Luxury can mean many things. But for most consumers vying for luxury residential addresses, the term signifies exclusivity, uncompromising global quality and world class amenties. With rapid economic growth in India, the aspirational classes are looking to invest in luxury residential projects. Prominent real estate players are competing in the luxury segment because of the assured large profit margins that this segment ensures.
With a rapid shift in consumer preferences, luxury projects are exploring newer locations. According to market insiders, the focus is predominantly on the quality of living and on providing world class amenties. And over the last 20 years, no other industry in eastern India has undergone more radical changes than the real estate and construction sector. The rapidly changing skyline of Kolkata holds testimony.
The Urbana luxury residential project has been one of the first-of-its-kind luxury projects to be initiated in Kolkata. Developed jointly by six of the stalwarts of the industry, namely, Emami, JB, MKJ (Keventer), Nahata, Shrachi and Sureka groups in association with the government of West Bengal this project was initiated in 2010.
Rahul Todi, Director, Urbana, informed BE, “The passion, love and vision for Kolkata had driven us to initiate this project. We believed that Kolkata deserved a truly world-class township project. In terms of quality living, Urbana has set a high standard in the luxury segment.”
The project was planned to capture the rapid expansion of the city around the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass and Anandapur. Recent market trends indicate that the region has seen a surge in demand in real estate projects. According to key players in the luxury segment, customers are increasingly willing to shift out of traditional upmarket locations if the amenities and lifestyle offerings are right. The project is presently well-connected to the city’s best healthcare institutions, schools, shopping and entertainment centres. This area is being hailed by trend-watchers as one of the most coveted residential neighbourhoods. Extended support by municipal bodies in terms of widening the road leading to Urbana has benefited the residents.
Manmohan Singh, a resident of Urbana, informed BE, “People said Alipore (an up market location in southern Kolkata) is renowned address and I should not move from that place. But I realised that address is not the one which is going to give me comfort, freedom and the open air. And I decided to come to Urbana.”
The luxury quotient
It is Kolkata’s only mega project encompassing around 65 acres of land and at present, the tallest ready to move in residential building in eastern India. The project has been designed by a team of talented designers and internationally acclaimed architect Stephen Coates in a way to ensure natural ventilation. The seven towers are constructed amidst beautifully landscaped open spaces. According to a project official, the project has ensured 78% of open space. The high speed Mitsubishi elevators are clocked to do 0-45 stories in 55 seconds. The project also boasts a parking facility of around 2500 cars.
The developers have been keen on providing upscale infrastructure for the project. VRF air conditioning system is installed for all apartments in addition to a significant capacity of (125 KW) solar power indegenously generated for the common area. The project also has its own solid waste management system and provides piped supply of cooking gas. It has also developed its own water treatment plant and
emphasised on rain water harvesting.
The club which comes with this project is expansive, spanning across 1 lakh square feet. It houses the two swimming pools along with steam and sauna rooms, a state of the art gym with imported equipment, a sprawling restaurant and a separate bar. Sport facilities like a squash court and billiard tables are provided. Indoor badminton courts have also been constructed. Apart from these, an outdoor tennis court is also provided. With the expansive open space and vivid greenery, this address is ideal for children to grow up in.
The project has already sold out 92% of its properties developed so far. A large number of the buyers have also shifted in. According to director Arindam Sil, who is a resident of this project, “This is ultimate. With such a lovely done-up apartment with lot of air, lot of light, lot of space and the right kind of positive vibes, it’s been lovely to become a resident of Urbana.”
A considerable section of investment in the luxury segment includes possibilities of positive resale value. At present resale rate is approximately Rs.7800 to Rs.9,000 per square feet. According to a project insider, “Customers
who booked in price bracket of Rs.4,000 to Rs.6,000 are the defiantly top gainers.”
The success of this project has prompted the developers to plan for an expansion. According to officials there are some more offerings from the developers in near future.