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Satellite Town Ring Road project to follow Guj model

Aimed at decongesting vehicular traffic in Bengaluru, this will be the first project in Karnataka to emulate the Gujarat model.

BENGALURU: To manage the huge land acquisition cost of over `5,000 crore to be incurred for the Satellite Town Ring Road (STRR) project and Intermediate Town Ring Road Project (ITRR), the Bangalore Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (BMRDA) will model it on the lines of the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Ring Road project in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

Aimed at decongesting vehicular traffic in Bengaluru, this will be the first project in Karnataka to emulate the Gujarat model.A BMRDA official said, “The projects will decongest Bengaluru massively, as lorries heading from Mumbai to Tamil Nadu and Mysuru need not enter the city, and can take the outer road. NH4 and NH7, Hosur Road, Mysuru Road and Kanakapura Road will get enormous relief too.”

A team is visiting Gujarat shortly to understand its implementation in depth. The STRR project will encircle Bengaluru city for a length of 204km, and connect nine satellite towns enroute. Under the IRR project, each of these towns will have roads encircling them, and the total length covered will be 163km.

The Gujarat model has been billed the ‘Land Reconstitution Model’ or ‘Town Planning Scheme Model’. “In simple terms, the land acquisition cost for the government will be nil. In exchange for the land pooled in from owners, they will get developed land within or near the land they have handed over for the project,” he added.

Proposed first in September 2005 under the BMRDA structure plan, the projects were revised on May 8, 2017.On the need to opt for the Gujarat model, another official said, “The estimated project cost was fixed in 2015. The construction cost works out to Rs 2,000 crore along with the land acquisition cost of over `5,000 crore. The cost will only escalate in future, when implementation begins.”

When the new model is implemented, one need not hand over land for civic amenities or parks for the layout. The landowners will get nearly half of developed land within their own premises or close by as an exchange.


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ToR accorded for Satellite Town Ring Road Phase-I

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has accorded terms of reference (ToR) for development of Satellite Town Ring Road (STRR) Phase-I.

The project envisages development of STRR Phase-I of NH-948A from Dobbaspete to Ramanagara (0.000 km to 82.200 km) 82.20 km in Ramanagara District, Karnataka.

The project is being developed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) under Bharatmala Pariyojana.

The STRR of Bangalore of the newly declared NH-948A is a proposed six-lane highway having a total length of 179.969 km in the states Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The project will be taken in three phases: Phase-I (from ch 0.00 to ch 82.200) in Karnataka, Phase-Il (from ch 82.200 to ch 140.000) in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and Phase-Ill (from ch 140.000 to ch 179.969) in Tamil Nadu. The proposed Phase-I begins at design ch 0.00 near Oblapura village at Nelamangala taluk of Bengaluru Rural district and ends at ch 82.200 at cross point of SH-3, 52.700 km near Kailancha village at Ramanagara taluk in Ramanagara district.

The proposed land acquisition for the alignment will be around total 785.5 ha. The project will be developed at a cost of Rs 2,600 crore. The ending point of STTRR Phase-I will be further integrated with Phase-II.

The proposed road will have two major bridges, five minor bridges, 144 culverts, three ROBs, 27 vehicular underpasses, four interchanges and one flyover.


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STRR project gaining momentum

The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) is expected to invite bids for civil works for the ambitious satellite town ring road (STRR) project by March. It aims to take possession of four-fifths of the land required for first phase of the project by then.

The entire STRR project involves a length of 367 km around Bengaluru that will connect the eight major satellite towns. Of this, NHAI will build 240-km expressway.

Whatever portions the NHAI has left out is being implemented by the State Government under the Karnataka State Highway Improvement Programme (K-SHIP), a government official said

The NHAI is targeting to complete the first phase, involving the 82-km stretch between Dobbspet and Ramanagara, in about three years. Another 30-km stretch between Dobbespet and Magadi is being built under K-SHIP.

The NHAI has divided the STRR project into three phases, said RK Suryawanshi, regional officer at NHAI, Bengaluru. The NHAI, he said, would take up Phase III ahead of Phase II. The second phase would be taken up next year. Another NHAI official said the 56-km Phase II has been kept on hold as it passes through the boundaries of eco-sensitive Bannerghatta National Park.

The long-delayed STRR project, which was taken up under Centre’s Bharatmala scheme, is estimated to cost ₹5,500 crore excluding land costs, and is being implemented under the hybrid annuity model.


