercial centers such as Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. The same effect is expected in India when the financial capital Mumbai is connected to the industrial Ahmedabad as well as smaller hubs such as Vapi, Surat and Vadodara.
  2. Reduction in Travel time: The rapid transit route is also expected to improve movement of skill, talent and manpower across this belt. Today someone who lives in Virar or Thane might be inhibited by the distance to take up a job in Ahmedabad or the neighbouring hubs. However, with the bullet train cutting down travel time, the commute almost equals the daily routine of most Mumbaikars taking into consideration traffic and the fact that most spend 2 to 3 hours daily only commuting to workplaces!

    Proposed route and stops for the HSR
    Proposed route and stops for the HSR (Source: The Guardian)
  3. Multi-terrain route: The bullet trains will set off from BKC in Mumbai where the station has been planned to be underground. From BKC to Thane the route will be underground, while from Thane to Virar it will be undersea, emerging on land in Virar and then traverse along an elevated high speed corridor till Ahmedabad. In terms of scope and technology, the bullet train project is a first and will certainly be the nation’s prized mode of transport until the novelty fades.
  4. Employment Boost: India’s first bullet train project in addition to bringing Japanese Shinkansen technology (unmanned trains which have seen zero fatality) to India’s shores will create an estimated 36,000 jobs and have a knock on effect in the areas along the HSR route through industrial and farm growth.

The bullet train project is certainly one of the more ambitious projects the government has taken on and one hopes it works out simply because the loss of resources would be too grave for our currently struggling economy. Alongside there is a need for overhauling existing infrastructure and transport systems. The government has committed a spending budget of $137 billion on upgrading the railway systems. This will also ensure good support to the HSR which cannot function in isolation. Meanwhile, until the first run of the bullet train is flagged off in August 2022, set to coincide with 75th year of India’s Independence, the nation and its many detractors will be in watchful mode.

Island City Center: An Oasis Of Palatial Luxury Residences By Bombay Realty

One ICC & Two ICC

Every major city in the world is home to ambitious and grand scale real estate projects. They may be commercial, residential, mixed-use or even hotel-cum-retail. In Mumbai, we are seeing some mega real estate projects coming up across the premium and mind-bogglingly expensive South Mumbai. These include World One and The Park by Lodha, Sky by Indiabulls, One Avighna Park as well as Island City Center and Wadia International Center by the Wadia Group’s Bombay Realty. These are sprawling or towering developments which are grand in scale and luxurious in conception. We focus today on Island City Center in Dadar East by Bombay Realty.

Island City Center is a flagship real estate project by Bombay Realty and just their second project. It comprises of two massive, glass facade towers called One ICC and Two ICC and is built on 23.7 acres of land. It is right next to ICC Springs the first residential development by this young company. Bombay Realty is part of the 281 year old conglomeration known as Wadia Group which has global brands such as Bombay Dyeing, Go Air, Britannia, Bombay Burmah and NPL among others, under its umbrella. It’s no surprise that with such pedigree and experience, the Wadia Group ventured into real estate development and construction with Bombay Realty.

VIew of the towers from under the monorail
VIew of the towers from under the monorail

Location and Connectivity

One ICC and Two ICC are two of the most luxuriously created towers in South Mumbai and perhaps even in the whole of Mumbai and MMR. Located in Dadar East, the towers couldn’t be more central and enjoy unparalleled connectivity. It is a five minute walk away from the arterial Babasaheb Ambedkar Road which connects the eastern towns of South Mumbai from CST station in the south to Sion Circle in the north, where it emerges as the Eastern Express Highway. ICC is also 15 minutes driving distance from the elevated, high speed Eastern Freeway while the monorail’s Naigaon station is right outside the gates of ICC; though one hardly imagines the residents of ICC would have need of it!

The business hubs of Nariman Point (17 mins), Worli (12 mins), Lower Parel (10 mins) and BKC (16 mins) are accessible via these routes. The Bandra Worli Sea Link is 15 mins away and provides access to the progressive northern suburbs as well as the international and domestic airports. ICC is also less than 15 minutes from the proposed Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) which will provide connectivity to Navi Mumbai as well as the new airport set to come up there. If one needs, the railway stations of Dadar, Parel, Wadala and Sewri are all within a radius of 1 km from One ICC and Two ICC.

Entrance to the ICC internal road
Entrance to the ICC internal road

Project Layout

One ICC is 60 storeys tall with 53 habitable floors and also includes 1 podium, 3 service floors and 2 fire check floors. One ICC offers 3 and 4 BHK grand, fully furnished apartments. There are 4 apartments and 2 lifts per floor.

Two ICC is 68 storeys tall with 60 habitable floors. This tower has 1 podium, 3 service floors, 3 fire check floors and 1 common terrace. There are 6 apartments per floor owing to the smaller configurations. Deluxe 3 and 4 BHK apartments occupy Two ICC and the design ensures 3 apartments per lift.

