More Scope For Green Development In PCMC

The PCMC is one of the pioneering regions in the country to embrace the concepts and principles of sustainable development, and I myself have always been a strong advocate for the green way of life.
green-home
The use of green building technology, non-conventional energy sources and sustainable waste water management does not only have a positive impact on the environment but also on the overall quality of our lives. Moreover, adoption of sustainable building and living practices reduce the strain on municipal resources, resulting in significant revenue savings which can then be used to build better infrastructure and provide even more services to the people.

I would like to touch on PCMC’s major thrust towards sustainable real estate development. It is no secret that green development is the future of real estate all over the world. In fact, many of the bigger residential townships and commercial complexes in the PCMC have already adopted the ‘green development’ mantra. Many of the developers active here have started to take sustainable real estate development seriously and begun launching Green Homes.

To date, there are around 60 registered green buildings completed or under construction in the PCMC. The new PCNTDA building itself is a resounding statement to how important sustainable development has become to the city.

Obviously, the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation is taking its mission to provide cleaner, greener homes to its citizens very seriously. But I must also add that we still have a long way to go. In my opinion, there is still not enough enthusiasm within the region about the benefits of green homes and workplaces. One of the reasons for this is lack of awareness.

And despite all the progress that has been made, there should be more determination by the PCMC to encourage and promote developers who are taking the Green cause seriously. I still see a great deal of disconnect between developers, agencies like GRIHA, the environment department and the building permissions agencies. Permissions for green buildings should be fast-tracked and be given preferential status. But this is still not to be seen, and it is quite disappointing.

Such disconnect is not worthy of a mighty and progressive municipality like the PCMC. Everything that happens here should be a benchmark for other regions to follow. The PCMC should be the most encouraging and determined of all the regions to promote and develop green real estate. There should be attractive incentives for both developers and consumers of green real estate. Only in such an environment can we hope to see PCMC become and remain the leader in sustainability.

I look forward to an era when this will happen, so that everyone associated with the PCMC can benefit and be proud of its efforts. This is my vision for a better tomorrow for the citizens and all stakeholders of PCMC, India’s most progressive municipal corporation. Jai Hind. Jai Maharashtra.

Anil PharandeAbout The Author:

Anil Pharande is Chairman of Pharande Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that develops township properties in Western Pune. Pharande Promoters & Builders, the flagship company of Pharande Spaces and an ISO 9001-2000 certified company, is a pioneer in the PCMC area offering a diverse range of real estate products catering especially to the 42 sectors of Pradhikaran. The luxury township Puneville at Punavale in West Pune is among the company’s latest premium offerings. 

Real Estate Investments Flowing Into West Pune

Anil-Pharande

 

 

Anil Pharande, CMD – Pharande Spaces

With a consistent track record for delivering the highest value to home buyers and investors alike, Pune’s real estate market has remained one of the most vibrant and exciting in India. By attracting more and more international and IT/ITeS companies to establish their operations, the city has been generating jobs at a scale which is unmatched by any of the other Indian metros.

Though the city ‘s property market has been witnessing fairly uniform growth, there is no doubt that West Pune is now the most vibrant and promising corridor. The primary factor driving growth in Western Pune is the Pune-Mumbai Expressway, which allows convenient and fast access to Mumbai.

Even by itself, this factor alone makes West Pune one of the most important parts of the city – in recent years, Pune and Mumbai have been coexisting in mutually beneficial economic juxtaposition, with capital and other resourcing flowing freely between the two cities.

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The other reason why West Pune is on a tremendous growth curve is the fact that it has the major IT Parks of Hinjewadi, Baner and Aundh in the neighbourhood. At the same time, it enjoys superlative connectivity to the industrial pockets of Chakan, PCMC and Talegaon. Moreover, despite the massive economic activity and growth in this part of the city, West Pune enjoys a high degree of natural beauty.

This combination of factors has resulted in West Pune becoming the most preferred destination for home buyers and real estate investors not only from Pune, but also from Mumbai and various other parts of Maharashtra.