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Satellite Town Ring Road takes shape

The road between Hoskote and Dobbspet is likely to be operational within three years

For those in Whitefield, the commute time to international airport may get shorter in three years as the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is fast-tracking a Satellite Town Ring Road (STRR) between Hoskote and Dobbspet.

The 80.32-km, ₹2,870-crore road will establish the Ring Road along the northern fringes of the city, traversing through Devanahalli and Doddaballapur, passing within a couple of kilometres from the proposed entry into the Eastern Tunnel Road conceived by the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA).

For NHAI officials, the project assumes importance as the other STRR arc, which connects Dobbspet to Hosur on the southern fringe of the city, is expected to run into delays over wildlife and forest permissions for constructing an elevated road through Bannerghatta National Park. Officials believe the approval process for this arc may take up to two years on this stretch.

“Until then, the STRR from Hoskote to Dobbspet can be constructed relatively fast. We expect it to be operational within three years, and will see immediate diversion of vehicles that would have otherwise gone on Ring Road or through the city,” says S.P. Somashekhar, Project Director, NHAI.

He said a detailed feasibility report was being prepared and the tenders will be awarded by March 2019. “By August 2019, work will start. The contractor will be given a standard time of 30 months for work,” he said.

Airport access

For those in Whitefield, the project could come as a boon. The new road is around 35 km from the airport (assuming the Eastern tunnel is built), while the current “alternative road to the airport” is around 33 km from the IT hub. The time taken, however, may be halved during peak hours. Similarly, officials expect travel time from Electronics City and Sarjapur towards the airport to be considerably reduced as travel through the city will be bypassed.


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Private spacecraft centre soon in Devanahalli

The new facility will start functioning at Devanahalli in a few months

Bengaluru, home to the country’s space headquarters, looks set to also host the country’s first spacecraft production facility in the private sector.

The new facility, designed for building 2,000-kg communication and Internet broadband spacecraft, is slated to start functioning in a few months at Devanahalli here.

“Our satellite and systems unit is getting ready at Bengaluru and we plan to formally inaugurate it in the second quarter [fiscal] of 2019, that is during the June-September period,” said Anurup Pavuluri, Director of Ananth Technologies Ltd.

The Hyderabad-based family-run company has put up the satellite centre at an estimated cost of ₹150-200 crore. The facility is being built on 3.5 acres of land at Bengaluru’s aerospace park north of the city.

The State Government is developing a 1,000-acre hub at Devanahalli to promote aerospace, defence and high-technology industries and has earmarked 252 acres there as an export-focussed special economic zone for these sectors.

“We want to be the first full-fledged private sector player in assembly integration and testing of satellites in the country,” Mr. Pavuluri told The Hindu recently. “Today, there is demand for satellites from within the country and outside. The government-run ISRO is the sole player in this niche,” he said.

Systems for missiles

An immediate deal is in the process for providing a set of Internet broadband satellites, he said. Besides space systems and satellite imagery services, Ananth also manufactures systems for missiles such as Akash and BrahMos that are made in the country.

Mr. Pavuluri said Ananth’s entry into making full spacecraft was an extension of its space-related activities of many years. It supplies systems for spacecraft, launch vehicles and spacecraft command systems of the Indian Space Research Organisation ISRO.

About 150 employees are already working in its space programme activities in Bengaluru and some more staff would be recruited. Initially the new Space Systems Facility centre would take up assembly of satellites on the ‘i2k’ or 2,000-kg platform. The facility was designed to make four such satellites at a time or two satellites of 4,000-kg category.

About the expertise needed for a niche activity, he said Ananth already has a pool of employees who either worked for or retired from ISRO; his father and company’s founding CEO P.Subba Rao, he said, was also with ISRO for over a decade.

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Devanahalli, Kanakapura Road & Electronic City emerge top 3 residential areas in Bengaluru

“One of the major positives of Bengaluru’s real estate market is that it has always adapted well to changing market dynamics, and, therefore, remains well-positioned for future growth as well,” said Mayank Saksena, Managing Director – Land & Head – South India, Anarock Property Consultants.

According to Anarock data, the city added 8,800 units in the second quarter (Q2) of 2018, a quarterly increase of 28 per cent against the preceding quarter. On the sales front too, Bengaluru witnessed a 27 per cent rise compared to Q1 2018.

Kanakapura Road and Electronic City in the south and Devanahalli in the north have emerged the top three residential areas in the city. “These three areas have been ranked at the top based on the new supply and the inherent demand from prospective buyers,” said Saksena.

