Old residents of Marathahalli recall the excitement of catching a glimpse of an aircraft taking off from the HAL Airport

“The suffix ‘halli' sounds outdated for Marathahalli because the area is not the village it used to be. This ‘halli' is rolling in money with a boom in the number of commercial establishments, and consequentially, the residential scene too has improved manifold,” says R. Manjunath, real estate agent and a long-time resident, who has seen the rents grow from Rs. 200 to the astronomical Rs. 25,000 per month in some of the main roads.

Industrial belt

Arvind Shrinivas, who heads Kala Tours, says, “I used to stay at the HAL-Marathahalli Officers' Quarters when we occasionally got to see exciting views of the planes taking off from the HAL Airport. Those were the days when land cost a meagre Rs. 80 to Rs. 150 per sq ft. All that is history now. The industrial belt still has the industries, but they are now clothed in impressive brick and mortar designs. What's signature to the area are the teeming restaurants and the influx of malls. The ‘halli' has transformed into a commercial hub, but the roads still belong to the village.”

Metamorphosis

Sharadamma, who sells vegetables at Marathahalli rues, “There were carpets of greenery across several hundreds of acres. Some interior parts had pockets, where soppu (greens) was grown. The change is awful. Why do we need such big shops? I am paying a rent of Rs. 1,000 per month, and yet I have to walk half a kilometre to get drinking water.” These responses more than prove the metamorphosis of a rather insignificant residential area into a hub that boasts of quality malls, eateries, hotels and serviced apartments.

Infrastructure, though, is something most fret about.

Apartments now cost nothing less than Rs. 2,800 to Rs. 5,500 per sq ft, depending on the location and amenities.

Housing changes

All Asia-Pacific property markets, which have seen a rapid run-up in rents and capital values in recent years, will continue to see even better times, according to consultants Jones Lang LaSalle's research.

And what about the massive housing changes that Marathahalli has witnessed?

According to Jones Lang LaSalle (JLLS), Bangalore division, “Community living has caught up in this area in the last four years. The area has a mix of town houses, villas and apartments with Puravankara, Sobha Developers and Rohan Developers being the major players. They cater primarly to those from the IT/ITeS sectors.”

Driving growth

The surrounding Whitefield Main Road, Brookefield, Kundalahalli Gate, Old Airport Road, ITPL and Sarjapur Road and the crowded Marathahalli bridge are all commercial hubs, and ITPL continues to be a major factor that is driving real estate growth.

The VIBGYOR International School, Hypercity, Home Town and the newly inaugurated shopping and lifestyle destination, Phoenix Market City, all only add more sheen to the area.

Resident profile

According to international real estate consultants, Cushman & Wakefield, Marathahalli's resident profile is mainly the middle-income group driven by the IT and ITeS sectors.

Citilight Developers, Akme Projects and Fern Developers have also made their presence with bigger developers such as Prestige, Brigade and Total Environment concentrating on bordering Whitefield. “A land parcel on the main road carries a price tag of anything between Rs. 4,500 to Rs. 6,000 per sq ft depending on the zoning, frontage and conversions.”

Airport

The shifting of the airport to Devanahalli has not dented the prices of both land and apartment rates here. However, the region is likely to witness more end-user-led demand owing to the concentration of corporate entities, says Cushman & Wakefield.

Marathahalli continues to be a draw for those working on the Outer Ring Road, Whitefield and Sarjapur Road stretches, says Jones Lang LaSalle.