Because of the rapidly increasing demand for residential and commercial properties, West Pune has in the past delivered some of the most attractive real estate locations. With Aundh, Baner and Wakad now almost fully exploited and nearing complete saturation, Punawale has become the hottest new location in West Pune.

To a large extent, Punawale owes its fast rise to fame to the fact that it is located very close to the thriving Information Technology parks in Hinjewadi and Tathawade, as well as to the Pune-Mumbai Expressway. At the same time, Punawale offers quick access to Wakad and has a number of good schools, hospitals and shopping malls close at hand.

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With the arrival of superlative residential projects at Punawale by reputed developers such as Pharande Spaces, this area is now the the location of choice for IT/ITeS professionals working in Hinjewadi and Tathawade, as well as from buyers from the MIDC manufacturing hub who are attracted by the better lifestyle options now available there.

 

 

 

puneville_1This combination of factors has led to Punawale becoming not only a hot new investment destination but also West Pune’s newest and most exciting luxury homes destination. Punawale has now seen the arrival of Puneville, a luxury township by Pharande Spaces – a project that has provided Punawale with a 360-degree image makeover on the Pune real estate map.

Like Moshi, Ravet, Spine Road, Wakad and many other highly successful real estate locations, Punawale has the added advantage of being located at the fulcrum of various mega road development projects by this region’s infrastructure-focused town planning authorities.

Backed by the unlimited cash reserves at the disposal of PCMC, Asia’s wealthiest Municipal Corporation, and a diverse and vibrant economy which provides a convincing complement to that of Pune, Western Pune is seeing a steady and growing pipeline of employment opportunities generated by its manufacturing and Information Technology industries.

In Punawale, Western Pune has received yet another iconic location to take this prosperous, infrastructure-driven region’s real estate story to the next level.

About The Author:

Anil Pharande Chairman of Pharande Spaces, the pre-eminent construction and development firm in the thriving, pro-infrastructure Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) region of Pune. Pharande Spaces has a number of integrated township projects in Western Pune in high-value locations such as Moshi, Ravet, Punawale and Spine Road to its credit. Puneville, the new luxury township at Punawale, has become the definitive landmark for luxury living in Western Pune

Puneville’s Dazzling Independence Day Launch Draws Massive Attendance

The launch of Puneville, the game-changing, futuristic luxury township by Pharande Spaces at Punawale on India’s 68th Independence Day drew massive attendance of eminent dignitaries and real estate industry stakeholders. After hoisting the tricolour was hoisted at the launch venue to the refrains of the national anthem, Hemant Naiknavare – President, CREDAI Pune addressed the gathering and was generous in his praise for Puneville’s never-seen-before features.

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Puneville is a brilliantly conceived and executed luxury township,” he said. “Pharande Spaces, in partnership with globally acclaimed architects Aedas, have outdone themselves by delivering a fantastic residential project. The timing of this launch is perfect, because Puneville is the ultimate celebration of freedom of an ultra-modern lifestyle. Also, thanks to Pune’s rapidly accelerating Information Technology boom, demand for such ultra-modern township homes has never been higher.”

After the inaugural address, Kamlakar Akode, Director – Town Planning (Maharashtra) elaborated on the progressive ‘infrastructure first’ approach that is the hallmark of real estate planning and development in Pune’s progressive PCMC region, and added that Puneville is a fitting tribute to this futuristic approach which has set a new benchmark for Indian real estate.

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Addressing the gathering, Satish Magar, Vice President – CREDAI expressed his amazement at the world-class amenities offered at Puneville and also described the location at Punawale as nothing short of perfect. Shantilal Kataria, Vice President – CREDAI Maharashtra added that Punawale, Wakad and Hinjewadi are the most promising of Pune’s upcoming real estate locations and that Puneville is indeed an integrated township that has achieved global standards of excellence.

Anil Pharande, Chairman – Pharande Spaces described Puneville as his personal labour of love and the culmination of Pharande Spaces’ constant quest towards perfection in integrated township development. He was also graphic in his praise for Aedas for bringing the full benefit of their global architectural design expertise to bear in this luxury township.

