How viable are sporting facilities in housing projects? Success stories in Western Countries are numerous –– the Yankee stadium in New York being a case in point. Not only is it a tourist destination with its eateries and pubs, the residential establishments around it also command a premium in the range of 20-25% compared to other projects in the vicinity.
In India, the story is different. Many NCR developers had some years ago incorporated golfing with residential housing in NCR. Today, some of them are eliminating golf courses from housing project plans as such facilities have remained underutilised, used only by people who know the game. Instead, multi-utility parks are being laid out that can be used by everybody, says Ajit Krishnan, tax partner and national leader, real estate and infrastructure sector, EY (Ernst and Young) India. Today, he says, the challenge is not about constructing a sports infrastructure in a project but ensuring that it is utilised efficiently.
In case of the FI track along the Yamuna Expressway, the fact that it is not used as frequently as it should is one issue, but the larger problem is that the area around it has not been monetised. That is primarily due to the fact that the area still largely remains unpopulated.
The entire social environment around a sports city has to be operational for the residential units within it to command a premium, Krishnan adds.
Buyers wanting to invest in such projects should assess whether the area has the potential to become a popular destination for sports lovers. They should look at the quality of infrastructure promised and consider the track record of the developer. Delivery remains a big challenge.