Electronic City has largely seen demand from IT/ITeS professionals, and has relatively affordable property prices. Enhanced connectivity to major areas via the metro has improved realty demand in Kanakapura Road. The advent of IT/ITeS parks in and around the area is also a major reason for the high supply of units.

Sought-after residential localities

As for the most sought-after residential localities, Saksena said they are the three suburban areas of Yelahanka, Sarjapur and Electronic City.

“Yelahanka is a self-sustained micro market, which boasts of excellent connectivity to the international airport, has ample social infrastructure facilities and is easily accessible to the IT hub in Hebbal. Meanwhile, Sarjapur is strategically located and has ample residential options across budgets. Further up, towards Sarjapur town, there are many villa projects. Also, the locality boasts of some of the best international schools in the city. Affordable property prices in Electronic City make it one of the most sought-after residential destinations in the city,” Saksena said.

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Investing in Bengaluru North

Bengaluru has emerged as a shining spot for real estate investors offering a sound return on investment and assured rental income. With the IT/ ITeS sector driving real estate demand, the city boasts of strong macroeconomic dynamics and stability.

Despite demonetization, property prices in Bengaluru have not witnessed any violent fluctuations or crash and the real estate market of the city hasn’t lost its momentum. According to experts, around 40% of the under-construction projects will be ready-to-move-in the next three-four quarters.

For investors looking for a stable market with a long-term horizon, Bengaluru provides many attractive options. Most of these residential hubs are self-contained units with amenities such as parks, hospitals, schools and colleges, retail outlets, and restaurants. Here’s a list of five promising residential hubs to help investors make an informed choice:

North Bengaluru

The northern zone of the city gets a thumbs up from most experts as a viable long-term investment option.

Property values are on the rise here due to connectivity via the Outer Ring Road (ORR), proximity to the Kempegowda International Airport and easy access to the Central Business District.

The Yelahanka area is home to many defence establishments, making it a safe and peaceful residential option. Other areas like Hebbal, Devanahalli and Thanisandra are investment favourites due to large banks of undeveloped land.

Infrastructure initiatives: Real estate in North Bengaluru stands to directly benefit from the development of the upcoming Aerospace Park, IT, and Aerospace parks. Road widening projects and the development of large-sized townships are improving prospects in areas like Hebbal and Devanahalli. The proposed mono rail could also be a significant value add, if approved.

Sarjapur Road

Sarjapur Road, in the south-east part of Bengaluru, is another favourite hub for real estate investors.

With saturation hitting established office markets like Whitefield and Outer Ring Road, Sarjapur Road is on the radar of IT companies looking to set up shop. This has led to the development of a large residential catchment around the area catering to IT professionals seeking affordable residential options.

Infrastructure initiatives: The central government has approved the construction of a Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) connecting Tumkur Road to Hosur Road via KR Puram, Bellary Road, and Sarjapur Road. This major initiative would enhance connectivity from north to south Bengaluru and also lessen traffic woes around Sarjapur Road.

East Bengaluru

While Whitefield is an established corporate and residential hub in East Bengaluru, Varthur and Budigere are upcoming areas catching the fancy of many investors.

Several residential projects coming up in these localities will be ready for possession in two to three years’ time. This part of Bengaluru is ideal for investment in residential projects ranging in the Rs 70-80 lakh bracket.

The area is home to established IT/ ITeS companies as well as start-ups and promises high price appreciation and return on investment on residential properties.

Infrastructure initiatives: The buzz around properties in Whitefield has grown as it falls on the route of the upcoming Purple Line of Phase 2 of Namma Metro. South Western Railways has also started a train service from Majestic to Whitefield in the morning to ease traffic woes.

West Bengaluru

The West Bengaluru sub-market covers the areas and projects around Tumkur Road NH-4, Yeshwantpur and Rajajinagar Industrial Area.

The location has traditionally been an industrial area dominated by industrial and warehousing activity.

It offers attractive options to end users as well as investors seeking affordable housing. Land values are relatively lower in this part of the city making it an attractive entry-point for long-term investors.

Infrastructure initiatives: The construction of the Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) will lead to improved connectivity and reduced travel time to important parts of the city.

The commute time from Tumkur Road to the airport is also expected to come down once the PRR becomes operational.

