On-site bakeries, schools and farms: housing complexes are piling on the frills
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On-site bakeries, schools and farms: housing complexes are piling on the frills

The amenities in the projects on the fringes of metros are designed to lure buyers to otherwise less-developed neighbourhoods.

real estate Updated: Oct 13, 2018 18:38 IST
Krutika Behrawala
Krutika Behrawala
Hindustan Times
Real-estate,Mumbai realty,Gurgaon
Vivarea by K Raheja Corp has an aqua gym with three underwater treadmills.

Picture this: You decide to make eggs on toast for breakfast but realise you’re out of bread and the nearest bakery is at least 15 minutes away from home.

However, if you’re living in one of the 19 towers at The Magnolias in Gurgaon, you can pick it up from an in-house bakery and deli within the residential complex developed by DLF.

In Mumbai, Vivarea by K Raheja Corp has a crèche and an aqua gym, with three underwater treadmills for families that reside in its four towers. Elsewhere, developers are also building shopping plazas, sports facilities and schools within residential premises.

“Residential complexes have moved beyond just offering shelter, with basic amenities including security and safety. Branded playschools and crèches within a residential complex were unheard of five years ago or were far and few between,” says Rohan Sharma, head-research at the real-estate services company Cushman & Wakefield India. “With apartment projects coming up on the edges of the city and as part of large townships, schools and shopping plazas, bespoke services such as grocery pick-up and deliveries and other utility services have become a necessary requirement. More focus is also put on recreation and leisure facilities, which was missing earlier.”

Lifestyle upgrade

Busy work schedules of the residents and the convenience factor are prompting developers to upgrade their amenities. Palava, located at the junction of Kalyan, Navi Mumbai and Dombivali, has two educational institutions – Lodha World School and Shri Ram Universal School – within its premises.

“We wanted to address the issue of Mumbai-ites having to travel longer distances to avail essential facilities, which can impact the quality of living,” says Shaishav Dharia, regional CEO, Lodha Group that has developed the 4,500-acre integrated smart city. “Inspired by global concepts like ‘walk to school’, the idea was to promote the perfect work-life balance and a stress-free ecosystem with prime levels of safety.”

At Lodha’s Palava, amenities include two schools.

Namrata Gokhale, 32, an LIC agent who will move into a 2BHK flat in Palava next month, says, “The connectivity to the township is still developing. So, having all the amenities, including a temple, shops and gardens, within the premises make our life more convenient. That was one of the main factors we considered when buying the flat here.”

Developers are also tailoring the amenities based on changing lifestyle patterns and catering to the need of having all amenities a roof. For instance, apart from the bakery, The Magnolias also has a sports bar, a multi-cuisine restaurant, a spa, a mini-theatre and a yoga and Pilates room. “The idea was to make the condominium self-sufficient and self-sustained entity. Once a resident drives in through the gates, there’s no reason to step out into the chaotic world,” says a spokesperson at DLF.

Fitness and sports facilities are also finding takers. “While sports facilities or amenities were limited in size and expanse earlier, they are now an integral part of a residential project with separate spaces for cricket, tennis and basketball complete with trainers,” says Sharma.

“Today’s buyer is well-travelled and wants the best in terms of amenities,” says Om Ahuja, chief operating officer – residential business, K Raheja Corp that has installed the aqua gym at Vivarea. It even uses treated and recycled water. “We don’t incur large additional expenses for any amenity; they are part of the regular maintenance charges.

However, the long term intangible benefits of these amenities are manifold and offer a true luxe experience.”

How it benefits

The demand for unusual amenities, says Dharia, will continue to rise due to the evolving needs of the customer and an increase in their disposable incomes.

Incorporating such amenities can also result in better price and sales velocity, adds Sharma.

He expects high-end services like pop-up/bespoke restaurants and experiences like community gardening, kids’ workshops as well as end-to-end concierge and travel services (including helicopter rides for the rich) finding takers in the near future. “Sustainability will play an important role in future projects and hence focus on green cover and reduction of carbon footprint would gather more momentum.”

Godrej Properties’ The Trees will have 2,200 sq ft of urban farming.

At Godrej Properties Ltd’s flagship project – The Trees – in Vikhroli, plans have been put in place to offer 2,200 sq ft of land within the premises to residents for urban farming. Anubhav Gupta, chief design officer and business head for Vikhroli and head of sustainability and CSR for Godrej Properties Limited, says, “Our in-house horticulturists will give tips on the kind of seeds to buy and harvesting methods. If the resident community agrees, we can also curate a harvest festival every few months.”

First Published: Oct 13, 2018 17:55 IST