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Whitefield realty is booming

March 22, 2005 11:13 IST

Whitefield, the Bangalore suburb, which has emerged as one of the nodes for its software industry, is partially going the Gurgaon way. It is witnessing an explosion in real estate, attracting huge investments and a rush among companies to occupy space.

But it parts company with Gurgaon when it comes to prices. In Whitefield, these are rising only moderately.

The builders, investors and space occupiers are currently being attracted because of the right mix of office space through tech campuses, shopping malls and residential complexes, say people associated with the realty business.

The area also enjoys good connectivity, in terms of roads, as compared to most suburban and peripheral areas. Next is its proximity and connectivity to the proposed international airport.

The area has received adequate investment in infrastructure as it is also home to the earlier Export Promotion Industrial Park. All this puts it at an advantage compared to Hosur, Bannerghatta and Sarjapur Road areas.

It is estimated that 6-8 million square feet of tech space is in the process of being created over the next 2-3 years. Further, over 20,000 apartment units, plots and villas catering to the middle, upper middle and premium segments are being created in the area.

The region has attracted investments of Rs 1,000 crore (Rs 10 billion) since the beginning of the year, said Mayank Saksena, looking after land and investment, Chesterton Meghraj Property Consultants.

"Whitefield has had the unique advantage of having developed as a community. Erstwhile Whitefield was primarily steel mills and other large industries. These are being turned into large mixed use development formats," said Shivram Malakala, executive director, Habitat Ventures.

NRIs, high net worth individuals and private companies are currently in the forefront of activity in Whitefield. Banks and financial institutions are studying the situation and are expected to take the plunge later in the year.

Things are moving so fast in Whitefield that banks and FIs are hesitating to join the race straightaway.

"We are keenly watching the action, getting proposals and offers to finance projects which we are evaluating. We really do not know if the boom is real," such is the frenetic pace, said S N Nagendra, general manager (Karnataka and Goa), HDFC.

With a flood of both projects and investments into Whitefield, pricing has not been seriously affected.

"Large scale, multi-phase projects have tended to control supply tends. Currently, prices have shown a moderately rising trend, with growing interest. However, if the infrastructure does not keep pace, there is expected to be exits and downward pressure on prices," said Malakala.

The ease of supply extends to land. A few sick and closed steel mills and old economy companies in the area have joined the boom to unlock their real estate holdings.
Anil Urs in Bangalore
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