Currently there is a well maintained internal leading to ICC Springs which will also service the residents of the new ICC towers.

Apartment Layout

The Grand 3 BHK in One ICC starts from 1981 sq. ft. whereas the Grand 4 BHK is from 2514 sq. ft. onwards. Two ICC’s Deluxe 3 BHK starts from 1627 sq. ft. while the Deluxe 4 BHK starts from 2096 sq. ft. The bathrooms are all en-suite and even the staff quarters has an attached bathroom and separate entrance except in the 3 BHK Deluxe apartments. Additionally there are service lifts which ensures privacy from the service staff. Prices start at Rs. 9 Cr for the 3 BHK Deluxe and go upto Rs. 19 Cr. for the 4 BHK Grand.

East view from ICC towers
East view from ICC towers

All the apartments enjoy panoramic views of the city as well as harbour and can be chosen based on the views which include west or east facing as well as harbour or mountain views. As mentioned before, the apartments come fully, yet optimally and tastefully furnished and air conditioned. The furnishings include white goods as well as international standard modular kitchen, sanitary and CP fittings in addition to marble and wooden flooring. The apartments have also been designed to be wi-fi capable and ready to receive Home Automation System.

West view from ICC towers
West view from ICC towers

In addition, the safety and security of the two towers has been given paramount importance with a state-of-the-art sprinkler system, fire-rated walls and doors, fire-isolated pressurised stairs and lobby on each floor, fireman’s lift as well as double glazed exterior glass. There is a security command center and 24×7 CCTV surveillance, smart cards and RFID for convenient entry of people and cars.

Features and Amenities

Island City Center is a bespoke development which has been specifically designed to cater to those with refined and luxurious tastes. This essentially means grand scale amenities and facilities starting with an abundant 7.3 acres of open and green spaces thus creating an oasis in the center of the city. Indoor amenities that residents of One and Two ICC can enjoy include mini theatre, squash court, gym, party rooms, billiards or pool room, games room, library and spa-steam room.

Road leading to the ICC site and the Naigaon monorail station
Road leading to the ICC site and the Naigaon monorail station

For the outdoorsy types there are facilities such as an outdoor party area, barbecue pits, swimming pool, tennis court, kids’ play area, half basketball court, golf putting green, jogging track, skate path and cricket net. All the green spaces will be meticulously landscaped and there will be three water bodies. Residents can also avail of the in-house creche.

The ICC towers are also built for eco-friendliness with facilities for rainwater harvesting, STP and organic waste converter, CFC-free air conditioning and an efficient waste disposal system. Additionally, there will be electrical charging facilities for cars, water efficient fixtures and high performance glass for energy efficiency.

Construction site of the ICC towers
Construction site of the ICC towers

Social Amenities

While the oasis of Island City Center enjoys an abundance of facilities and one hardly needs to step out, the mini-city is also surrounded by a plethora of options outside. These include Phoenix Mall which houses PVR Cinemas, five star hotels such as ITC Grand Central, Four Seasons and St. Regis as well as pubs, cafes and eateries such as Cafe Zoe, Bar Stock Exchange, Bombay Canteen, Hard Rock Cafe, Blue Frog and Todi Mill Social among others. Hospitals such as Wadia for children, King Edward Memorial, KEM, Tata Memorial and Global Hospital are all nearby. Popular schools in the vicinity include St. Paul’s, Don Bosco and IES among others.

Island City Center’s One and Two towers are both RERA approved with registration number P51900008726 and possession is expected in August 2019. Most of the apartments are already sold out underlining the demand for well designed, furnished, luxury residences. No doubt, One and Two ICC will be the cynosure of its residents’ as well as visitor’s eyes and neighbour’s envy.

Chembur Central By Crystal Xrbia – Connected Township

Purchasing a home in Mumbai is a lifetime’s dream. Many families work all their lives to save enough to buy a home. One hears numerous stories of couples who move into their own post retirement. The younger generation today is bolder and changes in the economy have enabled them to earn more and avail cheaper home loans than their parents before them. Despite this, one’s own home is still out of reach for most if not all. Developers are thus motivated to participate more energetically in an emerging residential market called affordable housing or economy housing or smart housing or even compact housing. Crystal Xrbia’s brand new project in Mumbai’s Ghatkopar called Chembur Central is one such housing development.

