Real estate developers are betting high on Sakinaka as a profitable real estate investment option. Notwithstanding the traffic chaos in the region in the wake of ongoing metro construction, the potential of this area to attract investment, particularly for commercial development, is encouraging investors.
According to Paras Gundecha, president of realtors’ industry body MCHI-Credai, Sakinaka recently has attracted a lot of investment from the service sector establishments like banks, call centres and such others. The commercial real estate space in Sakinaka has grown leaps and bounds over the last year or so. Gundecha informed that many multinational companies were looking to establish themselves in this belt. Also, demand for residential real estate has increased after the festive season.
Vinod Thakkar, CEO of Square Feet and former president of Association of Real Estate Agent (Area), said, “The property price for Sakinaka is currently between Rs 9,000 and Rs 11,000 per square feet. By 2015 it is likely to go up to Rs 14,000.” According to Thakkar, investment in Sakinaka was much cheaper than its neighbouring Powai. Hiranandani Complex there is witnessing rates up to Rs 30,000 per square feet. Areas like Dahisar too are witnessing prices above Rs 10,000 so Sakinaka comes as an obvious bet.
Gundecha said, “Sakinaka is an important junction on the Andheri-Kurla road that connects the eastern and western suburbs of the city. The improved connectivity and proximity to Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport are also heping the region.” GUNDECHA’s claim on connectivity was consented by Thakkar. He said, “For somebody working in Bandra Kurla Complex reaching Kurla via Sakinaka would only take 25 minutes.”
The metro rail is likely to reduce the traffic congestion on the roads to a great extent. The Times Square commercial complex promises to be the largest commercial arena in Sakinaka along with other commercial sites like Sagar Tech Plaza, Saki Vihar complex, and Marwah Centre, opined Gundecha. According to him, the demand for commercial spaces in Sakinaka has increased tremendously over the years. A large number of manufacturing and industrial units are coming up at Sakinaka. Also, various banks and call centres are in the process of setting up shops.
Thakkar, like Gundecha, too felt the area would be apt destination for service sector but argued that manufacturing and industrial units were moving out to more viable areas like Goregaon. He felt the area would see a lot of hotels and service apartments coming up. Also corporates working here and travelling abroad frequently would find the metro connecting to airport terminal viable. He said, “People can also avoid taking cabs to the airport once metro starts.”
Sakinaka is also gradually gaining popularity as a residential destination. Its proximity to the airport and improved connectivity with the eastern and western suburbs of the city have played significant role in it being perceived as a viable residential option. Gundecha quipped, “We have noticed that the number of residential complexes is slowly but surely rising. Sakinaka has every infrastructure needed to satisfy residential needs.”
Many developers are building residential complexes in Sakinaka such as Orbit builders have their projects underway. Gundecha Montego and Gundecha Asta and Runwal are also coming up with residential projects. Paramount, DS Kulkarni, and Sheth builders too have projects here, informed Thakkar. PRICES MAY RISE As per Gundecha’s claim, real estate prices, both for commercial and residential spaces, have increased by nearly 30 per cent over the last one year in Sakinaka.
Despite the sluggish economy that the country has been witnessing, the property rates for residential real estate in Sakinaka have remained stable. He said, “The commercial real estate market has not been affected by the sluggish economy at all. Demand is increasing by the day. We expect prices to shoot up substantially in future.” Hemang Parekh, from Andheri-based Parekh Consultants, estimated the prices to go up to Rs16,000 per square feet in the next four to five years.
Parekh was not bullish like Gundecha while estimating appreciation and said the prices here have gone up by 10 per cent in the past one year. He believed that real estate rates were not location specific but usually more project specific. COMPLEX ZONE According to Gundecha, being an industrial area, developers face challenges with the infrastructure of the area. With the boom in commercial real estate, logistics in this area will be difficult to handle.
The traffic and high level of pollution are reasons most home buyers prefer to stay away from Sakinaka. Parekh felt that proximity to the airport would restrict construction of high rises. Also, there are too many slums in the area to become attractive for residential interests. According to sources, the HDIL builder, which had taken up the work of slum rehabilitation, has stopped its work in the area for some unknown reasons. Parekh saw the direction of the airport’s runway playing a vital role in deciding the price of the area. “If it’s going towards West (towards Juhu) it may not be too noisy to for the residents.
However, if it goes around, people are likely to face issues with loud noise,” he said. Also, given the limited scenic view that the region can offer developers are likely to find it challenging to sell properties on this parameter.