After the Independence Day ceremony, Akash Pharande, Head (Marketing & Sales), Pharande Spaces treated the attending dignitaries and guests to an enthralling project presentation and a guided tour of Puneville and its various state-of-the art features. The sumptuous lunch that followed featured an international cuisine that dovetailed perfectly with Puneville’s uncompromisingly global design and ethos.

Pharande Spaces Launches Puneville, Pune’s First Futuristic Luxury Township

On the occasion of Independence Day, PCMC’s pre-eminent residential township developers Pharande Spaces launched the luxury township Puneville at Punavale today. Puneville has been designed by Aedas, the globally acclaimed, award-winning architects of ultra-luxury hotels in Las Vegas and Macau, Shanghai’s dazzling Financial Centre and Singapore’s world-renowned Marina Bay Sands.

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In all respects, Puneville is a creation of pure marvel of luxurious extravagance, offering its residents an ultra-modern lifestyle in the midst of dazzling, futuristic architectural grandeur. Puneville was conceived and created to be Pune’s ultimate showpiece of residential luxury.

A celebration of cutting-edge architecture, the project is uniquely futuristic in all aspects. From the breath-taking 22 foot-high walkway that connects all of this township’s residential towers to the central common amenities to the clean, sweeping chrome and glass façades of the main promenade and the towers themselves, Puneville leaves no stone unturned in living up to the highest standards of Futuristic Living.

A cohesive masterpiece of everything that spells ultra-modern urban living, this is in fact Pune’s first and only contemporary residential township featuring the innovative style of project design known as Futuristic Architecture.

First seen in Italy in the early parts of the 20th Century, Futuristic Architecture’s primary characteristics are a strong accent on sweeping, dynamic lines, generous use of steel and chrome and overall style suggesting speed, flow, motion and rhythm. In Puneville, Pharande Spaces has given the city a township that embodies a glamorous Space Age lifestyle.

Puneville is not just ‘future ready’ – it IS the future,” states Anil Pharande, Chairman – Pharande Spaces at the launch of this avant-garde luxury township for Pune’s elite home buyers. “We have partnered with Aedas to give Pune more than just another luxury project – we have given the city a masterpiece of modern residential lifestyle. The distinctly futuristic design and specifications are not just a fashion statement for today, but a standard of living that speaks of what is to come over the coming decades.”

A fully integrated and self-sufficient luxury township, Puneville features a state-of-the-art hospital, first-class international school and high-end commercial office complexes for corporate occupiers. Also included in the dazzling array of luxury offerings are an Olympic-size lagoon shape swimming pool, a clubhouse with the latest features and equipment, a fine dining restaurant, spectacularly landscaped gardens, a tennis court, verdant lawns, a jogger’s track, a fully-facilitated play area for children and serene, spacious water bodies.

As the ultimate statement in modern living, the master design of this amazing luxury township is also Pune’s definitive destination for the Green Life. Conceived to comply with international specifications of sustainable real estate, Puneville is not only 100% environmental sustainable but also in complete environmental harmony with its surroundings. The township has been given a 4-Star pre-certification from GRIHA – one of the leading sustainability rating agencies in the country.

Puneville Image Gallery

A Call For Action For The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation

Anil-Pharande

 

 

Anil Pharande is Vice President of CREDAI Pune Metro and Chairman of Pharande  Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that develops township properties in the PCMC area of Pune, India.

The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation was honoured by by presence of Maharashtra Chief Minister Shri Prithviraj Chavan, Deputy Chief Minister Shri Ajit Pawar and NCP President Shri Sharad Pawar. These distinguished dignitaries had very generously agreed to inaugurate several key infrastructure projects at PCMC:

  • The new PCNTDA building near Akurdi Railway station
  • The Traffic Park at Bhosari
  • The flyover near Spine Road
  • PCMC’s very own Nala Park
  • The Science Park at Auto Cluster

We, the architects of India’s most progressive planned city, were truly inspired by the kind words of praise, encouragement and hope that these honoured guests offered at the inauguration ceremonies. It is clear that the Government has recognized Pimpri-Chinchwad as the City of the Future, and that the city can depend on the fullest support as it continues to progress.