BTM Layout

BTM Layout is located in close proximity to prominent locations such as Koramangala, Bannerghatta Road, and HSR Layout and boasts of sound infrastructure and multiple residential options.

The area enjoys good connectivity via the Bannerghatta Main Road, Outer Ring Road, and Hosur Road and offers several affordable and mid-range residential options. Apart from a good return on capital investment, the area also promises high rental values due to its locational advantage.

Infrastructure initiatives: The presence of metro stations such as Rashtreeya Vidyalaya Road, Jayanagar, and Banashankari has boosted the connectivity of BTM Layout to the rest of the city. The area also falls on the upcoming R V Road Terminal-Bommasandra Line of Namma Metro.

Investors should carry out due diligence and check specifically for water supply and sustainability options before parking their funds in any project.

Proximity to the metro service and infrastructure initiatives such as roads and flyovers are important factors to consider before zeroing in on an investment.


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North Bangalore – The Fastest Growing Area In Bangalore

Key Highlights in North Bangalore

1. Bangalore Aerospace SEZ: 950-acre Bangalore Aerospace Park including 250-acre special economic zone (SEZ) has attracted investments from 56 large and mid-sized companies.

2. Devanahalli Business Park: 413-acre Devanahalli Business Park expects to attract an investment of $2.2 billion over the next three to five years.

3. BIAL IT Investment Region (ITIR): 12,000-acres dedicated land for BIAL ITIR has generated interest from over 55 multinational IT companies including Infosys, Wipro, TCS, and Cognizant

4. International Convention Centre: Bangalore International Convention Centre will be built on 35 acres of land next to the Bangalore International Airport through a public-private-partnership (PPP) model.

5. Bellary Road: Bellary Road ( NH‐7) from existing 6‐lanes getting widened to 8‐lanes, which would sustain higher traffic due to airport expansion and expected real estate developments on either sides of the NH‐7.

6. Nano Park: Government of Karnataka is planning to set up India’s first Nano Park with a 15 acre plot for the park containing Nano Incubation Centre along with necessary physical infrastructure and support systems.

Only a few cities in India have the ability to attract and encourage people to settle down permanently. Bangalore is one such city which has inspired visitors from all over the world to relocate themselves here. Popularly recognized for its excellent weather, now it is known as the “Silicon Valley of India”. The areas of Bangalore are known distinctly as Central Bangalore- the commercial and business hub; North Bangalore- the government establishment center; South Bangalore — the residential zone and Eastern Bangalore — the torch bearer of the IT revolution. But, this classification is soon changing through the rise of North Bangalore.

Is North Bangalore becoming the next big investment hub?

Indeed, Bangalore is now witnessing a new reformation and it has started in North Bangalore region. This region is the focus of attention ever since the operation of the Kempegowda International Airport in the year 2008. It is the fastest growing region in the city and is becoming the next residential and commercial destination. Proximity to the Airport, Availability of Space, Upcoming Tech Parks, Improved Connectivity and Real Estate Development are the major factors of increasing demand in this region. The prominent locations of North Bangalore are Devanahalli, Hebbal, Doddaballapur Thanisandra, Hennur and Yelahanka. Bangalore, housing more than 900 IT firms, currently employs about 35% of India’s IT professionals and fortunately, this scenario is also soon going to change. Experts have predicted that it is the right time to invest in North Bangalore for gaining maximum returns.


Famously known as the birthplace of Tipu Sultan and the site of Kempegowda International Airport, Devanahalli is now the next big commercial hub of Bangalore. It is gaining a lot of attention due to multi-billion dollar investment proposals and reasonable property pricing points. Additionally, companies and families are shifting their base to this area as it is free from the chaos and congestion, not at all like Bangalore City.

Reason to Invest:-

· 5 Kms distance to Kempegowda International Airport via NH7.

· A new satellite ring road will connect the city with Doddaballapur road.

· A Multibillion-Dollar Devanahalli Business Park initiated by State Government coming up on nearly 413 acres next to the airport which will include : IT & ITes parks/SEZs, three multi-specialty hospitals, a finance district, an aviation academy and Bengaluru International Convention Centre (BICC)

· The BICC will be ready soon.

· Devanahalli is situated near the upcoming 12,000-acre BIAL IT Investment Region (ITIR) and is expected to be the largest IT region in India housing big shots like StarragHeckert, Wipro, Shell, Tata Elxi, IFCI and TCS which would create nearly 4 million jobs.

· Shell and IFCI campuses will be completed soon.