Crystal Xrbia is a partnership between Luxury Developer ‘Crystal Group’ and Affordable Housing Leader ‘Xrbia’. Xrbia Developers are well known for developing global standard affordable housing in Pune such as townships in HInjewadi, Ambi, Chakan, Talegaon and Balewadi among others. Chembur Central in Mumbai is just their third after projects under-construction in Vangani and Neral. With Crystal Xrbia’s latest project the focus is on maximising minimum space. The largest apartment size in Chembur Central is 306 sq. ft. which is a 2 BHK and costs Rs. 72 lakhs approximately. Most would consider this price a steal, considering the location and connectivity the project enjoys in addition to the amenities. Let’s take a look.

Chembur Central site layout
Chembur Central site layout

Location and Connectivity

Chembur Central is located in Ghatkopar, right on the Eastern Express Highway (EEH). A service road off the EEH provides access to the project site. So one can say the EEH is literally next door! Besides this major arterial route, the future residents of Chembur Central can access the Eastern Freeway (5 mins) for commute to South Mumbai, Santacruz-Chembur Link Road (10 mins) to reach western suburbs via the Western Express Highway, Chembur-Wadala Monorail as well as the Ghatkopar Versova Metro rail. A plethora of BEST buses plying along the highway as well as autos are an additional commuting option.

The various routes outlined above provide access to business and commercial hubs – South Mumbai, BKC via SCLR, Lower Parel via Monorail (the imminent completion of second phase will extend connectivity beyond Wadala to Lower Parel), Andheri via the Metro and, Powai and Vikhroli via the EEH and connecting roads on-route. Navi Mumbai is also accessible via the Old Vashi bridge or the Mulund-Airoli bridge. The Central railway stations of Ghatkopar and Kurla as well as Harbour railway stations of Tilak Nagar and Chembur are easily accesible for train commute to various parts of the city.

Internal road to the main construction site being laid at Chembur Central
Internal road to the main construction site being laid at Chembur Central

Needless to say, the many working class families who will occupy apartments at Chembur Central will have various options for commuting to their workplaces or leisure travel. The domestic and international airports are 11.8 kms and 9.2 kms respectively.

Social Conveniences

Ghatkopar is not just a central suburb of Mumbai, it is also centrally located. It is surrounded by the suburbs of Chembur, Kurla and Vikhroli. Well known schools such as Garodia International, RBK International, Guru Nanak and Modern English School are in a 1 km radius. The multi discipline K J Somaiya College is approximately 2 kms away. Hospitals such as Lotus ENT, Aashirwad Heart and Bombay City are quickly accessible. Phoenix Market City mall is in Kurla and R-City is in Ghatkopar for a variety of entertainment options. Chembur Central is close to numerous gardens and green spaces such as Gandhi Maidan, Diamond Garden, Ambedkar Udyan and Sandu Garden as well as popular clubs such as Acres Club & Chembur Gymkhana, Bombay Presidency Golf Club and Jolly Gymkhana.

Project Layout and Configuration

Chembur Central Sample 2 BHK
Chembur Central Sample 2 BHK

The residential township of Chembur Central will be constructed in two phases over 5 acres of land and will have more than 2000 units for sale. Work has already begun on the first phase which includes six 27 storeyed towers on 2.5 acres. The various apartment options available include studio, 1 BHK and 2 BHK. Note the configuration and prices below:

Apartment Size (in sq. ft.) Price (in Rs. excl Tax)
Studio 186 44 Lakhs
1 BHK 246, 275 57 – 64 Lakhs
2 BHK 305, 306 71.5 – 75.8 Lakhs

The 1 BHK and 2 BHK are available in two types each, wherein internal room configurations vary slightly to accommodate slightly larger living room or bedroom/s. All variants of apartments will have a single toilet-cum-bathroom. Additionally a dry balcony will be provided. Possession is expect in 2022.

Chembur Central Sample 1 BHK
Chembur Central Sample 1 BHK

Features & Amenities

Crystal Xrbia has ensured has despite the economical prices of the homes in Chembur Central, residents will enjoy widely accepted standard amenities. These amenities include clubhouse with gymnasium, multipurpose room for community events and get togethers, a jogging track, kids play area and mini golf course. There will 3 levels of basement car parking facilities.

All internal amenities will also be standard including sanitaryware and fixtures by ROCA or Johnson or Jacquar. All rooms will have vitrified tiling while bathrooms will have anti-skid tiles. Power backup for all common facilities and lifts will be provided.

Chembur Central is RERA registered with the following Maha RERA numbers for the six towers – P51800003446, P51800005456, P51800004566, P51800006239, P51800006139, P51800003201.

Chembur Central site
Chembur Central site

All things considered, Chembur Central, which has been designed by celebrated architect Hafeez Contractor is shaping up to be a smartly designed housing township in the center of Mumbai. Crystal Xrbia’s aim of empowering more families to buy their own home in the maximum city is well thought out with prices within the grasp of most. The current rate in the surrounding area is Rs. 27000 per sq. ft. whereas apartments in Chembur Central are currently available at Rs. 23000 per sq. ft. A centrally located township with scenic views of the Vashi creek and apartments at affordable rates, Chembur Central is a project one should definitely consider while planning one’s home buying strategy.