Nevertheless, there are reasons to be cautious in all this optimism. It is true that the careful and futuristic engineering of development at PCMC by the PCNTDA has become a national and even international benchmark for town planning. However, there have been various challenges along this road to progress. We need to take these hurdles into consideration if the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation is to fulfill its maximum potential as the City of the future.

Considering the pace at which real estate development has been taking place, certain lacunae in adhering to the PCNTDA’s master plan were unavoidable. One of the most glaring examples of this was the emergence of unauthorized structures in various pockets of the PCMC.

Thankfully, this issue is being dealt with firmly. The authorities have embarked on a massive drive to deal with such structures, and we are confident that all illegal constructions will be erased from the landscape by the end of 2013. However, we cannot deny that these are damage control measures which would not have been necessary if the damage had never been allowed to occur in the first place.

More Road Connectivity

Another area of concern is lack of adequate road connectivity between certain key areas of the PCMC and areas such as Talegaon. Because of the massive potential for industrial and residential development in and around these areas, they have seen most of the road construction initiatives. In the process, road connectivity from these locations to some of the most important growth areas of PCMC has been largely ignored.

Paradoxically, the areas referred to as Phase 2 in the PCMC development plan hold the highest potential for real estate growth. Thanks to the availability of large land parcels at relatively lower prices, residential and commercial realty development has picking up rapidly in areas such as Moshi. In the meantime, Moshi has become a hotbed for property investments because of the International Convention Centre being jointly developed by the Maratha Chamber of Commerce and the PCMC.

Despite this, there is still no sufficient road connectivity between Phase 2 and the larger industrial hubs. This is going to prove to be a huge stumbling-block for the overall growth of the region. The lack of a suitable road network means that people living in areas like Moshi face difficulties in reaching their workplaces in these employment clusters. This issue must be addressed on a priority basis. A city like PCMC must do everything in its power to ensure that its growth pockets are not isolated from each other.

PCMC Needs To Expand

Yet another issue is that the population within the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation is growing at an annual rate of 73%. Such a rate of growth makes it necessary to provide more spaces for development. Unfortunately, there have been limitations put on the city’s potential for geographic expansion by Red Zones (non-development areas).

It is imperative that more of the region’s outlying villages be included in the urbanization plan. There are enough examples in India of what happens when a city does not expand geographically in tandem with its population growth. Such a situation must not be allowed to develop in the PCMC. Also, PCMC needs to be able to accommodate the rapid growth in population in terms of providing more educational institutions, shopping complexes, healthcare establishments and entertainment zones.

Encourage Green Development

Finally, I would like to touch on PCMC’s major thrust towards sustainable real estate development. It is no secret that green development is the future of real estate all over the world. In fact, many of the bigger residential townships and commercial complexes in the PCMC have already adopted the ‘green development’ mantra. The new PCNTDA building itself is a resounding statement to how important sustainable development has become to the city.

Nevertheless, there is still a noticeable lack of enthusiasm within the region about the benefits of green homes and workplaces. One of the reasons for this is lack of awareness. Many of the region’s residential property developers and buyers have not been attuned to the advantages of environmentally sustainable properties. I urge the State Government to join hands with the PCMC to bring about greater awareness and eventual adoption of this vitally important principle.

I also strongly advocate better incentives for developers and buyers of green homes in the PCMC. The use of non-conventional energy sources and sustainable waste water management does not only have a positive impact on the environment and on the overall quality of life. Such measures reduce the strain on municipal resources, resulting in significant revenue savings. Unless the benefits of these savings are passed back on to the developers and buyers of sustainable properties, we cannot expect a more wide-spread adoption of the ‘green’ mantra in PCMC.

We gratefully acknowledge the importance that the visiting dignitaries have given to the City of the Future by gracing it with their presence. At the same time, we sincerely request them to take heed of PCMC’s most urgent requirements.

