How big should the flats be? Shops or office spaces? How much room for each? It takes months of planning and detailed market research to decide what kind of project should come up on a plot.
“A lot of thought goes into everything from the shapes of the flats in a tower to the number of offices on each floor, and much of the decisions are determined by local and local demographics,” says A Shankar, COO for strategic consulting at realty advisory JLL India.
“Sometimes, market analysis and consultations with realty advisors are followed by a survey of potential target customers.”
Once a location has been identified, it’s all about meeting unmet needs of the micro market.
“A plot we acquired in Mazgaon, for instance, will feature an integrated development project with both trading spaces and homes,” says Rahul Shah, CEO of Sumer Group. “We decided that because the plot is close to Crawford market and Mustafa Bazaar, mobile phone sellers from there can use our well-built spaces to display their products, and get good parking spaces. Along with 1,800 shops, the 10-acre plot will have four residential towers with one, two, three and four-bedroom flats on offer.”
In an upcoming project by Transcon Developers close to Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC), there will be office spaces with an area of 500 sq ft each. “Our target customers are ancillary companies; they need and can afford only smaller spaces,” says Aditya Kedia, managing director of Transcon. “The proximity to BKC will also help them expand their business. Imagine getting an office space for Rs 2.5 crore right outside BKC where property prices are exceptionally high.”
Once configuration is decided, developers choose amenities. “We call it the Happiness Quotient factor, and this can determine the sustainability of a project,” says Shankar. “The idea is to find a way to make the best use of space available while offering enough for sale and resale.”
Because maintenance of landscaped gardens and sports clubs can become complicated and burdensome for middle-class residents, the trend is towards self-sustained amenities such as jogging tracks and play areas
The Lodha group is developing an integrated township called Palava City spread over 4,500 acres near Dombivli, and here the amenities are a big part of the pitch. “For projects like these, a school, medical centre and shopping centre are expected to be part of it, because they are massive and far from city’s centre,” says Mudassir Zaidi, an executive director at real-estate advisory Knight Frank India. “These amenities aim to create a culture, a sense of community among the people living here.”
Real-estate developer Ajmera Realty’s upcoming project in Bengaluru, meanwhile, is a single building with a rooftop swimming pool. “Since we had a small plot, we could only plan one tower,” says Dhaval Ajmera, director of Ajmera Realty. “We have a swimming pool on the rooftop as it was an amenity missing in the projects around us and is a brownie point for a single-building project.”