June 2014 \ Business & Investment \ South Indian Property
Is Chennai's OMR Stretch Losing Its Sheen?

Tracing Property Demand along Old Mahabalipuram Road

By AS Sivaramakrishnan

 The 50 km-long stretch along Chennai’s Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR), or Rajiv Gandhi Salai, extends between the Madhya Kailash Junction at Adyar, Chennai, and the temple town of Mahabalipuram. It may be segmented into three sections—(i) Madhya Kailash–Shollinganallur, (ii) Semmencherry–Kelambakkam, and (iii) Kelambakkam–Mahabalipuram. The stretch developed as a designated IT/ITeS corridor over the last decade, in a city which is the second highest exporter of information technology in India. The growth of any industry in such a vast scale, typically paves the way for the growth of other businesses too; and consequently, a large IT workforce has fuelled real estate activity in the region. Even about five years back, reasonable property prices made this micro-market a desirable destination—but not anymore. The region has been increasingly losing its sheen among Chennai’s home buyers.

The notable micro-markets located along the initial stretch include Taramani, Perungudi, Thoraipakkam, Karapakkam, and Shollinganallur. Although this is the stretch where most of the city’s IT Parks, IT SEZs, and major IT campus development are located, it is also home to several residential projects that mainly cater to the IT workforce and the catchment populace. In the absence of large land parcels, a number of residential developments are currently under various stages of construction in this area. A few notable examples being Jain Housing’s ‘Pebble Brook’, India Bulls’ ‘Greens’, and the Embassy Group’s ‘Residency’ project.

The 200-feet road connecting Thoraipakkam and Pallavaram offers a fair amount of land parcels, where close to a thousand residential units already exist. This road has been the prime focus of development firms, with social infrastructure (viz. hospitals, malls, education institutions, etc.) being in place too. Recent entrants in the micro-market include Ramanyam, Mantri Developers and Agni Estates, who are coming up with prominent residential projects.

It is the second section between Semmencherry and Kelambakkam that has seen significant residential growth over the past 5–6 years. SIPCOT at Siruseri, where close to 50,000 people work, has been a major catchment. With large parcels of land being available here, developers have been offering gated communities and township projects targeted at the IT crowd. A few such large-scale projects that are currently under construction include ‘Upscale’ (Hiranandani), ‘Swanlake’ (Puravankara), ‘Ouranya Bay’ (True Value Homes), and ‘Aurum’ (Pacifica).

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