North Chennai: Industrial Town to Residential Hub

North Chennai has been seeing a lot of activity on the real estate front and that doesn’t come as a surprise as it is a part of the city that that hasn’t been explored but has great potential. Earlier, the area was only known for its number of factories and industrial belts but this has changed now. With a lot of land available, more and more projects are coming up.

The last five years have seen this sleepy old part of the city transform into a solid residential market.

Deepti Pandya and her family moved to Tondiarpet a few years ago. Today, she walks her son every morning to a school which is just half a kilometer away, buys groceries in the market nearby and attends a meditation class in her neighbourhood, without the hassle of traffic. “I came from Sowkarpet 2 years back and bought this 3BHK for 3 lakhs. The area is very neat, peaceful and especially good for children.”

Just like Deepti Pandey, many people are slowly looking at North Chennai as a favourable residential location.

North Chennai owes its increasing popularity for one reason alone. It’s far more affordable than Central and South Chennai. Apartments in the region sell at an average starting price of 4300 – 4800 rupees a square foot in these markets, making a 1000 square foot 2 bedroom apartment a sub 50 lakh product. Key micro-markets in North Chennai include Ambattur, Avadi, Kolathur, Nolambur and Perambur. Developers like Mahindra Lifespaces , the Ozone Group, and VGN are some of the big names in the region. Good connectivity and existing social infrastructure add to North Chennai’s attractiveness.

“North Chennai is well within the city limits. It is well connected in terms of roads, railways, local trains and since it is within Corporation limits, it calls for continuous and good supply of metro water, sewage connection and street lights. There also are number of colleges, schools, hospitals, theatres situated at walking distance. . . in short, there is a complete market out there where you can get anything you want,” says Devesh Bhuva, MD of Prince Foundations who has invested in a number of projects around the area.

The potential of North Chennai to develop into a giant realty market has tempted many developers to foray into this location. New projects and low prices are expected to draw consumers, who are mostly from the middle and upper-middle classes.

Chandan Jain, Chairman & CEO, Vijay Shanti Builders says, “The ticket price has to be smaller here as the key consumers are middle and higher middle-income groups. The flat size cannot be as big as 2000-3500 sq.ft, but needs to planned around 800-1500 sq. ft so that it will be affordable for them.”

Kanchana who is the Chennai Director of Knight Frank says how infrastructure initiatives can fuel growth to this market, “The Outer Ring Road and Blue Metro Line which is going to connect North and South will be key catalysts for growth.”

However, being a primarily industrial hub, there are huge concerns of pollution, water logging, lack of proper sanitation and health care facilities in the area.

According to data from India Property, investors have been receiving annualised returns of 6-9%, with Kolathur and Perambur receiving the highest. North Chennai might not be the best market to invest in, but does hold promise for the years to come. With better infrastructure, sanitation and connectivity, North Chennai could soon become a favourable residential location.

Smitha TK, Reporter-Chennai, NDTV


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