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Home > Business > Special

Living naturally, the latest realty mantra

Sangeeta Singh | March 11, 2006

If upwardly mobile residents of the National Capital Region are keen to "go back to nature", construction majors are doing their best to deliver on this dream: they are developing residential units in and around golf courses.

So while Jaypee Greens is raising a set of villas, standalone houses, penthouses and apartments within the 450-acre Jaypee Greens complex in Greater Noida, DLF Universal is constructing multi-storeyed apartments (just two apartments on every floor) in Gurgaon and ITC's subsidiary Landbase India is all set to raise apartment blocks alongside its Classic Golf Resort in Manesar (Haryana).

A golf cart tour across Jaypee Greens can set you fantasising for hours about what ultimate luxury can mean. For those who can afford to buy a house in the complex within the 18-hole Greg Norman signature golf course, there is a wide range of choice.

This includes apartments, which offer a 180 degree view of the golf course from each of the four bedrooms as well as from the bathroom.

Though these types of apartments are still in the blueprint stage, the Spanish-style villas and standalone houses are ready to move into.

Jai Prakash Gaur, chairman, Jaypee Greens gets philosophical about living here: "There is one more place more peaceful than this but unfortunately we don't remember those nine months."

To go with these houses are facilities like a club house, a resort with cottages, a sports complex and a set of convenience stores, some still in the development stage, and others already functional. And if the residents want their own little swimming pools, there is an upgrade facility in Estate Homes and the option of splash pools in the Villas.

Rita Dixit, director, Jaypee Greens, is not even willing to compare these dwellings units with those developed by others.

"DLF's buildings are outside the golf course premises and we don't know what Classic Golf Resort's plans are, whether they have permission to construct residential complex inside the boundaries."

Dixit would rather equate Jaypee Greens to California's 300 acre Trump National Golf Club, Hawaii's 500 acre Hualalai Golf Resort and Australia's 485 acre Moonah Links in terms of standards and facilities within residential units.

Neither does Dixit want to categorise these houses in the luxury segment, affordable only by the standard of high net worth individuals.

"These units are well within the range of the upwardly mobile and first generation entrepreneurs," she says, adding that anybody who wants a little comfort, more elbow room and lower population density will prefer them. With a price range of between Rs 2.45-5.50 crore (Rs 24.5 Rs 55 million), Dixit may have a point.

No wonder then that Raghav Behl, promoter of CNBC TV 18, Rajni Bector of Ludhiana-based Bector's Food and N N Gupta, a senior professional at Ernst & Young, have all bought houses in Jaypee Greens.

"Over 150 residential units have already been sold out and we have entered the next phase of development," says Dixit.

However, not all potential buyers are attracted by Jaypee Greens, particularly because Greater Noida comes under Uttar Pradesh and many prefer to live in Haryana.

For such buyers, 300-odd apartments are coming up at DLF's The Magnolias, half of which have already been sold.

Overlooking DLF's Golf Course, The Magnolias are offering high-end luxury apartments built by Lang O' Rourke, as part of the newly formed joint venture between DLF Universal and Laing O' Rourke Plc, UK.

Sold strictly by invitation, the company officials flaunt the fact that they have have no brochures. DLF Universal's official spokeperson, Vijay Vancheshwar, says the country's who's who are showing great interest and some have already made bookings.

"Our confidentiality norms don't allow us to reveal names but many big names have already made their bookings," says he.

The Magnolias has its own 9-hole golf course in addition to a view of the existing 18-hole golf course of the DLF Golf & Country Club around which it is situated.

The company also claims that because The Magnolias offers world-class standards, 20 per cent of the apartments have been booked by non-resident Indians.

"That also through word-of-mouth," boasts a company official.

The project is estimated to be completed by the year 2008. But according to the company the prices have already moved northward.

"Last September The Magnolias were launched at Rs 4,500 per sq ft; this price has now reached Rs 6,000 per sq ft for an apartment, and Rs 6,500 per sq ft for a penthouse," says Vancheswar.

With each apartment facing the golf course, these are spread over sizes ranging from 5,825 sq ft to between 9,000-10,000 sq ft for deluxe apartments and penthouses.

With western concepts like laundromats already in place, the complex also plans to start a concierge service whereby special arrangements can be made for residents and their guests.

Old hats in DLF Universal also feels that the JV company, DLF Laing O'Rourke, will set new benchmarks of quality, aesthetics and design.

Earlier in 2002, DLF started work on The Aralias, a 250-apartment complex, which has been totally sold out.

"After selling out The Aralias, we realised there was a lot of pent up demand for luxury apartments, and so we decided to start building The Magnolias, says Vancheswar.

He adds that duplexes at The Aralias sold for Rs 2,000-2,300 per sq feet initially. Today they command a price of not less than Rs 6,000 per sq feet.

For those who find Gurgaon becoming denser but still prefer to live south of Delhi, ITC's Classic Golf Resort may be the best option. However, Landbase India is not revealing details.

"We are in the process of introducing villas, the final details of which are being worked out with the architects. These villas should be ready in three-to-four years time," says Vijay Katre, vice president, Classic Golf Resort.

But Dixit is still doing her best to lure customers to Jaypee Greens first. "Even Unitech and Vatika Group can claim that their apartments facing the golf course are exquisite. But it is only Jaypee Green which has its residential plots within the golf course complex and as an integral part of the masterplan of Jaypee Greens," she says.

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