Pune Has More Potential For Real Estate Growth

Anil-Pharande

 

 

Anil Pharande, CMD – Pharande Spaces

Pune property market is a lot more conservative than Mumbai, and there is certainly a market-dictated cut-off point for price escalations, says Anil Pharande, Vice-President of CREDAI Pune Metro and Chairman of Pharande Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that concentrates on township properties in the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) area of Pune.

Excerpts…

From technocrat to leading builder…. How did this transformation happen?

I was very interested in what was happening in Pimpri-Chinchwad back then. The idea of being involved in the raising of a planned city on the lines of Chandigarh, so close to Pune, was an exciting prospect. The Pimpri Chinchwad New Town Development Authority (PCNTDA) had taken on an ambitious and laudable task. My first objective was to help steer the path of this planned development, which is why I got involved with CREDAI. Getting into the creation of township properties that would take the best advantage of the benefits that the PCMC offered in terms of superior infrastructure and phased real estate growth was the next logical step.

Can you give us an overview of Pune’s reality market and its growth prospects?

Pune is a powerhouse of potential when it comes to real estate. It is a city of learning and entrepreneurship, and there is a distinctly progressive flavour to everything that happens there. Thanks to the fact that it has become a magnet for IT/ITES and manufacturing companies, the real estate market in Pune is not likely to lose its forward momentum. Having said that, I always had misgivings about the opportunistic manner in which property development was taking place within the PMC limits, and was far more interested in the holistic approach being adopted in Pimpri-Chinchwad.

What is the impact of the price upheavals of metropolis Mumbai on Pune’s realty market?

There is doubtlessly an impact, since a lot of cash-rich buyers from Pune are looking at Pune both as a property investment and retirement home option. The level of demand from Mumbai tends to exert a certain upward pressure on property prices in Pune. However, the Pune property market is still a lot more conservative than that of Mumbai, and there is certainly a market-dictated cut-off point for price escalations.

Do you think that the dismissal of a few big builders from CREDAI over non-compliance will affect the body’s advocacy on transparency?

Not at all. Every administrative body must experience occasional churn in order to maintain its vision and to stay flexible and open to new avenues of progress.

About your ongoing and upcoming residential projects…and future expansion plan?

Woodsville in Moshi is virtually a small town within PCMC, spread over 40 acres with vast tracts of open spaces and a very healthy environment. This hugely successful project, which is being developed phase-wise, has been and continues to be a primary focus for us. I’m also very excited about (L)-Axis, which we are launching along the PCNTDA Spine Road. In contrast to our other projects, which cater mainly to the middle-income group, this is a luxury apartments in pune which will have no rivals in Pimpri-Chinchwad.

WoodsvilleApart from (L)-Axis, Pharande Spaces is planning a residential/IT-ITES SEZ project at Punawale, near Hinjewadi/Wakad, Dehu Road-Katraj Expressway bypass. It will encompass 42 acres in the residential segment and 28 acres for the IT Park. The residential part will have apartments, row houses and bungalows.

What is your take on green building concept? Why is it not popular in India compared to West?

There is a lot of change-resistance and no end of misconceptions about green buildings in India. It is taking a long time for developers and buyers to understand the sound rationale behind them. However, I am seeing a definite awakening now, and I am confident that the next ten years will usher in a slow but steady green revolution in Indian real estate.

There is a general belief that affordable housing by private players is a non-starter in India, do you agree?

I completely disagree. A huge amount of affordable housing stock in our cities is created by small private developers who cannot imitate the scale of the larger players. Countless people would still be waiting in vain for the many Government-driven budget housing schemes that are yet to see the light of day if it were not for these private players. Many national players have also made their mark in this segment and consistently delivered.

(As told to KR Iyer (ramanaathan.iyer@sulekha.net)

http://property.sulekha.com/pune-has-more-potential-for-real-estate-growth_news-1093

Sri Sri Ravishankar To Inaugurate SSRVM School At Woodsville On January 15, 2012

Sri Sri Ravishankar, the iconic spiritual guru and founder of the internationally acclaimed Art of Living spiritual lifestyle system, will personally inaugurate Sri Sri Ravishankar Vidya Mandir school at Woodsville, Moshi (Pimpri-Chinchwad) on January 15, 2012.