· 950-acre Bangalore Aerospace Park including 250-acre special economic zone (SEZ) with Boeing, Airbus and Bombardie will be creating nearly 2.5 Lakh jobs

· Social Infrastructure nearby: Popular hospitals and Malls like Columbia Asia Hospital and Phoenix Market City Mall. Upcoming Hotel projects include Oberoi at Bangalore International Airport and Taj Airport Hotel and Holiday Inn at Devanahalli.

· Infosys Technologies has acquired 10 acres of land in the Devanahalli area.

Experts say Bangalore has a stable Real Estate market as it has not seen extreme fluctuations and has steady prices. The North Bangalore is considered as the future of Bangalore realty market since it is blessed with the good connectivity, green surroundings, available land for developments and range of properties (from plots to integrated townships) available for all income groups. The key drivers of the residential growth are: — proposed Devanahalli Business Park, Information Technology Investment Region (ITIR) near Devanahalli, Planned Aerospace SEZ near the International Airport, Elevated Expressway (Bellary Road), Bangalore Metro Rail, High-Speed Rail Link and Peripheral Ring Road.

In conclusion, the arrival of the International Airport has flourished North Bangalore in the last decade and this region is bound to develop more in the coming days, thus making it a fantastic investment destination.

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Devanahalli property market: An overview

Devanahalli is one of the most rapidly developing areas in the north-eastern part of Bengaluru. It is a growing and well-planned locality where the Bangalore airport is located. Devanahalli currently has more than 200 residential projects. It is situated near the upcoming BIAL IT Investment Region of Bengaluru

The Devanahalli real estate scenario is experiencing major growth, owing to the presence of the Bengaluru airport, as well as easy connectivity to several upcoming business hubs. Demand has shot upwards for flats in Devanahalli.

Devanahalli is located approximately 40 kilometres away from Bangalore and has a rich history. The area’s realty prospects have been transforming rapidly, since the multi-billion dollar Business Park with two IT parks, started being developed on 400 acres next to the airport.

Home to the second-largest airport in the country, Devanahalli is also where a Science Park, Aerospace Park and a Rs 10-billion Financial City are coming up. Devanahalli lies near the upcoming BIAL Investment Region, which is slated to be the largest such IT region in the country. Devanahalli is also the birthplace of the Tiger of Mysore Tipu Sultan and is home to tourist attractions like the Devanahalli Fort.

Connectivity options to nearby Devanahalli localities

  • Kempegowda International Airport is located around 5 kilometres south of Devanahalli via the NH 7.
  • NH7, which connects Hebbal to Devanahalli, has been well-planned and expanded to a 6-lane road.
  • BMTC bus network connects this locality to several other parts of the city.


Employment hubs closest to Devanahalli

  • Embassy Manyata Business Park – 32 kilometres via NH 44.
  • Koramangala – 44 kilometres via Bellary Road.
  • International Tech Park (ITPB) – 38.3 kilometres via State Highway 35.
  • Whitefield – 38.2 kilometres via State Highway 35.
  • Companies like TCS and Wipro are starting to come on board the Investment Region plan, which is likely to generate 4 million jobs.


Schools in Devanahalli and other social infrastructure

The residents of Devanahalli have access to modern social amenities. Reputed schools in Devanahalli include the Akash International School, Gnana Deepa Academy Residential School and The School of Ancient Wisdom. Leading hospitals in Devanahalli include the Columbia Asia Hospital, Akash Hospital and Regal Hospital, among others. Popular malls in Devanahalli include the Phoenix Market City Mall, World Market mall and Elements Mall, to name a few.


Physical infrastructure in Devanahalli

  • The Aerospace Park & SEZ will be fully occupied by 2018.
  • The International Convention Centre to be ready soon.
  • Shell, IFCI and Ascendas’ campuses will be ready soon.
  • ITIR Phase-1 will be ready by 2020 and several IT companies will move here, creating anywhere between 1-1.5 million jobs.
  • Planned metro connectivity via phase-2.
  • New satellite ring road to link to Doddaballapur.

Why should you invest in Devanahalli?

Ever since the Kempegowda International Airport was established, Devanahalli has been the talk of the town in Bengaluru. Considering the price trends in Devanahalli and all the other positives discussed above, it is certain that the demand for residential properties in this area, is bound to increase further in the future. The rates are very competitive and should rise, once all the commercial developments take place and the metro network is established.

