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Big players eye Visakhapatnam

G.V.P.
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A bird's eye view of the expanding city from atop Kailasagiri. - Photo: K.R. Deepak
A bird's eye view of the expanding city from atop Kailasagiri. - Photo: K.R. Deepak

R ealtors are unanimous that the Visakhapatnam market is growing, steady and express confidence that it will stay northward-bound in the time to come.

Apart from areas like Madhurawada and Rushikonda which are receiving lot of attention owing to government promoting Information Technology in a big way, the other areas are also contributing to the growth.

“Some ten years ago, Hyderabad had only local builders. But now all the big names with pan-India presence have come there. We foresee a similar situation in Visakhapatnam now,” says Shriram Properties Chief Marketing Officer Balaji.

Even big builders from Bangalore with vast experience are coming to Visakhapatnam. He says the VK Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemical Investment Region is attracting global attention and together with SEZs global companies are evincing interest. VUDA is playing a complimentary role by creating the necessary infrastructure as a catalyst and also lot of opportunities in PPP mode. Mr. Balaji says in future the Endada and Madhurawada hills will be akin to the Banjara hills and Jubilee Hills of Hyderabad. With a world class integrated township in 80 acres aiming to creating more than 81 lakh sft, including commercial space, Shiram Properties is the first corporate player with pan-Indian presence to enter the city. Its project Panorama Hills will have 2,500 apartments from 2 BHK to 4 BHK and 241 villas, club houses, hotel, mall, multiplex and hospital.

“It's a beautiful city that is going to be a tremendous destination for industry, education and IT in the days to come,” says K. Srikant Reddy, Managing Director of Omcon Infrastructure that recently launched Reign Forest gated community at Madhurawada. He says it is one of the most buoyant among Tier II cities with tremendous scope for real estate.

The company wants to give quality construction and amenities of gated community at an affordable cost, he says. Omcon wants to have a long term presence and is in discussions with other groups. We will announce another project in the next six to eight months, he asserts.

The expansion of various industries, emergence of the software sector, increase in employment opportunities and rising income levels are propelling demand, says Varada Dharmender, Managing Director of Novus Infra Private Limited, that has launched Novus Florence Village near Gajuwaka.

The gated community is being developed on a nine-acre land in three phases.

Since land became scarce in the city proper there has been more thrust in Madhurawada area, says Managing Partner of MK Constructions M. Ratnaiah, who completed two projects there and launched another one. He has a project each in the post East Point Colony and Facor Layout. Builders in Madhurawada area faced problems with glut at one point of time and no takers at the high prices quoted. But later prices stabilized.

And several new projects have come up. But Gopalapatnam, Vepagunta and Purushottamapuram areas are also catching up with big projects being taken up, says P.V.L. Narasimha Raju of Raj-Varma constructions, whose venture Comfort Homes comprising 405 flats is coming up in 10 blocks is coming at Purushottamapuram. For employees and the middle class only the outskirts offer affordable price as in the core city they are beyond reach, he says.

Layouts in which plots are also offered are also attracting attention for investment. All the plots that we have developed have been sold with NRIs, both in the US and the middle east and the other countries investing because of the peaceful nature of the city and the IT growth potential, says Chilukuri Srinivas, Managing Director of Chilukuri Housing Projects Private Limited who has 120-acre layout, a joint venture with VUDA.

Bhimunipatnam, the picturesque seaside village, has also became a real estate hub. With several internationals schools, pharmaceutical units, engineering colleges and Rama Naidu Film Studio in proximity the growth has come out of slump and has taken a U-turn, says P.N. Malleswara Rao, Managing Partner of Sri Rainbow Estates near Bhimili.

The peaceful conditions and the role of VUDA in checking the activities of unauthorized layouts has created a congenial atmosphere for business to grow, feels G.N.V. Ajaybhaskar of GVMC Infrastructure who has layouts at Kottavalasa in 12 acre of 25 acres plot in the first phase.

When a layout with all permissions and development are offered the buyer enthusiasm is high, he says.

In fact, investments in land have been attracting more attention with prices steadily climbing, says P.V.S.N.Raju, Executive Director of SVS Constructions. People from Bangalore, Hyderabad and Delhi also have invested in his layout near BHPV, he says.

But for the growth to take off the government has to reduce the tax burden, says Jaya Prakash Babu Valluri, Chairman of Vasant Vihar Developers, who has taken up affordable housing using concessions offered by the government for the sector. He completed a 245 apartment flat at Madhurawada.

While the government has reduced tax from 11 per cent to 7.5 per cent, increase in land value has made lot of difference. The tax burden has gone up from Rs.40,000 to Rs.1.2 lakh, he regrets.

G.V.P.