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The inauguration and ‘bhoomi pujan’ ceremony will take place at 2.30 PM on January 15 at the school’s venue in Woodsville, a residential township project at Moshi in PCMC. Anil Pharande, Vice President of CREDAI Pune Metro and Chairman of leading township developers Pharande Spaces, will also be present as Shri Shri Ravishankarji conducts the ceremonial blessing of the school and addresses his followers and the school’s staff.

“The arrival of SSRVM in Pune’s Pimpri Chinchwad area is a landmark event in the history of a city which is known as the Oxford of the East,” says Anil Pharande. ”We are indeed honoured that Guruji has selected Woodsville as the place in which to launch this unique school, which will be a blessing to parents and children.”

The renowned spiritual leader, a staunch supporter and advocate of sustainable living, has personally selected Woodsville as SSRVM’s venue on the basis of its ecologically friendly configuration. Woodsville is Pimpri-Chinchwad’s most talked-about self-sustaining residential township.

The SSRVM educational model is a proven process of self-learning that builds life skills and nurtures leadership. It is staffed by highly qualified teachers who receive special orientation and training at Sri Sri Teachers Training Academy. In the words of H.H. Sri Sri Ravishankar, “Every parent would like to have a child whose personality shines wherever the child goes. It is the personality that is appreciated everywhere. Such pleasing personality is the main aim of this education.”

The educational system developed by Sri Sri Ravishankar employs an innovative and compassionate system of learning which features a curriculum for all-round development of its young students. The school’s syllabus is customized to NCERT guidelines and includes Sanskrit, Yoga, Karate, Sports, Dance, Music and Arts, which helps the child to blossom in all aspects of life. SSRVM is an initiative of the Art of Living Foundation, which has centres in more than 150 countries and enjoys a special consultative status with the United Nations Economic & Social Council of United Nations.

Township Property Mania Hits Pune

In Pune, something very new and exciting is happening on the residential real estate market. Where ordinary flats were once the most sought-after type of residential property, the trend is slowly but surely changing to a demand for township properties. The more discerning Punekars of today says that nothing less than the convenience and ambience of a township property will do.

Pune property

Who are these people? Mostly representatives of the IT and manufacturing sectors. These, along with some other discerning professionals, have apparently become fed up with the congestion of the inner city, and the lack of amenities in the projects there. They are setting their sights on the spacious, green environment of areas beyond Aundh. Pimpri Chinchwad, with a special focus on the booming market in Pradhikaran properties, is especially in demand.

What is it about these township properties in the PCMC area that makes them so different from other available ones on the Pune property market? Well, one reason is that nothing within the suburbs of Pune can match the bliss of living in a township property. The mantra in these avant-garde resindetial projects in Pimpri Chinchwad is still ‘respect and enjoy Nature’. In the township properties in areas like Moshi and Ravet, green environment is carefully maintained and traffic congestion is unheard-of, despite the proximity of the Express Highway.

The environment is absolutely perfect for families to live in. There is so much demand for these properties that many prominent developers have snapped up prime land exclusively for the building of township properties. Other factors also add to the popularity of these townships – the Expressway, of course, is a vital one. The Expressway is the umbilical cord between Pune other major cities, beginning with Mumbai. In many ways, the Expressway is the lifeblood of Pune’s commercial progress. In addition, the nearby Mumbai-Bangalore Highway brings in further commercial growth and intercity connectivity.

With the kind of investment value that localities along these two major highways get, their popularity comes as no surprise. However, the Expressway has also brought about the existence of the Hinjewadi Infotech Park. The professionals that work there need homes close to their offices, and also privacy and peace in their time away from work. This has been another driving factor behind the township properties mania in the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation area. Obviously, another contributing factor is the Pimpri-Chinchwad industrial belt.

