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adProperty News

Gated communities a global concept, a way of life
Source : The Hindu Property Plus Published On : 2008-01-19 City : Chennai

Round-the-clock security and after-sales maintenance are attracting people, writes SHANTHI KANNAN


Do you want to live in an independent house in a good residential area, enjoy all the amenities one could wish for, and an enclosed neighbourhood? If the answer to all these questions is “yes”, then a gated community is what you have to look for.


     The gated community is a global concept. Today, it is becoming a way of life in many countries, including India. The concept started in the Western parts of the world, the dates back to the earliest civilisations, when the wealthy favoured high walls and closed gates that turned their communities into private ones. In addition to providing increased security, the purpose of these communities was to foster segregation and increase the sense of exclusion. This phenomenon has rapidly gained ground in many countries across the world, specifically in China, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa and the United States of America.


     In recent years there has been an increase in the construction of gated communities all over the world. The trend has also caught on in India, especially in Bangalore and Chennai. The desire for more personal safety is touted as the main reason for the growth of gated communities.


     The concept is popular among Bangalore-based infrastructure developers. Now the idea is catching up in Chennai too. There are two types of gated communities – gated plots and gated houses. Today, in many places in Chennai the concept of gated plots is becoming prominent. The concept of gated houses is yet to get prominence.


     According to Rajesh Shankar, Director (Sales), Clasic Group, most of the investment of the upper and middle classes goes into the purchase of a piece of land. Investing in land is considered akin to investing in gold. These plots will have to be protected as these lands are either located outside the city limit or in another town. The concept of a gated plot will help buyers protect their plot by having a round-the-clock security system.


     Mr. Shankar feels that his Clasic Farms offers a higher degree of safety, convenience and value appreciation. These projects are priced slightly higher than the normal plots available, as they offer after sales maintenance.

     As long as the community maintains it, the charm will not be lost. For instance, generally the maintenance charges in such places are high when compared to your usual flats or plots.


     The concept requires like minded people to share similar ideas. A gated community should also maintain the access roads. The bride side of this idea is that the property will be secured and maintained well.

     The concept of gated houses or villas is just picking up in Chennai when compared to Bangalore, where a single project comprises over 3,000 villas located outside the city limit.

     Today, Chennai is being visited by several big players promoting gated villa projects. Though the prices are more or less similar to premium end apartments, still the demand for these projects are low.


Value additions


     Promoters say that there are enough and more value additions and that these housing communities are self-sufficient. These communities offer several advantages – such as superior infrastructure, and landscape and property management. Gated communities are also called guard-gated communities, as they offer round-the-clock security with emphasis on controlled entrance regulation.


     Players such as Hiranandini Group, Marg, Hallmark and a few others are developing large land banks that are being developed into townships with clubhouses, gardens, walking tracks and swimming pools and often equipped with round-the-clock security and a CCTV connection in every apartment. These townships target the upwardly mobile, double income families, who are willing to pay a premium for security and hygienic surroundings.


     Manoj Namburu, Chairman and Managing Director of the Bangalore-based Alliance Group, which launched Spanish Villas on a 25-acre plot in Porur, says that there is an amazingly-strong demand in Chennai for quality gated communities like Bougainvillea, whose first phase is almost sold out. Marketing of the second phase of this 300 Spanish-style villa project in Porur, off Poonamalle High Road, will commence shortly. Encouraged by the response to Bougainvillea, Alliance Group has planned to develop another 46-acre property as an upmarket gated community near Sriperumbudur soon.


     The 300 lifestyle villas will be coming up within a gated community with clubhouse, including swimming pool, gym and sporting facilities, a grocery store, ATM, and security. The plot size of the villas ranges from 2,000 sq.ft. to 3,500 sq.ft. in three to five bedroom configurations. The cost of the villas ranges from Rs. 65 lakh to Rs. 2 crore.

     Mumbai-based Hiranandini Group has come up with a large gated community on Old Mahabalipuram Road at a cost of Rs. 2,000 crore. Spread over 100 acres, the integrated township would have sports facilities, gymnasium, aerobics hall, yoga centre, swimming pool, health spa and other comforts. A higher secondary school offering classes right from nursery level would also be set up on the luxurious campus.


     According to Surendra Hiranandani, Managing Director, Hiranandini Group, the large population of the educated talented pool in Chennai is getting exposed to international quality living and their demand for better quality living has increased. The township, to be built in a phased manner, is expected to be completed in eight years.

     Hari Nagashwaran, Executive Vice-Chairman, Hallmark Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd., plans to come up with a gated community project in Maraimalainagar on 27 acres of land. The project will have amenities such as a school, park, club and mall too.



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