Dudhwala Proxima Residencies: Epicentre of Luxury

Dudhwala Proxima Residencies (source: proptiger.com)

One of the major advantages of owning a property in Andheri is the proximity to almost everything one might dream of. This advantage is further extended when you look at the location of Dudhwala Proxima Residencies close to Marol Naka and Saki Naka Metro Stations. Dudhwala Group has built a reputation for itself in the widest range of real estate development since 1965 where they have completed residential, commercial, retail and hospitality projects with more than 2 million square feet of development in Mumbai. Their completed projects include Dudhwala Complex in Mumbai Central, Mega Mall in Jogeshwari, Patel Apartments in Andheri and Station Plaza in Bhandup. They have over 3 million square feet of ongoing development and looking at Dudhwala Proxima Residencies it looks like all these locations may be considered of prime importance. This project is registered under RERA and has the registration number P51800005153.

Proxima: Location and Connectivity

Proxima Residencies is situated in Andheri East. The project is fairly close to the industrial MIDC which is located roughly between Chakala and Marol. It overlooks the existing Metro line between Marol Naka and Saki Naka, hence it can be easily reached from both these locations at a mere stroll. The Andheri Kurla road below the metro line provides some much needed east-west connectivity, but the heavy traffic makes it an arduous task if one wishes to travel by road. The airport is at a maximum drive time of 15 minutes in peak congestion.

Construction at Dudhwala Proxima Residencies as seen from Andheri-Kurla Road
Construction at Dudhwala Proxima Residencies as seen from Andheri-Kurla Road

The Saki Vihar Road is nearby which connects to Powai and other northern and central suburbs of the city. The Western Express Highway is a ten minute drive from the premises. The Mumbai BEST bus transport is also readily available from right outside the complex. The only transport facility that is not very close to Proxima Residencies is the railway lines. In either direction, Andheri, Kurla and Ghatkopar are the major railway stations but it does require a fair amount of time to reach these moderately distant transport options.

Proxima: Features and Amenities

Once you enter the premises of Dudhwala Proxima Residencies, the first thing to notice is that it isn’t as noisy as one would expect being so close to the Andheri traffic. The project is built on a land parcel of 3.75 acres which includes one acre of social amenities for the residents. The entire complex consists of seven wings from A to G with a total of 305 apartments for sale on 13 habitable storeys. Parking spots are available on the ground and 3 basement levels.

Pool View at Dudhwala Proxima (impression) (source: magicbricks.com)
Pool View at Dudhwala Proxima (impression) (source: magicbricks.com)

The spacious clubhouse of 5000 square feet is a welcome addition to the project. Proxima has social amenities such as yoga room, aerobics room, gymnasium, outdoor cafe, juice bar, landscape garden, open badminton court and facilities for table tennis and carrom. Since the project is at a strategic location, there are a number of hotels, restaurants, lounges and eateries in the area mainly due to the proximity to the airport. The Phoenix Mall for shopping is at a distance of 3 kilometres from Proxima. In all, the great location makes sure that if one does not find something in the complex they would do so in the neighbourhood.

Proxima: Apartment Layout

Proxima Residencies has a total of 305 saleable apartments with 2 bedrooms and three bedrooms to choose from. Since the project has a sizeable number of units in seven wings, the layout in wings may differ. The wings A, C, D and G have 4 apartments per level with 2 apartments of 2 bedrooms and 2 apartments of 3 bedrooms whereas the F wing only has 2 apartments of 2 bedrooms per level. The wings B and E house three apartments per level with 2 apartments of 3 bedrooms and 1 apartment of 2 bedrooms. With a project of this magnitude, the carpet areas of different apartments also vary.

Apartment Configuration Carpet Area (in sq. ft.)
2 BHK 858

861

884

892

3 BHK 1136

1149

1166

1221

1391

 

On the inside, the developers have finished the apartments with vitrified tiles. The kitchen area will have only the platform and sink as provided by the developer. They do not provide modular kitchen in the apartments. There will be provision for home automation as well. They have plans to start giving out possession to home buyers starting from April 2018 for wings A, B, C and D and for the remaining wings in February 2019. The prices quoted are per square foot of area. On the built up area they have a price tag of Rs. 14750 per square foot while on the carpet area they have set a price of Rs. 22000 per square foot.

The location of the project and the great connectivity on offer is the USP of the project. The infrastructure inside the campus is good for peaceful living with the amenities supplementing the residences. Proxima Residencies just like its name has every amenity and social feature available in close proximity. For house hunters in the area, Dudhwala Proxima Residencies is a great option to look into.