In the not-so-distant past, township properties were a residential genre reserved exclusively for the ultra rich. This has changed drastically with their rising popularity. The fact is, owning a township property in Pimpri Chinchwad has now become a feasible option for Mr. Everyman.

Anil-PharandeAnil Pharande is Vice President of CREDAI Pune Metro and Chairman of Pharande  Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that develops township properties in the PCMC area of Pune, India.

 

 

Problems Ahead For Pune Real Estate

Anil Pharande

Like all other property developers in Pune and PCMC, I continue to be enthusiastic about the city’s real estate future and potential. However, I do have concerns about the impact of unregulated development. For instance – in the fever of the property market’s roller-coaster ride, we may have forgotten the fact that this city’s primary and most marketable attraction was its salubrious climate.

Pune Property

Today, the city authorities we indiscriminately razing hills and trees to make way for a proliferating concrete jungle. This has already had a very noticeable effect on the climate in the PMC limits. Fortunately, great care is being taken in the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation – Pune’s booming sister city – to maintain as much green cover as possible.

The PCNTDA (Pimpri Chinchwad New Town Development Authority) is very serious about planned development; as a result, there is considerable emphasis on environmentally sustainable real estate development in the Pimpri-Chinchwad region. The increasing and highly successful trend of integrated township properties in the new boom localities of Moshi and Ravet are clear indications of this progressive focus.

However, the real estate development mania in the Pune Municipal Corporation region continues unchecked, without any apparent purpose other than to exploit all available space to maximum commercial advantage.

There are also considerable problems with real estate market transparency in Pune. The city’s rapidly increasing population is putting relentless pressure on the available land in the city. As a result, the city limits are constantly being pushed further into the adjacent villages. Ever since the merging of 38 villages into the PMC in 1997, there has been an upsurge in illegal structures in these areas. Not surprisingly, they also still lack basic infrastructure.

As Maharashtra’s second largest city, Pune is going to see increasing problems in the future. It does not take an expert to see that Pune’s urban planning and development do not consider the city as an integrated unit. The highest interest still seems to be in the pockets of highest commercial potential. With increased FSI in certain locations, there will soon be skyscrapers in certain areas, while there will continue to be unresolved slum issues in other areas.

Even today, we are not addressing the issues of badly maintained roads, inadequate drainage and the shortfall in water and sewerage networks. This leads to extremely lopsided real estate growth, with the demand focusing solely on favoured areas while little is done to raise the potential of those that lack the needed infrastructure. Pune still does not have a comprehensive parking space policy and has done nothing to curtail freight movement within the city. Many key intersections have exhausted their capacity to handle the increasing traffic.

Currently, the highest degree of Pune’s urban sprawl is along the national highway, with the density of land development declining with distance from the highway. In the interest of sustainable development, we need to correct Pune’s urban sprawl by providing the necessary infrastructure in currently non-preferred areas as well. If this does not happen, we will have serious problems in further development in the coming ten years.

Anil Pharande is Vice President of CREDAI Pune Metro and Chairman of Pharande  Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that develops township properties in the PCMC area of Pune, India.

This article may be reprinted with proper attribution to the author and a link back to PunePropertyBlog.com

Integrated Residential Projects: The New Precincts Of Realty Growth

(Business Standard, Jan 19, 2011)

Pune PropertyIntegrated township projects offer developers an opportunity to cash in on the revival in demand for residential & commercial space

Ajay Arora, a multinational software company employee, commutes 2 hours daily to work in rush-hour traffic. He spends as much time — sometimes more — on the journey home. Driving is his passion, but given the gridlock going into Bangalore almost the time, he recently hired a driver. Still, he is frustrated by the amount of time he spends on road.

Then, his firm took office space in an integrated township in Bangalore. “It was a dream come true,” he says. “This township includes my office and I am taking a flat that is hardly 10 minutes away on foot. It has a shopping mall, multiplex, hospital, school and most of the necessary amenities within walking distance,” says Arora.

