Saturday, March 29, 2008

Connectivity spells commercial development

Connectivity spells commercial development
There are two triggers that will see property development in Bangalore North – international airport and connectivity, writes Mythili G Nirvan

The first impression of a city, it is believed, is formed when you drive from the airport into town. And this perhaps is one of the driving factors behind the focus on development of the 'airport road' in cities. In many developed cities, this road is a premium location. It is always broad, well-developed and comes with aesthetic parks and attractive signage all along. And not to mention the shopping plazas that dot the drive to the airport for the convenience of the travelers.
In Bangalore, the hectic pace of work going on all the way from High Grounds to the trumpet interchange, has another connotation. Frequent fliers apart, a large number of residents too are watching the developments with anticipation. The broad, signal-free corridor and planned high-speed rail connectivity opens up new vistas in the commercial development story of the city. There is both a commercial and realty angle to this feature that comes as a boon to residents living in the northern parts of the city.
While it was always believed that the international airport would be a key driver of commercial and realty development in North Bangalore, it is now clear that the civic infrastructure falling in place will play an almost equally significant role. Even as the airport creates opportunities in ancillary services and segments, the roads being developed to provide easy connectivity will usher in new localities for commercial, residential and retail development.
The international airport and widened road are two factors that will open up new dimensions to the realty scene in the city.
International airport
To begin with, the thrust will surely come from the international airport. This facility entails a gamut of services and support systems. Hotels and shopping apart, most significantly, from a realty perspective, it creates commercial opportunities. From simple clearing and forwarding to warehousing, the airport will boost the business prospects in the vicinity. And for any commercial venture, the first investment is in real estate to operate out of.
It is here that investors and end-users alike have an opportunity now. As the airport becomes operational and businesses find demand, the land value is bound to rise. It is inconceivable to think that there could be a dip in prices after the airport comes into operation. In such a scenario, investing in property before the airport is inaugurated is a good move that is bound to pay off later.
While many go in for long lease agreements and work out of rented property, owning property in Bangalore is a smarter move. This city is acquiring an international airport and its prospects as a commercial centre in the region in the years ahead are good.
The widened road to Devanahalli has more than one advantage. While the connectivity to the airport is better with the grade separators and magic boxes making it an easier drive, the boost for realty in the bargain is another story. Bangalore North is pretty much a self-contained part of the city. It has good neighbourhoods, social infrastructure and is relatively close to the city centre. This connectivity virtually brings many localities here into the city centre. The once-distant locations are now part of city centre. This is very similar to what was seen when the Outer Ring Road was completed. Many localities that incidentally became well-connected saw skyrocketing real estate prices. Such a story is on the cards again with the development of the Bellary Road.
Connectivity, essentially, makes business more efficient. When you have a good road, it is common to see commercial establishments along the stretch doing well. This is reflected in many stretches along the Outer Ring Road. From large retail marts to IT clusters, the Outer Ring Road offered Bangalore a new 'corridor' for development. The fact that this road today needs grade separators thanks to the heavy traffic indicates its success in both connectivity and commercial potential.
If this serves as a dip stick, there is no end to what a 30-km six-lane expressway can bring. And consequently, the development of residential localities on either side will create more premium belts.
The city's realty scene is on the verge of changing gears now. For investors, house hunters and entrepreneurs, buying property now is a good idea.


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