There are some teething issues, including water supply and transportation but the NH-7 and upcoming metro, will take care of the latter. Devanahalli makes for a fantastic investment destination, keeping in mind the slew of developments taking place in this stretch.

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North – Bengaluru’s new hub Devanahalli

In a city that is bursting at the seams, north Bengaluru is rapidly becoming the new go-to destination.

Bengaluru: On a Saturday evening in October, over 15,000 people thronged a 200-acre township that had thrown open a portion of its sprawling grounds to host Bryan Adams’ concert in Bengaluru.

Tucked in a northern pocket of the city, the concert venue is around 30km from Palace Grounds—the erstwhile social heart of the city, which has, in the past, hosted everything from international rock concerts to mining baron Janardhan Reddy’s daughter’s multi-crore wedding. The shift towards the north was far from banal. In a city that is known for its keen interest in music, concert venues convey important cues.

The Canadian singer, who was on a hurricane five-city tour of India, flew in to Bengaluru in the afternoon after his Mumbai concert; drove down to the venue from the hotel, near the airport; and left for his next concert in Gurugram the following day. Effectively, Adams didn’t even venture into the main city, and thus, cleanly evaded the traffic snarls that Bengaluru has become notorious for. A.R.Rahman would use the same lifehack when he goes to the same venue for his upcoming concert on 22 December.

“Even five years back, I would have hesitated to drive down to Devanahalli for a concert,” says Sudhir Rao, a resident of Koramangala, Bengaluru’s original start-up district which is about 38 km, or an hour’s drive on a good day, from Ozone Urbana. “Apart from the airport, there was honestly no reason to drive to the north of the city. We would mostly see just barren land other than a few housing projects. But the area has visibly changed now and there’s a certain buzz,” he adds.

The Bengaluru North parliamentary constituency is spread across 746 sq km, with its nodal centre being the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), named after the founder of the city, which opened a decade ago near the village of Devanahalli. Halli, in Kannada, means village and Devanahalli and its surrounding areas were just that: a cluster of villages. KIA was primarily set up as an alternative to the increasingly congested HAL Airport in the city centre. For Bengalureans, the new airport was a faraway realm that had little daily relevance, unless travel was on the calendar. But all that is changing, and fast.

The 29-km Metro rail line from Nagawara to KIA has been sanctioned, and 120,000 passengers are projected to shuttle to the city’s edge every day. Offices and malls are also finally opening—from futuristic Amazon Echo-integrated budget homes for millennials to luxury and senior living homes, the area is making the right noises.

The roads are good, and commuters can zip from Hebbal, considered as the gateway to North Bengaluru, to the airport— covering a distance of 25 km—in less than 30 minutes on the elevated expressway. The stretch between Hebbal and Devanahalli also has some of the city’s best schools, from Vidyaniketan School in Hebbal to Mallya Aditi International School and Vidyashilp Academy in Yelahanka, making it a thriving education belt.

Given the impetus behind the ongoing rapid infrastructure upgrade, 6-8 million sq. ft. of office space is expected to become functional by 2021. Embassy Group opened a by-invitation private luxury club BLVD this year and has over 300 members already. The city’s largest brewpub, Byg Brewski Brewing Co, that opened on Hennur Road in June, has been a major draw.

Ian Dubier, general manager, Taj Bangalore, which opened three years ago right next to the airport, said: “Our client profile includes corporates on short visits, leisure guests who do the entire south tour from here, and the MICE segment (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions), who use our venue for conclaves. We also have long staying guests who work in the vicinity. This has resulted in strong occupancies upward of 70%.” The hotel is in the process of adding another 220 keys, slated to be functional by 2020, making it one of the largest hotels in the city, with 374 keys.

Futuristic destination?

As a metropolis, Bengaluru has many challenges—the foaming lakes and the crippling groundwater crisis, inadequate public transportation, and unabated construction. For the city’s 12 million residents, short bursts of outward expansion have always fuelled growth, with the southern and eastern edges most recently growing into the IT industry’s suburban hubs.

T.V Ramachandra, a professor at the Indian Institute of Science, once famously said that Bengaluru will become unlivable by 2020 because of unplanned urbanisation, depleting green cover, and dying lakes. The city has grown spherically and concentrated development, in some parts, has resulted in multiple pressure points. Whitefield and Outer Ring Road are saturated with IT parks and gated residential communities, turning those neighbourhoods into a commuter’s nightmare. Koramangala, Indiranagar, and HSR Layout are the start-up hubs and there is, of course, the IT nerve centre in the far south—Electronic City.