Realty players across India are hoping there are many more people like Arora and are betting on the specialised real estate model of integrated townships as their next growth vertical. “Residential conditions in our major cities are on an accelerated decline. There is a general shortage of infrastructure, increased air, water and noise pollution, and a rash of illegal and unorganised structures cropping up everywhere. Increasingly, home-owners face problems reaching emergency services, finding adequate parking and traversing pothole-riddled roads,” says Sanjay Dutt, CEO – business at realty consultancy firm Jones Lang LaSalle.

“Given this depressing scenario, it has now been established that townships are the most suitable residential solution. The government is now encouraging the development of such townships to reduce pressure on urban areas and to improve infrastructure. Also, townships attract foreign direct investment and make overall economic sense,” says Dutt. Apart from FDI, integrated townships can also access extended commercial borrowings.

Integrated township projects also offer real estate developers an opportunity to cash in on the revival in demand for residential and commercial space. These projects are also part of an effort by these companies to reduce risk in their business model, as one vertical provides a cushion to another in case of tepid demand. As many as 24 expansive townships are being set up across India and are due for completion in the next couple of years.

“Integrated township projects are slowly gathering steam as the concept of walking to work is picking up among city dwellers. As a township project integrates residential, commercial and retail properties, this is the next phase of growth in the real estate industry,” says Venkat K Narayana, chief financial officer at Prestige Estates Projects. However, he pointed out that developers with considerable experience in the commercial and retail verticals would have an edge.

Prestige Estates recently launched Shanti Niketan in the Whitefield area of Bangalore. “While most of our residential space has been snapped up, bookings have just begun for our commercial space. We are also planning to come up with another integrated project in the next six to eight months,” says Narayana, adding that the operating margin for an integrated project was comparable with a purely residential one.

Others like Sobha Developers and Brigade Enterprises have also come up with similar projects. Top officials at Sobha said the company has an integrated housing project at Thrissur in Kerala, and the company is bullish about this emerging trend. Brigade Enterprises recently launched Brigade Gateway, which comprises residential, commercial and retail space.

Even city-based developers are planning projects of this kind in the near future. “We are planning to come up with an integrated township project in 2011 in Bangalore. This space holds great promise,” says Bharat Dhuppar, chief marketing officer at Mantri Developers. He said given the slow development of infrastructure projects and traffic congestion in cities, integrated township projects would be the next growth spot for the industry. “The concept will not only be popular in the metros, but also Tier-II & -III cities,” he adds.

An analyst with a real estate consultancy firm said the trend of launching integrated projects would continue in 2011 due to an upside in demand for both commercial and residential space. He also said large real estate players would like at least 10 per cent of the total portfolio in integrated space.

Anil-PharandeAnil Pharande, Chairman, Pharande Spaces, a Pune-based realty player that specialises in integrated residential projects, says, “Integrated residential projects counter the trend of people living in smaller, isolated pockets within larger cities, thereby reintroducing the possibility of community-based neighbourhoods. Residential properties in smaller, stand-alone projects do not have the same capacity to maintain and increase property investment value as integrated residential projects.”

What’s more, such townships also offer the prospect of higher appreciation, as these projects adhere to a pre-set development plan with regard to open spaces, communal amenities and common areas. This means the overall value of the location does not take a hit because of unrestricted developments that may crop up later.

“Since such integrated projects have their own infrastructure, they do not depend heavily on what the local municipal corporation delivers (or doesn’t deliver) in terms of sewage management, water supply and overall maintenance of the immediate surroundings. The maintenance of integrated residential projects is centralised. Also, since such residential projects have various levels of security to protect the entire project, homeowners are assured of much higher levels of safety for themselves, their families and possessions,” explains Anil Pharande.

One more critical factor is that as townships are centrally conceived and executed, there are no variations in construction standards. In unplanned localities that are so much a part of the property markets of India’s main cities, many developers with different construction ideologies and standards have projects standing cheek by jowl.

“The substandard construction of one project not only pulls down its own market value, but also that of those next to it. Two or three poorly designed and constructed buildings can cause the entire location’s market profile to collapse,” says Anil Pharande.