Townships are the way forward
Sticking to our earlier theme that not everything is bad in real estate.
We believe large townships, over 100 acres, will help address the various needs of consumers and developers alike. The pre 2008 frenzy to acquire large tracts of lands fizzled out after the Lehman crisis because of capital constraints. It hurt the development plans of several such townships which were planned as there was little capital to execute such massive projects.
However, we also attribute a part of this to the painstaking process of seeking approvals. since approvals were delayed the investment in large gestation projects became unattractive. There were other issues as well including but not limited to fraudulent ways to acquire lands which resulted in further roadblocks.
Before we write about one such project that we believe set the bar high, we want to be very clear we are not affiliated to any builder or buyer group. this example is just for the sake of illustration –
Crossings Republik, NH 24, Ghaziabad is now a landmark in itself. we remember visiting this 360 acre township in 2009 when the first few towers were coming up. we could never believe such a plan could be executed –
1. it had 8 different developers working on one project (several sub-projects)
2. pricing at that time was INR 1700-1800 per sq ft in nearly 25 storey towers (we found the sale price too low)
3. it felt so far out, and we always said to ourseleves “Who will live in Ghaziabad” (Uttar Pradesh address plus known for notorious ganglords)
A visit to Crossings Republik today will amaze you. As it has fast emerged as a destination of choice for middle income group of customers. At relatively lower prices (INR 4000 per sq ft) the township offers integrated infrastructure – club houses, golf course, schools and malls. One can access IT districts of Noida easily and the relative cost of real estate remains low. Connaught Place in Delhi is just 24 km away and one can approach it using Metro services from Noida.
On the other hand if one is to travel towards Gurgaon, one can’t find such prices in vicinity of Delhi. The stark contrast between Crossing Republik and areas around it in Noida Extension (not even 2 km away) is apparent, Noida Extension projects are struggling to reach completion, and here Crossings is all inhabited.
However the some of these builders became too ambitious and planned costlier flats in the same township, such flats remain unsold as any planner can easily see through the issue – position of the township was affordable home and not luxury.
Townships require fast track approval process to allow optimal return on capital.