With the government focusing on multiple infrastructure projects and with its wide roads and expressway, North Bengaluru, beyond Hebbal, is naturally the next growth corridor.

Krishna Byre Gowda, a legislator from Byatarayanapura, which falls under the Bengaluru North parliamentary constituency, says that infrastructure projects like the peripheral ring road (PRR), and others, will be a boon for the city’s northern edges.

“The Metro rail project has also been sanctioned. Earlier water was a big issue, but this is being addressed. The Cauvery water supply has been extended to most parts of the north (under municipal limits). We are pumping treated water into lakes to recharge the groundwater level,” said Byre Gowda, minister for rural development, law and parliamentary affairs.

So, what looked like a futuristic destination when the airport opened a decade back seems like a necessity now. And in the next 2-3 years, it will get even busier. Nearly 1,900 acres of Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) has been earmarked for an aerospace Special Economic Zone (SEZ), a hardware park and an IT park.

In November, power management firm Eaton broke ground at the Aerospace SEZ, near Devanahalli, to build its first aerospace manufacturing facility in India. The facility is to be built over 2.75 acres and will be operational in the second half of 2019. But the roads and water supply are not adequate enough to build a full-fledged urban ecosystem. People do want to shop, eat out, and catch a movie.

Byg Brewski Brewing Co., for instance, on Hennur Road, an alternate road to reach the airport, accommodates 2,200 people at any given time. Managing director Ajay Gowda says that four years after opening its Sarjapur Road outlet, they wanted to bring a bigger, better experience with the new outlet.

“People in Bengaluru are willing to travel 30-45 minutes if you offer them a good experience. Here, we wanted it to be big on experience and give it a townsquare-like feel, with a spacious outdoor area. North Bengaluru has too many reasons going for it to neglect it these days,” Gowda says.

Author Anuja Chauhan lives in a village called Sadahalli, in a house which her family built on a 8,550 sq ft plot, within a township called Swiss Town. “It is clean and green and the air is fresh. One can go cycling and walking at any time of the day. And as we were clear we were building an old-school house that we wanted to become grandparents in, we were really keen on a garden. We could afford a decent sized plot only in this area. The only negatives are the snakes and the sound of planes landing and taking off, but we’ve grown pretty used to that by now,” Chauhan says.

Real estate play

Real estate is always a major lever which draws people into an upcoming area. Greater Noida in the National Capital Region (NCR) and Panvel and New Panvel in Navi Mumbai are both areas which have witnessed a similar property boom, usually with their relatively lower property prices attracting middle-class and first-time homebuyers.

In North Bengaluru, be in Hennur Road or between Hebbal and the airport, while residential development has happened, what was missing was large-scale office space, which is critical. There were no contemporary shopping malls either. Other than the Embassy Manyata Business Park, where over 100,000 people work, there has been sporadic office space development between Hebbal and the airport.

Firms which have showed an interest in locating to North Bengaluru have been from sectors ranging healthcare and pharma, telecom, engineering and manufacturing and core tech, said Ram Chandnani, MD, advisory & transaction services, CBRE South Asia Pvt. Ltd. “New office growth is expected to go to North Bengaluru. With the Metro line being extended, along with the right social infrastructure, it would result in boosting demand for office space,” Chandnani said.

WeWork India head Karan Virwani said the infrastructure is there, the city is moving that side and it’s a growing demand they want to catch on early. The city’s second Phoenix Market City Mall, with a million sq ft of shopping space is coming up in Hebbal.

Uday Bhaskar, regional head, Godrej Properties Ltd, one of the early movers in North Bengaluru, says the area has seen spectacular infrastructure development compared to the rest of the city. “We are also acquiring land in Hennur Road and Thanisandra areas in the north, north-eastern parts because we want to take a position in the entire North Bengaluru region,” Bhaskar said.

As cities evolve and accommodate waves of new entrants, the centre always shifts. Bengaluru’s northern edge is far from the centre yet, but it is certainly vying to be on the list of probables.

Chauhan describes it aptly: “…Yes, the centre of town is far, but as I work from home and travel a lot… It’s actually good to be this close to the airport. Our next door neighbor is a very excellent doctor, so we have that covered too! And once in a while, we do dude up and hit the Bangalore or Catholic Clubs and Safina Plaza and Commercial Street, and these outings seem sweeter for being so much rarer.”


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